Community Managers: Who Are They and What Do They Do?
Did you know that January 27th, 2014, marked an important milestone for online community managers? Why? Because on this date, community managers everywhere celebrated the fifth annual Community Manager Appreciation Day.
The number of online community managers has more or less exploded since the first Community Manager Appreciation Day…and their presence keeps growing at a rapid pace. As more and more organizations realize there is much more to social media marketing than just tweeting and Facebook-ing, the more they see the need to hire someone as part of a successful social media strategy.
Just who are these community managers? Loosely defined, community managers are the people who run online communities. The communities, themselves, typically revolve around companies, nonprofit organizations, university alumni associations, common interest groups, etc. Online community managers help grow and maintain their communities through a variety of activities. Common activities include blogging, Twitter chats, and LinkedIn discussions, just to name a few examples. In other words, community managers are tasked with doing whatever it takes to create an alluring online atmosphere which both attracts and retains its members.
Are you interested in hiring or becoming a community manager? Before making such an important decision for your organization, you must first understand who they are and what they do. The following are three things that all community managers must be prepared to do for their communities’ success:
Community managers must network, connect, and build relationships.
Communities fizzle out every day due to inactivity and apathy. When it comes to their communities, successful community managers should focus on both growth and maintenance. Through becoming adept networkers and relationship-builders, community managers can easily accomplish both. The result? A healthy and thriving community with loyal members who become brand advocates.
Community managers must represent their brands. All the time.
No matter how large or small their organizations, community managers must remember that they act as their brand’s online voice. With everything they say and do online, they are building their brand’s personalities and bringing them to life. Unless they intentionally wish to fail, they can no longer just log off for the weekend and expect to catch up on Mondays. Social media is 24/7/365, and community managers should be ready for anything at any time – from being ready to quickly respond to comments to answering their followers’ questions – and everything in between.
Community managers must listen.
Community managers serve as head “cheerleaders” by creating and spreading the word for their brands. They know how to generate buzz, but the savviest community managers also know how to listen. As events occur in the real world, many people jump on social media platforms to post about them and/or learn more about them. Community managers help filter through the social media “noise” and present the news that matters most to their members. They also listen to their communities, and allow each member to have a voice. When community managers communicate and stay involved, the entire community wins.
Are you thinking about hiring or becoming an awesome community manager? What other characteristics would you include to describe the ideal person? I’d like to hear your thoughts – please feel free to leave comments below!
Simply Measured What Community Managers Do & Why You Need Them