The job of an online community manager has existed for as long as there have been online communities (it’s actually a lot longer than most people think).
The actual job title and role have evolved over time as technology has changed. However, in spite of this, one fact remains – online community managers wear many hats.
In fact, when your organization hires an online community they’re not just getting one qualified person, they’re getting seven different professionals:
- Ambassador: As an advocate for the community, community managers help the organization understand what its members want so it can serve them better.
- Cruise Director: Community managers are often tasked with welcoming new members, relaying important information, and serving as the face of the organization.
- Data Analyst: How can an organization know if its community is healthy without measuring it? It’s the community manager’s job to track the growth and health of the community and report their findings to the organization.
- Diplomat: Community managers keep the peace amongst community members and between the community and the organization. This is especially helpful when your organization plans to make a major change that may not be particularly popular with the community.
- Recruiter: Bringing in potential new members or identifying existing members who have the potential to play a bigger role in the community, make the community manager a recruiter of sorts.
- Writer: Writing has always been a key skill for online community managers. From seeding forum questions and answers to blogging, writing is an important part of the job.
- Traffic Cop: Community managers keep the conversation flowing between members and connect anyone with a question to the right resource. Community managers on occasion will have to exercise their authority to handle behavior that is disruptive to the community.
- So the next time you run into your organization’s community manager, make sure to give them thanks for the many roles they assume to keep your organization’s community thriving.