What does a Community Manager Do?

Last week we had to write an essay about how the community manager serves the online community and still manages to meet the business objectives. I have decided to write a post about what the community manager does in a nutshell. There is something more interesting about blog writing vs. an essay format. I think the word essay scares me. Anyways, let’s begin! 

Community Manager: Representing a company in the online world 

Here are some simple facts that will help you get a better idea of a community manager’s role. 

Principle Functions

  • the organizations voice in the community (unformal)
  • mediating disputes and conversations
  • publishing 
  • creating content!!!
  • the communities voice in the organization 
  • collect feedback

What is an online forum? 

Any social media platform people use to share ideas and discuss them. It is not limited to the classic forum style, Facebook and Twitter count! 

Mediating Disputes (negative comments)

This isn’t a full time task but everyone will have to deal with it at some point in their job.  The best thing for the community manager to do is to have a policy or tactics on how to deal with negative comments before they happen.  The role of the community manager is to act like a host and mediate the conversation without being dragged into it and making it worse. 

CONTENT! 

Enough said. Know your audience aka the community and determine what type of content is most engaging. It can be a mix of video, photos or memes. Just know what gets people talking and sharing. 

Skills & Roles

  • Share facts 
  • kill a rumor
  • answer questions beyond the 9-5 
  • provide seek peaks 
  • have experience with budgeting and marketing 
  • monitor all online conversation regarding the brand, organization or service 
  • project management 
  • knows the audience* 
  • track results/ findings which gives you ROI and can determine if goals and objectives have been met 

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3 thoughts on “What does a Community Manager Do?

  1. jenniemcq says:

    In some ways, it is so hard to determine the roles assigned to a specific social media title. Who does what is going to be determined, in part, by the size of your media program and organization. In some organizations the lines will blur between a community manager, content strategist, and social media analyst.

    In an ideal scenario, the community management role is focused on the mediator role that you mention early in your post, where this individual becomes both the voice of its communities to the organization AND the voice of the organization to its communities. Ideally, a “content strategist” and a “social media analyst” (or some similar role), roles that you touch on in your post, should be different people entirely. In the vast majority of organizations, however, who have a small staff, there is simply not enough people to dedicate themselves to these roles. For most of us, various roles will be incorporated into someone’s PR, marketing or development (etc.) role or, if we are lucky, one social media expert in the organization will be responsible for all aspects of the social media program. While it is great to look at what IBM does, the reality is that small business employs more Canadians than anyone else, and these separate roles are likely unattainable for most of us. I am looking forward to our unit on non-profits and hoping that there will be more information about how to manage a social media program with little human and financial resources!

    • juliagprguru says:

      I do agree that some tasks will be completed by other people or department. The Social Media ROI textbook and some of the assigned articles said that these are the tasks a community manager does. If it is a small organization then I believe one person does tend to all the roles.

      I too am interested in the non- profit section since I work for two and think it would be very interesting!
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. warrenpot says:

    The “Jack of All Trades” seems to be a good description of the community manager from my understanding of it. Although one point you made about not being the “formal” voice of the organization I feel is up for debate. If the community manager might be embedded in a community they would want to avoid “corporate speak”, but I think he or she still needs to have the authority and trust of the organization to formally and officially speak for it. That, to me, is a primary function when a community manager is representing and organization.

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