It’s estimated that about 76% of internet users participate in an online community, according to a GlobalWebIndex report.
So, it’s only natural for companies to try and get a share of this new sales and marketing opportunity.
They need someone to take care of their presence in online communities.
And this is where a community manager steps in.
In this article, you’ll learn:
A community manager is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with members of an online community. As simple as that.
To be successful, a community manager must be able to effectively communicate with members of the community, understand their needs and wants, and provide them with the necessary resources. They also need to have a good grasp of software tools for communities.
The role of a community manager is vital to the success of a modern organization. In fact, almost 80% of large companies run at least one online community.
Because communities connect brands with customers. And the online community landscape looks quite promising:
Community managers establish a brand’s presence by communicating with customers on different platforms, social media channels, forums, live events, and many more.
A community manager must also be able to moderate interactions and resolve any conflicts that may arise. Additionally, they should proactively identify and address any issues that could potentially damage the community’s reputation.
Finally, a community manager should always be looking for ways to improve the community and make it a more enjoyable and enriching experience for all members.
Pro Tip: Community managers are a relatively new position, which is visible even when you type “community manager” in Google. You’ll get mixed results about more traditional roles of community managers who work in the real estate industry, as well as results relating to building and managing online communities.
OK, we have established the role of a community manager within a modern company.
Now, let's see what the job actually looks like, and what companies look for in candidates for such positions.
Here’s a typical job posting for a community manager role.
That’s quite a mouthful, isn’t it?
In fact, the job offer above is a composite of several other job offers. But it’s supposed to give you an overview of what the position entails.
But this is not everything.
To succeed in the role, companies look for a specific set of skills. Here’s a brief sample of what you may come across:
This is not all. As you’ve probably noticed most (if not all) of these skills are soft skills. But a good community manager must also know how to efficiently use the tools for running communities inside out.
A perfect candidate for the role should be fluent in all of these. But we all know that perfection is hard to find.
That’s why many companies pay far more attention to soft skills rather than knowledge of tools.
After all, it’s much easier to teach a new joiner how to use Discord proficiently than to teach them creativity or communication skills.
It’s one thing to simply list the skills in a job offer. But what is crucial is to understand why they matter to the role.
Here’s a quick overview of what skills make or break it for community managers.
There are no fixed office hours for a community manager as communities basically never sleep. This means you often have to keep your eyes open and monitor the community 24/7. Also, you have to be open to seeking new solutions when solving customer service issues.
Successful community managers never stop seeking new ideas. To keep their community running smoothly, they have to create high quality content, streamline it with eye-catching infographics, and share it on social media and other platforms. They also have to find best ways to maintain and grow their community.
Most of the decisions taken by community managers must be backed by data, detailed analysis and the know how of the industry. To wrap their heads around all the data coming in, they should know which tools to use to monitor, analyze and grow their communities.
Empathy is important for a community manager because they need to be able to understand and share the feelings of their community. This allows them to better connect with their community and build relationships.
A community manager is responsible for the image and reputation of a company or organization. Being meticulous ensures that the community manager can maintain high standards for the company or organization.
Community Managers need to be able to communicate effectively. They need to be able to convey information clearly and concisely to the community, as well as listen to and understand the concerns of the community members.
Being innovative helps community managers to keep the community engaged. They need to come up with new ideas and ways to keep the community active and interested.
Thanks to long-term vision, the manager can ensure their community’s sustainability. They need to be able to plan for the future and make sure that the community will still be active and thriving in the years to come.
Community managers need to be perceptive to understand the needs of the community. They must be able to read between the lines and see what the community is really asking for.
We’ve said it before, but let’s say it again—
Community managers will typically have a background in marketing, content creation, PR, or customer service. Many community managers also have experience working in the social media, engineering or digital marketing fields.
Now, community management is a relatively new role, so the skills for the position can be acquired elsewhere.
For example, you may learn how to empathize and communicate with people by being an active online forum member or commentator. You may learn the ins and outs of Slack by using it as a communication tool of choice at school, etc.
If you’re thinking about becoming a community manager, it’s always recommended to take a professional course.
Here’s a list of four recommended courses you may want to try and take to better understand the nature of community managers’ jobs.
With the Community Manager online courses, you will explore community-building strategies, and learn about how to moderate and engage your online community. You will also have the opportunity to put it all into practice and manage your own online community.
Explore the foundations of online community management. Get all necessary skills to start a new career.
The Community Roundtable’s Training outlines the scope of the community manager role in association communities and provides prescriptive approaches for successful community management.
This course offers multiple online courses on how to grow your online community, get advice, and training for building better communities
What is the salary of a community manager?
Salaries can vary greatly depending on the kind of the company, its size and scope, as well as the location.
According to the Economic Research Institute the median community manager salary may range from $21,548 in Brazil to $57,647 in the US.
To get the latest information on salary ranges it’s a good idea to look at job listings and see what pay ranges they offer.
Community managers are vital in modern organizations that want to have a solid online presence. They are responsible for building, maintaining and growing online communities.
The job itself itself is relatively a new one and as such the career path is not set in stone.
However, there is a set of desired skills for the people working in these positions. The skills include creativity, communication skills, innovation and analytical thinking as well as good knowledge of online community tools (e.g Slack, Discord or others).
Many companies see the potential in online communities and that’s why they offer competitive salaries for the job.