What Are the Responsibilities of a Community Manager?

The role of a CM is more than just managing social media. In this post, we explore the responsibilities of online community managers.

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The answers are usually wrong when you ask people if they know what a community manager is and what they do exactly. Most think that it’s someone who manages a brand’s social media accounts or a person that dedicates a big part of their day to respond to users’ doubts or questions on Instagram.

Others may think they’re the ones who share memes on Twitter, while many might guess their job’s basically answering repetitive questions on Facebook.

However, the tasks that we listed before are not really the heart of a community manager’s job. While most CMs might do some of this stuff, reducing the role of community managers only to social media really downsizes their essential role in increasing community engagement.

Therefore, whether you’re an aspiring community manager or a founder looking to fill a community role, it’s important to understand the role of the community manager in order to keep your online community alive. Today, we are going to explore what community managers do exactly, and where you can connect with other CMs.

What Do Community Managers Do?

In reality, we have to acknowledge that the job of a community manager is a key element in building a successful community. And it’s not only based on social media-related tasks.

Instead, community managers’ main focus should be on offering real value to members, creating a space where people want to return, and fostering authentic human relationships

Responsibilities

Community managers are responsible for 👇

  • Forum moderation.
  • Facilitating conversations and discussions.
  • Creating and curating content as part of their community engagement calendar (blog posts, social media content, wikis, knowledge bases, and other kinds of member-generated content).
  • Strategic work to improve the quality, scope, and outcomes of their communities.
  • Research and collaboration within the community.
  • Hosting and managing in-person, hybrid, or virtual events.
  • Scheduling social media posts and other communications.

What Is the Difference Between Social Media and Community Managers?

While a social media manager is solely responsible for the content a brand publishes online, especially on social media platforms, a community manager focuses on the digital community that follows a brand, product, or service. Therefore, community managers must have a set o particular skills needed to run a community successfully.

Must-Have Skills for Community Managers

Keeping group members active is key to having an engaged community. Therefore, one of the must-have skills a community manager should have is proactivity and knowing how to foster interaction.

However, here’s a list of other crucial skills every CM should have 👇

Know a little bit of everything in your niche

To be a good community manager, you’ll need to learn and be able to switch between different work styles and learn new processes on a regular basis.

Plan & organize projects

CMs have multiple and varied tasks. Therefore, it’s crucial that if you’re trying to understand what it takes to be a community manager, you’re comfortable in a position that requires managing different groups of people and tasks for several projects at once, as well as long-term campaigns.

Open to new technologies

Technology is constantly evolving and CMs must know how to adapt to a changing environment. In addition, as a CM, you’ll be the main admin of user interfaces, community-related software, and platforms. So it’s critical that you are open to learning about these tools in an agile and effective way.

Be a storyteller

Being a CM requires knowing how to communicate on multiple platforms, and adapting content to different media. For this, it’s essential that you know how to narrate in various formats (video, text, etc.) and apply storytelling in other forms as well.

Collect & interpret data

CMs must be comfortable collecting and interpreting data. This means being able to accurately describe its meaning and understand what it means to the community and/or business. That’s why tracking relevant community KPIs is a great way to understand how to make the most of the audience you’re building.

Be empathetic

Lastly, CMs have the crucial task of building a safe and inviting space that people will call their community.

Therefore, empathy is an essential skill and ability you should have as a community manager. As it will be useful in everything from fostering bonds between members, to building a successful onboarding process and diffusing conflict.

How to Start as a Community Manager

If you have no experience at all, taking an online community management course or workshop can provide you with tools to start your career as a community manager. Surely you’ll find some affordable options at Coursera or Udemy. There are also some certifications provided by Google, Hubspot, and Facebook that can help

Another great way to learn is through recognized professionals and experienced community managers that you can find on social media platforms, especially Twitter and LinkedIn. Most of them have blogs with free tools and resources which you can learn a lot from. Here are some of them 👇

Plus, many of them are cool and super collaborative and participate in communities for community builders. Some of the best online communities to learn directly from community builders are:

  1. Late Checkout
  2. Orbit
  3. The Community Club

Lastly, the best way to get started with this job is to look for an internship, part-time or freelance job (ideally paid) to put into practice what you already know and learn what you don’t.

To help you get your first job, there are Google, Facebook, and Hubspot certificates that might give you a competitive advantage over other inexperienced candidates. You always learn best by working and experimenting with others!

Victoria Mortimer

Victoria Mortimer

I'm a journalist with a Social Communication degree, community manager, and content creator with over five years of experience. Now, I'm working as an independent writer passionate about community building, entrepreneurship, and social media.