Main image of article Community Managers and the Art of Jedi Mind Tricks


“Sometimes you can’t always give them what they want,” says Izzy Neis, VP of User Engagement for Fight My Monster, an online game for kids. It’s the role of the community manager to play Jedi mind tricks, meaning you have to make the complaining party believe they’ve received the answer they seek, even when you have no way to give them what they're looking for. That's often getting a bug fixed, or giving them something for free, such as membership or 1,000 game points. It all comes down to giving them some type of response so they can continue playing while still being an advocate for your game. How do you do that? By providing an answer that pacifies them enough so you can go about trying to solve the problem, but not under undue pressure, says Tiffany Gaines, lead community and social media manager for Voxer, a mobile messaging application. Just giving an answer that quells the anger for a moment isn't enough. When people complain about something that hasn’t been fixed, Voxer will leave the help ticket open and then follow up when the problem is addressed or the  feature has been added. Usually the complaining party is so happy, they spur a bunch of retweets.

What Does It take To Be a Community Manager?

“Mediation and a gut understanding of other people,” says Neis. It’s the responsibility of the community manager to mediate conversations between the business and the customers or would-be customers. “You also have to be an excellent multitasker,” adds Gaines. You need to communicate and jump across multiple presences, via both traditional communications and social media. Plus, you need to know your product inside and out. Neis says that when a friend of hers writes job descriptions for community managers, she always includes: “Must be able to thrive in chaos.” Is that you? If so, you might be the next great community manager. By the way, Dice is looking for a community manager. Click here and scroll down to learn more.

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