Career Profile: Teresa Wu, Online Community Managing
Fresh out of college, Teresa scored a job at Google, one of the most coveted companies to work at in the world. But that’s not even her coolest accomplishment—inspired by her Asian parents’ funny comments, she founded the popular sites Mymomisafob.com and Mydadisafob.com, and even published a book consisting of the sites’ most side-splitting contributions. A prolific writer, blogger, and consumer of online media throughout college, it’s no wonder that Teresa feels at home as a community manager for Google Docs.
Describe what you do at work on an everyday basis.
On an average day, I might write or edit content for the Google Docs blog, monitor and post to our social media channels, and respond to user issues. I also work closely with our product specialists and user education specialist to escalate bugs to our engineering team and update our knowledge base.
Did you know you wanted to work in the Internet/online industry when you were younger?
I wanted to be a writer/editor when I was younger and intended to work in print media. I started blogging in sixth grade, and eventually that developed into an interest in the online space. Growing up in the Silicon Valley, I was always surrounded by people who were passionate about technology—it certainly helped to have lots of role models who were successful in the field.
What do you love or hate most about your industry?
I love that tech companies are developing innovative products that will actually change the way we live and communicate. Working at Google in particular means that I get to learn about and test (or “dogfood,” as we call it) the latest products before they're released.
How did you prepare yourself for a career in the online sphere? What steps did you take in high school and college?
I've always kept a pulse on tech trends. Throughout college, I read industry blogs regularly and made connections with interesting people in the space through Twitter and blogging. Having that network in place made job hunting a much less stressful process.
What three qualities allow someone to be most successful as a community manager?
1. Social media savviness: Experience with social media tools and the ability to navigate these channels as a business are key.
2. Communication skills: Community managers create so much content on behalf of their brand, so solid writing skills are important. For the same reason, you should be attentive to detail—you don't want to accidentally post a tweet with a mistake in it to 20,000 followers. You also need to be able to represent your company at industry events.
3. A passion for your product/industry: It's difficult to be genuine in your interactions with your community if you're not truly passionate about the brand you represent. Being a community manager doesn't stop after you leave the office—users still expect a response from me on weekends, holidays, or vacations. It's also a constantly evolving industry—if you don't enjoy your work, all of this can be incredibly draining.
What career growth opportunities are available in this field?
I can't give you a definitive answer, as I'm still figuring this out myself! But as consumers flock to social media channels to talk about their experiences, companies are recognizing that they need to have a presence on these channels, too. So I think it's a field that will continue to grow.