Do you like having meaningful conversations and establishing healthy business relationships? Do you enjoy exploring the power of online communities and gathering like-minded people to establish communities? If yes, becoming a community manager might be a good career choice for you.
Community managers wear many hats. Their role is related to sales, but it is not about selling and just selling. From creating branded content to collaborating with industry leaders, community managers are expected to perform many roles in an organization.
Read this article to learn the most important roles and responsibilities of a community manager.
As the name indicates, community managers are professionals who use their people skills to form communities of like-minded people to promote a product or service.
In some companies, they are part of the marketing team, where they collaborate with other professionals to create, manage, and expand a community according to the company’s goals.
They engage with their target audience and answer their queries in a timely manner. Their goal is to establish strong relationships with customers and potential customers to eventually gain their trust and loyalty.
Community manager responsibilities and goals
The responsibilities of community managers vary from company to company. They mostly depend on different factors such as the industry type, company size, and their employer’s demands.
Regardless of the company type/size, a community manager is expected to perform the following tasks.
Develop community strategies
The most important role of a community manager is to work with team leaders, such as social media managers, digital media managers, etc., to design and implement different strategies, including community strategies. He makes sure the goals of each strategy align well with the company’s business goals. He also tests strategies and makes amendments to them according to the requirements.
Establish, grow and maintain communities
The community manager studies his audience and finds which online platforms they use more frequently. Then he establishes online communities, groups, and forums there and grows them over time using different marketing tactics.
He regularly shares interesting and engaging content in these communities to keep community members active. He responds to their comments, messages, and posts in a consistent tone to develop a lasting relationship with them.
Inform different departments about user activity
Consumer behavior is changing at a rapid pace. If you want to retain your customers, you need to change your strategies according to their changing demands and needs.
A community manager listens to customer complaints, suggestions, and ideas, meaning he understands them better as he has a close interaction with them.
Instead of keeping user-related information to himself, he shares it with marketing, communication, and customer service teams to inform them how they can improve their efforts by changing their behavior or activities according to the customers’ demands.
Collaborate with other departments
In order to effectively talk to community members, a community manager collaborates with other departments to learn what they are doing or how a particular product works. It allows him to give consumers satisfactory answers.
Create branded content
Content is king. Today, around 60% of marketers create new content every day to keep their audience engaged. If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to attract your audience with captivating content. That is what a community manager does in online communities.
He publishes a variety of content, considering the likes and dislikes of the community members. In addition to this, he measures the post engagement rate and the number of likes or comments to find if his content is generating the desired results or not.
Be the face of the brand
He becomes the face of the brand on all digital platforms. He listens to the public and then uses his knowledge to give suitable answers. He uses a consistent, professional tone on all platforms that helps him build authority and trust.
Plan and host online/offline events
The community manager arranges different forms of online/offline events, such as exhibitions, conferences, webinars, and training events. Through these events, he tries to:
- Makes his team members go somewhere new to explore innovative ideas and think outside the box
- Collaborate with people to utilize their skills
- Build a stronger relationship with his target audience and customers
- Educate his team members or audience
At these events, he may have to give presentations, make business-related announcements, give speeches, or motivate/educate his juniors to perform better. This is where he utilizes his communication and interpersonal skills to connect with a variety of people and convey his thoughts/ideas easily.
Reach out to influencers and industry leaders
The community manager performs numerous activities to grow the number of community members. One of these activities is collaborating with industry influencers and leaders.
He finds influencers whose goals align with his company’s goals. Then he arranges a meeting with them to discuss his plans. He uses their influence to attract more people to the community and promote certain products or boost sales.
Go to networking events
Community managers know how valuable networking events are, so they don’t miss a chance to attend them. Some of the reasons they attend such events are:
- To connect with like-minded people
- To learn about emerging trends
- To understand the needs of the changing marketplace
- Establish lasting business relationships
- Get motivated
Track the performance of the community
Community managers test different community strategies to find which works best for them. In order to identify which strategy is the best, they track the performance of each. Some of the elements that help them measure performance are:
- Increase in the number of community members
- Engagement rate
- Number of comments/shares
- Number of resource downloads
- Number of questions asked
After measuring performance, they follow the strategy that produces the best results.
Report performance to higher-level professionals
The higher-level professionals need a proof of performance of different teams to determine whether or not they are investing in the right team.
