Online community manager

Definition

An online community manager is a person responsible for the success of the online community. They are the voice of the brand and are responsible for building trust between the organization and its community members. They also act as the liaison between the community and the organization. 

Online community managers are important because they help build relationships between the brand and its customers. Community management can help humanize their brand so that the customers can get to know the staff and build trust with the organization. 

Community managers ensure the community is a safe place to be. They will help set and enforce the community guidelines and moderate the discussions. They’ll have valuable soft skills, like good listening and empathy, in order to manage the community successfully. 

Community management is not the same as social media management. Social media management is about managing an audience, while a community manager facilitates a thriving environment in an online community. 

What does an online community manager do?

An online community manager is effectively the brand’s ambassador. Since the manager is always engaging with potential and existing customers, they must be the consistent voice of the brand. 

The day-to-day responsibilities of the community manager may vary depending on the size of the company. For example, at a smaller company, the community manager may build the community, decide on and implement a community strategy, and analyze customer engagement. However, at a larger company, the manager might only manage the community programming.  Community managers may also train and manage the community administrators and moderators.

An online community manager should focus on engagement within the community. They should always have their finger on the pulse of the community and be aware of what’s happening at all times. They should strategize and implement engagement tactics and ignite and facilitate discussions. In addition, they should monitor community feedback and review their community metrics and data. 

What makes a good online community manager?

An online community manager should be able to create long-lasting connections within their community. Ideally, community managers should have a background of both soft and hard skills that indicate their ability to manage the technical and human side of an online community.

Community managers don’t usually have one set background. Typically, they’ll have customer support or customer service-based background, but they may also have a background in engineering, IT, or recruiting. 

Online community managers should have a mixture of the following qualifications: 

  • A background in customer support
  • A deep understanding or connection to the brand or company
  • A content creator
  • Social media savvy
  • Flexibility and adaptability

Community managers should have a range of soft skills like good listening and communication, empathy, and the ability to be adaptable or think on their feet. 

An online community manager is a customer service-based role. So they must be able to address any problems and go above and beyond to ensure their members are satisfied. 

They must act professionally and understand the legal ramifications of inappropriate behavior on their part and that of their members. 

Online community managers set the tone for their communities. They should be engaging and excited when they post and interact with their community. Moreover, a good manager doesn’t just lead discussions but also knows how to facilitate them and connect different members. They also know how to take a step back and let highly engaged members take on leadership roles within the community. 

The community managers should understand the organization quite well, so they can move and communicate across different organizational structures. If needed, community managers should be able to utilize their organization’s internal resources to address any community issues.

Since the community manager is the liaison between the community and the brand, they should be able to analyze community and customer data efficiently. They should be able to implement new strategies based on member feedback and be flexible overall. They should also know how to provide data to the company if the customers have feedback about the brand’s product or services. 

Lastly, the best online community managers should understand the latest industry trends and hot topics to leverage them for their community. In addition, they should always provide updated industry information and resources to their members. 

Learn how to hire a community manager from this comprehensive guide.