Mastering the Digital Realm: An Insider’s Guide to Community Management

CollabWORK
3 min readJun 6, 2023

In the digital realm, where virtual connections flourish, community management plays a vital role in driving growth and making a meaningful impact. It’s the power behind building strong online communities and effective community networking. It fosters a sense of belonging, sparks genuine interactions, and cultivates a shared purpose among diverse individuals. Community management is crucial in online community building, from businesses seeking to build customer loyalty to social platforms aiming to create inclusive spaces.

In this interview, we meet Usman, former Community Manager at NBA Top Shot — a marketplace where sports fans can buy, sell, and trade basketball video clips. Usman delves into his perspectives on the key traits for successful community management, his unique strategies for building engaging communities, and his valuable tips for newcomers in this field.

What inspired you to pursue a career in community management, and what are some of the key skills and qualities that someone in this role should possess?

“I’ve led communities as far as I can remember, dating as far back to the early Diablo 2 days. It was a natural transition for me as an avid sports fan and collector when an opportunity at Top Shot to run community surfaced.

Key traits and skills to become a successful community manager are patience, empathy, charisma, communication, conflict resolution, and building relationships with both the community and key figures internally.”

What is your approach to building and engaging with a community, and what strategies have you found to be most effective in doing so?

“My approach to building a community depends on the the genre. For sports, I tailor dedicated channels and content for sports fans. It takes living and breathing the product you’re selling and being passionate about it. You must genuinely be interested or it won’t work. Build relationships with your community, make the strongest members your champions and forge close friendships. Figure out what your community wants and streamline feedback loops to adjust to their needs.”

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in community management, and what resources or tools would you recommend they use to get started?

“As mentioned in a previous response, be genuinely interested. There is no real playbook in a community role. It can be mentally demanding, and your passion for people and the product must consistently shine.

Build great relationships with the internal team so you can better facilitate feedback from the community and deliver for them by being part of the process. You will be a swiss-army knife in your role; whether that’s a combination of product, support, marketing, social media, partnerships, etc., so the closer you are to key figures in each department, the smoother your day-to-day will be.

On the topic of tools, I personally love Notion, which is an all-in-one workflow management solution.”

Usman’s insights highlight the crucial role that passion, genuine interest, and a strong skill set play in the world of community management. His advice, born from his own career development opportunities, stresses the importance of close internal and external relationships, and the value of tools for community networking in ensuring smooth day-to-day operations. For anyone preparing for a job interview in the community management arena, Usman’s wisdom serves as a valuable compass, illuminating the path towards successful and rewarding community engagement.

Are you an expert in your field, with strategies for online community building or hiring best practices? We want to hear from you! We are always looking for professionals who can share their insights with our audience. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise and being featured in an upcoming newsletter and blog, DM us on Twitter or email us at newsletter@collabwork.com.

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