“First, you have to be a people person” – meet our Community Manager

People · 23 January 2023Karolina Gruszczyk

When we asked Mariana if she had a moment for an interview on this special date, she was truly surprised that a day like this even exists. And after hearing her story and perspective on community management, we can only say there should be more than one Community Manager Appreciation Day!

What’s community management, why is it important, and what do you need to do to become a Community Manager? Mariana Rodrigues Costa has been there and done that, so she has all the answers.

What’s community management? Why is it important for an organisation?

Community management is the process of building an authentic community among a business's customers and employees, through many types of interaction. It's how a brand uses opportunities to interact with their audience to create a network in which they can connect, share, and grow.

A community provides people with a feeling of belonging and a network of other people they can connect with, based on their shared interests and/or characteristics. With a community, we’re able to build authentic relationships with our customers, and shift the perception from an everyday brand to a human brand — one that cares deeply about the people that support us and interact with us daily.

Plus, with a community in place, there are so many opportunities we can benefit from: we can build brand advocacy, get direct feedback from users, provide support, increase product and brand awareness, learn about what our customers want with little to no cost, boost interaction and relationships, and also provide more value to our customers.

How does it work? What’s your mission and day-to-day tasks as Community Manager at Revolut?

I’d say our main goal right now is to let our customers know our Community exists. However, our mission is something different. Right now, we just want to provide our customers with a place where they can connect with like-minded people, get help, and create real connections.

To achieve this, my daily tasks are based on creating engaging content, organising our Community topics to make sure the customer’s journey is as easy as possible.

I’m also responsible for drafting up new ideas, making sure the support information is correct and up-to-date, ensuring all the guidelines are respected, analysing y metrics to understand growth and areas of development, and last but not least, nurturing a relationship with our Revolut Stars, who are the most active members. They’re the ones that help me get this Community up and running.

We’re guessing it wasn’t your dream to become a Community Manager when you were younger. What was the career path/ experiences which led you to this point?

When I was little, I wanted to become a vet, because I love animals so much. Then, because my dad became a politician, I thought “why not?”, so I took on a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in International Relations and Politics. After this, I worked for an NGO in London for a while, and just loved the fast-paced atmosphere, so when I moved back to Portugal, Revolut seemed like the start-up I needed to get into this atmosphere again.

I joined the Revolut Social Media Support team, and last year, I got the opportunity to become the Community Manager. Again, I thought to myself: “why not?”

It was the perfect timing. Because of Covid and the world pandemic, people are staying at home more. And communities grew by 200%! Everyone started going online and wanted to make connections, network, and talk about common interests. That’s when I decided to handle the Community and all its challenges.

All in all, I’ve been here for 3 years and a few months, and I’ve learnt so much!I believe I’m in the right position. I just love all this job entails, and I can put into practice everything I learnt here. But never in a million years I’d think that I’d be a Community Manager right now.

What’s the toughest part of your job? How do you overcome those challenges?

The hardest part is understanding which ideas I can actually develop that'll bring value to the Community. Building an online community isn’t straightforward, you need to make sure you’re communicating in the right way, and know that what you do needs to generate a positive feeling.

Overcoming this comes with trial and error, so I normally always talk about my ideas with other people, and just get a lot of different opinions. There’s no better way to overcome it than to brainstorm it.

Which skills are a must-have for successful community management?

First, you have to be a people person. You have to be patient and know how to deal with different personalities. You also need to be able to lift up a mood, and change the situation if there’s negative feedback going around.

You have to be creative, but still logical and rational, so that you can understand that some of your ideas just won’t be successful in the type of community you’re running.

And the most important ones would be: being a down-to-earth person and a team player. A community is made by our customers, we’re just there to guarantee they get value, but they’re the ones who make it. We have to be able to work with our customers as a team, and know we’re not above them, we’re all equals.

We know it’s Community Manager Appreciation Day, but let’s reverse the roles for a moment – what do you appreciate most about your job?

I get to work with a lot of different people from different departments, internally. I feel like every day I'm learning something new.

So overall, I’m just thankful for all the amazing people I get to interact with on a daily basis. Sometimes, at the end of the day, I’m grateful for having the chance to build a space where people can be themselves, and talk about what they like. Being Revolut Community Manager is a challenge, but I really love it.

How can we show our appreciation to Community Managers? What’s the best way to support you in your day-to-day work?

I’d say that the best way to support a Community is to share it with your friends and family. Just share it and be part of it. If you want to get any information from the customers, you can just collaborate with the Community. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and do your research.

A Community is made by all of us, so the best way to show appreciation for what we do is to be there, be present, and engage.

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