Communities survive, thrive and succeed on the capabilities of their managers. From being a moderator in their past life (read the 2000s) to being a technologist, a curator, an initiator, analyst and a strategist all packaged into one – today’s community manager has to wear many hats. And the community manager role continues to grow.
Elemental Goals of a Community Manager
For this reason it’s difficult to box a community manager’s role but there are a few fundamental objectives of every successful community manager.
#1. Community Advocate & Facilitator
Community managers need to be loyal to their members first, and then to the brand. They need to act in the best interest of the members – balance the need for more user-generated content rather than branded content, facilitate meaningful conversations, resolve arguments, escalate complaints etc.
#2. User Acquisition & Growth
From seeding interesting content and attracting initial thought leaders from the space to finding new engagement tactics like gamification and leveraging valuable content to facilitate organic growth of the community, a community manager needs to ensure the community keeps growing. They need to get closer to the members and create more ways of conversation with the members.
Community Managers also need to be technology pros – on top of platform upgrades and adding new features to provide rich engagement experience to the members.
#3. Internal Culture Setting
Community Managers have to be leaders and team players be able to decide when to engage and when to back off. They need to create policies for the community, should be able to work with members and take key decisions, ensure discipline, manage criticism, and make each member feel a part of the community.
#4. Brand Management
Community Managers need to protect both the community brand and the product/service brand for which the community has been set up. Situation management – especially negative feedback management is critical to ensuring that community comes across as being an open platform for discussion and not a company mouthpiece. Overall, all actions of the community manager should leave a positive brand impact on the users.
Community Managers need to capture brand feedback from the community and report it back to Marketing. They also need to track the growth and engagement metrics of the community and continuously aim to improve the community numbers.
With an ever-evolving role, a community manager may have to learn new technologies, disciplines, and practices on the go, but at the core, they need to take care of the community in every way possible.