Monday was Community Manager Appreciation Day (follow #CMAD on Twitter). I celebrated by eating half a jar of Nutella with a butter knife. We know how to party around here.
I wanted to post on the day, but being a busy Community Manager myself, I didn’t have time because I was busy connecting, advocating, researching, promoting, listening, and responding!
All self-congratulatory binging aside, it’s a great week to consider what a Community Manager can do for your organization, and how the role has evolved with the maturity of many social networks, and the growing understanding of the importance of online outreach and participation. Community Managers bridge many roles, but:
- the Community Manager is not a marketing specialist
- the Community Manager is not tech support
- the Community Manager is not customer service
Rather, the Community Manager plays a tune that’s a bit like a one man band (a good one man band). The Community Manager:
- manages the editorial content of your initiatives, ensuring that content is appropriate, engaging, and available through all channels through appropriate messaging
- knows your website and message as well as they know their own sibling
- connects people, be they “influencers”, “squeaky wheels”, or your run of the mill evangelist, and connects them to the information they need or to others who can help them advance their interests
- manages the “voice” through social media channels and monitors them effectively, responding to Tweets, Facebook comments, comments posted on external blogs, and all other social networks
- listens with ears wide open for opportunities to thank and connect with engaged online audiences, and to solve problems, slay trolls, and monitor sentiment
It’s an evolving, but critical role, and the list of responsibilities above is not exhaustive. Non-profit Community Managers will experience a much different day-to-day than their big brand counterparts. Community Managers in the middle of a move from beta to big time won’t mirror the work that goes on in an established initiative.
I’ve compiled some of my favourite Community Management reading out there. Have suggestions? Put ‘em in the comments, friend!
…aaaaand the Community Roundtable is chock full of nutritious advice for Community Managers. Check it out.