I’m often asked what I do and most people don’t know what a Community Manager is or what they do. The closest I can come is a description like this:
“You know how you are in a group on Facebook, and it’s for a company you like? I work with the company to understand the people in that group and help the company to make changes and that better match what their fans and customers want while making sure the company is still successful. I plan posts, plan online or real-life events, give out rewards, work with partners, and try to keep both sides happy.”
Honestly, it might not sound like much. So here’s what I will do on any given day:
- Check Slack (messaging app), email, and the community feed (available in most community programs) for any important information I’ve missed.
- Take note of things that need to be handled, and how quickly, in my task program.
- Check my calendar and plan out the day based on my ongoing task list & new additions.
Content – when is the last new post? What member can I reach out to that will post a new topic?
- What comments are new, any spam? Who can I mention/tag that will want to participate in this topic?
Community health: Is the community active/happy/returning to visit/read/participate?
- Are there any big issues that have come up (unhappy members, a lot of spamming, support needs, outages with the product, etc), how can I handle it?
- What do we have planned that the community can look forward to?
- What topics are popular – could we get an expert to speak about it or do an event?
- What goals does the company have that I can help us meet through the community? (For instance, finding customers who want to do a testimonial about us or are willing to be a reference.)
- How can I find someone that would be interested in doing these things? (Maybe a post, an ad on the site, a poll or survey (where they answer questions and get involved), the weekly newsletter, ask our marketing or customer success teams for customers who might be interested (we reward them).
What company projects/documentation do I need to read/write?
- For example A list and description of the community programs, a brief explaining new ideas for the community, an email to other departments to share how the community works, how they can invite people, what people will find in the community, how they can join our programs, etc.
Prepare for any calls by looking at included emails, documents, and metrics (measurements like how many community members commented in the last 7 days).
- Have my calls, make notes, add follow-up items and other tasks to my task lists.
Check community numbers/metrics
- How many members have been active, how many joined a discussion, who is likely to start a new post (based on something they’ve said in a discussion), what should I say when I email or message them?
- Do I need to share these numbers with anyone else in the company?
- What changes do I need to make going forward based on these numbers and my goals?
Look at our programs for new sign-ups and emails to send/tasks to finish
- This might be making matches between customers who want to connect, adding content/articles and other resources to community pages, and alerting the interested members, adding anything other departments have requested (and that makes sense for the community – we protect them first), and reach out to members who haven’t been active to say hello.
Linkedin – I use Linkedin to connect with members so I can follow along with their posts, successes, and questions there.
- It further helps us connect and get to know one another which brings some loyalty back to the company and community. This is also where I might chat with people to see if they can post or comment in the discussions.
Keep checking my ongoing list of tasks and routine tasks, check email 3 times a day, answer Slack messages 3 times a day, look at industry news and professional communities where I’m a member (answer where I can), and take any suggested or required training.
- Make a note of what I’ve accomplished for the day, check off what’s been done, add what else needs to be done.
A major part of being a community manager is knowing what is going on in your community, taking care of problems that come, staying connected with members and the right people in the company, and planning for future engagement and interest to keep members coming back and participating while making sure the company meets their goals (within reason).
We also have to direct the company, our colleagues, partners, and the community members when goals aren’t possible or need to be changed. We play the middle man, and we tread lightly because both sides are absolutely necessary to the success of the company, community, and our role.
What do you think? It might seem like a lot but you learn over time, just like any job, and it is all teachable.