It’s no secret that esports has one of the most passionate fan bases around the world. Teams, leagues and other brands will need good community managers to engage with their communities and keep them interested…
What is a community manager?
This is someone who can look after a community of a particular game, esport, tournament provider or other area of gaming.
They might have to engage with and respond to the community on social media, for example on Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat, plus platforms including YouTube, Reddit, blogs, websites, Twitch and forums to name a few.
Community managers will usually work closely with the PR and marketing teams, or be a part of this team themselves, as what they do can influence how the audience feel about a product or brand. Because of this, they may be required to write press releases, conduct interviews and post regularly on social media.
They will also need to identify key requests and reactions from the community and feed them back to the team.
Because the role is so people-focused, having experience or knowledge in human resources could also be a bonus. As it’s such a customer-focused sector, you may be required to work closely with any product management and sales/partnerships teams too.
What skills you need
Community managers will need to be receptive to the community and to know their specific game, product, brand and customer demographic inside out.
The gaming and esports community can be extremely passionate and vocal, so a manager will need to be patient and understanding.
They will need to have a good grasp of social media, know their gifs from their vlogs and keep up to date with the latest and greatest memes and social platforms. Decision making is also important – which fan content do you share, which tweets do you retweet?
Good communication, writing, video editing and design/Photoshop skills are also recommended. Perhaps most of all, having a personality and style that is in tune with the game or brand at hand.
Communication managers may be required to attend events, arrange meet and greets and help the fans in person too.
What’s the job like?
Another community manager explains: “As a community manager you have your hand on the pulse of the community and have a really good idea of what the community want/need from the ground up. This makes you an important asset in a company that wants to find out what strategies and products to create.
“Being able to create your own ideas and concepts with this knowledge is also incredibly useful in directing what projects can be created in the future that directly benefit the community.
“Because of this knowledge, I think community managers often get tasked with operational projects as well, such as event management, so having organisational and management skills are incredibly useful!
“There’s a lot of different paths you can take from community management, depending on whether you worked more closely with different departments in a company, and often community managers move to influencer management, project management, marketing/social media or partnerships/business development in the future.”
How to get into community management
One community manager tells the British Esports Association: “My top piece of advice would be to get as much experience as you can by volunteering your time to a community you’re passionate about.
“In terms of a qualification, a marketing/communications related degree is a good choice if someone did want to go down that path, because there would be lots of transferable skills. I did a visual communication degree, which was mostly graphic design focused with a little bit of copywriting/marketing in it, but from what I know, a degree isn’t essential.”
Hours and salary
Community and social media management is usually a 9 to 5 role, though bigger brands may will expect a team to hold the fort between them, and answer questions at most times of the day. Community managers may also be expected to schedule posts to go live in the evenings and weekends, to maintain a consistent level of engagement.
Salaries vary, but expect junior positions to pay nearer the £20,000 mark and more senior managers to earn between £35,000 and £40,000 or above. Several job websites list the average community management salary at around £30,000.
Image source: Riot Flickr