A community manager designs easy-to-understand reports consisting of all the important points. They use smart data presentation techniques to create them. Directors of different departments and executives analyze these reports to find how communities are helping them achieve their business goals.
They offer suggestions and then the community managers implement them to improve performance.
Key skills of community managers
Successful community managers possess the following skills.
Although marketing and community are separate teams, a community manager should still have knowledge and experience of using basic marketing techniques. He has direct contact with customers and potential customers; thus, it is crucial to know how to persuade them to buy a product/service.
Successful community managers know how to use their words and writing skills effectively in different situations. They post on discussion boards to announce a new feature of the product, review blogs produced by content writers and collaborate with social teams to write captions. To do all these activities, they need to have good writing skills.
Market research skills
A community manager is aware of the basic rules and principles of market research. He knows which tools can help him understand his audience and their journeys.
Using his market research skills, he identifies his competitors and analyzes their product quality, content, and marketing strategies to see how they are targeting people. He has the ability to evaluate market trends and measure the effectiveness of current marketing programs.
A community manager has to talk with different audiences, such as community members, media, stockholders, etc. They may talk with their supervisors one day. On another day, they may engage their community members with posts. They need to know how to communicate with different kinds of people in different situations.
A community manager has to perform multiple tasks every day; hence, he needs to know how to split his time between different activities. He needs to know how to prioritize multiple tasks and meet deadlines without affecting work quality.
Even though the community manager has a team of creative content writers and graphic designers, he still has to use his creativity to tell them how to engage his target audience. It is because he understands his community members the best. He knows how to captivate them with unique and engaging content.
He knows how to analyze complicated data and tell a story using it. He has the ability to use this data to create data-driven content for his target audience. He also has to prove to a higher-up that his strategies and efforts are helping to further the brand’s goals. He does this by collecting, analyzing, and managing data to form a report.
Today, technology is evolving very fast, resulting in rapid changes in marketplaces and industries. If you want a company to keep progressing despite the rapid change in the market, you need to create flexible strategies and adapt according to the demand.
A successful community manager keeps learning new skills. He is always ready to accept changes that occur within industries. He is versed in using both mobile and desktop technologies.
The expected salary of community managers
Different factors can determine your salary. Some of these factors are:
- Work experience
- Education level
- Industry type
- Geographic location
According to Glassdoor (an American website where employees review companies), the average annual salary of community managers in the US is approximately $66,255, consisting of $51,767/year base salary and $14,487/year additional pay (commission, profit sharing, tips, etc.).
What do you need to be a community manager?
People interested in becoming community managers need to have the following things.
- A university degree: College/university degrees act as a quick proof point. They show that you have dedicated time to receive education and learn certain skills related to the role you are applying for. You must have a bachelor’s degree in community management, marketing, social media, communication, or any other relevant field. A master’s or doctorate degree may increase your chances of getting hired.
- Work experience: Community management is not an entry-level job. You need to have 3 to 5 years of work experience to get into this career. You can gain this experience by doing internships, freelancing, or part-time jobs as a student. And if you have completed your education, doing a related job such as associate community manager, community moderator, community engagement manager, or associate social media manager can also help you build your portfolio and get experience.
- Related skills: Your knowledge and degrees will not be of any use if you don’t have the skills required to accomplish your day-to-day activities as a community manager. Learn the basic hard and soft skills that we have mentioned above. There are many paid/free online resources available that you can use to develop skills to advance your career.
Social media manager vs. community manager
These roles have some similar responsibilities, due to which some people may consider them the same roles having different titles. However, that is not the case. Both community and social media managers play their distinct roles and are two different professionals.
|Social media manager||Community manager|
|Forms social media marketing, SEO and communication strategies||Implements strategies designed by the social media manager|
|Decides which tools should be used to develop business profiles and online communities||Uses tools selected by the social media manager to complete his job|
|Creates the budget required to implement strategies||Uses resources according to the budget designed by social media manager|
|Posts content on behalf of the company from its business social media profiles||Usually posts content using his own profile; thus, he may be seemed as brand ambassador|
Summing it up
Community managers are interactive, creative, and confident professionals who know how to persuade others to perform a particular action. They are good listeners as well as speakers. They can start and lead conversations with people from different age groups.
People with good communication, management, and organizational skills are good candidates for this role. If you don’t have these skills but have a passion for community management, you can become a competent community manager by developing new skills, acquiring knowledge, and gaining experience.