The emerging job of Online Community Managers

Round Table

Managing communities of people online takes time and effort. Image: Flickr / mikecogh / CC-BY

Managing social networks and online groups can, at times, feel like a full-time job. Many big businesses and some smaller businesses have begun creating community manager positions to help collate and manage businesses’ online identity.

Community Manager job description

Online community managers generally are individuals responsible for social network sharing, social communities, message boards, and discussions about a company, product, or brand online. Community managers generally are a blend of social network managers and online identity managers. Community Managers are generally highly connected and very passionate about their industry.

Seeing yourself as a community manager

As a small business owner or a marketer, it is possible you are already doing the work of a community manager. If you are managing the social networking presence of your business, building a community around strong, helpful online content, and responding to the online chatter about your company, then you are already a community manager.

Acting as a community manager instead of a marketer means seeing your customers and social network followers as the community they are. Communities have a vibe, a pulse, a personality all their own, and they need a manager; not a personal relations guru that will try to control the message. Marketing yourself as a community manager could also create an additional avenue for income for the skills you develop as an affiliate marketer.

Could you use a community manager?

Not all small business owners, marketers or affiliates are great community managers. If community management is not your forte, then hiring a community manager could be of benefit to your business. If you are having trouble keeping up with your social media management, then a community manager may be able to help you sort through and clarify your goals and actions on social networks. Find a community manager who is battle-tested, able to show success on multiple social networks and reputation within the communities he or she works in. Be sure to develop a strong social media contract and find someone you can work well with.

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