What is a Community Manager?

 If you're thinking about starting or growing an online community, one of your first questions is likely "Who's going to manage it?" The answer, of course, is "a community manager." But what does that mean, exactly? And what does a community manager do—or not do? Let's take a look.

The Role of a Community Manager 

A community manager is responsible for the growth and engagement of an online community. This includes moderating conversations, encouraging participation, and fostering a positive environment. A community manager also represents the community to the organization and vice versa. In other words, they are the bridge between the two.

However, a community manager is not responsible for generating content. That's the job of content creators. Nor are they responsible for marketing the community to potential members. That's the job of the marketing team. The community manager's focus is on the health and vitality of the community itself. 

The Skillset of a Community Manager 

Community management requires a unique skillset that blends customer service, marketing, conflict resolution, and more. A successful community manager must be: 

  • Patient: Dealing with people can be trying at times. A good community manager remains calm and collected—even when things get heated. 
  • Organized: A thriving online community doesn't just happen; it takes careful planning and execution. A good community manager knows how to keep track of tasks, conversations, and people. 
  • Creative: Online communities are all about engagement. A good community manager is always coming up with new ideas to keep things fresh and exciting. 
  • Diplomatic: When conflict arises (and it will), a good community manager knows how to diffuse the situation without taking sides. 
  • Passionate: A love for their topic and its members is what motivates a good community manager to keep doing what they do—day in and day out. 

If you're thinking about starting an online community, you're going to need a solid plan—and someone to manage it. Who better for the job than a professional Community Manager? Community Managers are responsible for the growth and engagement of an online group by moderating conversations, encouraging participation, representing the group to the organization (and vice versa), and foster a positive environment.