What is a community manager? Find out more about this role and how they bridge companies and their customers in this comprehensive guide.
So, exactly what is a community manager? They’re the person who gets the first line of feedback from a user base. With strong communication, empathy, and adaptability skills, they help bridge the gap in understanding users’ pain points to improve their online experiences.
In this insightful guide, we explain the multifaceted community manager role and why their expertise is critical in helping you create a thriving digital community for your brand.
What is a community manager? 💁♀️
A community manager serves as an invaluable bridge between a company and its audience. They embody a brand’s voice and tone, moderate conversations, and distribute content to nurture a vibrant digital community. But this digital marketing role extends beyond simple online engagement — they’re guardians of brand presence and trust.
Community managers work hard to offer community support and foster dialogue between brands and their audiences. They go above and beyond to enhance brand perception and customer experience. As true brand ambassadors, they build relationships to ensure their client’s values, mission, and persona resonate clearly and consistently across their brand community.
The community manager role
A good community manager plays a crucial role in representing and promoting their organization. Their responsibilities span various domains, from social media marketing to content creation and marketing, brand monitoring, and more.
A community manager’s job description may include the following responsibilities and skill sets:
- Social media strategy. Like a social media manager, a community manager crafts and executes social media campaigns aligning with their client’s marketing objectives. This includes tasks like content calendar creation and tracking campaign metrics and performance.
- Content dissemination. A community manager shares engaging, informative, on-trend content across their client’s profiles on social media platforms like Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Their goal? Fostering a consistent brand image and boosting audience engagement.
- Online brand monitoring and engagement. A community manager is the online eyes and ears of a brand. They track company mentions across platforms and online forums and respond to current and prospective customers in a timely manner. They also address questions, manage feedback, and cultivate positive sentiment.
- Brand consistency management. Community managers often work hand in hand with a full marketing team to maintain a consistent brand voice, look, and feel across all customer channels, including social platforms.
- Relationship cultivation. Community managers forge meaningful connections with customers, leads, influencers, industry experts, and more. Nurturing these relationships enhances brand loyalty and opens avenues for partnerships and collaborations.
How a community manager impacts your business
A community manager is a customer-facing role, and these individuals are often the first point of contact for leads and customers. They interact with power users (people who wholeheartedly love your product), new users, and people who have trouble understanding how your product works.
Here are a few ways a community manager can help your business:
They fuel strategies and initiatives ✨
Community managers use the information they’ve gathered from your community and curiosity and empathy to identify why users love (or hate) a particular feature or function of your product or service. They also learn about your customer’s pain points to improve their experience. Community managers digest the good, the bad, and the ugly to fuel future iterative strategies, initiatives, and features.
They grow the community🫂
No matter the product or brand, a community manager is your community’s most prominent advocate. They’ll work to keep your community engaged and excited for future product updates and empower each community member to create their own network. With positive reinforcement and encouragement, community managers build and maintain positive relationships with users who love your brand, helping guide them to the finish line.
💡 At Contra, we manage some of our highest-engaged users in Slack. This is where the magic happens: We get to deepen relationships with members of our community while learning about their pain points while they use our product.
They maintain the brand mission and voice 🎙
Within every community manager is a strong understanding of your brand’s mission and voice. Community managers are living, breathing representations of your brand’s vision and are responsible for maintaining and enhancing your community. They also clearly reflect the internal culture within your team.
When should I hire a community manager? ❤️
The decision to hire a community manager often depends on several factors, including the size of your audience, the complexity of your brand, and your overall marketing strategy. It might be time to hire for this role if your digital community is expanding to a point where the interactions are challenging for you (or your team) to manage.
Here are a few other signs it’s time:
- If you’re thinking of the next steps. If you’re unsure of what products, services, or features to create next, a community manager can tap into your audience to learn more about their wants and needs.
- If you want to show more appreciation to your community. Building a highly engaged, dedicated community requires deep, trusting relationships, and these are created through daily engagement. Community managers curate content and host events that give back to your community.
- If you’re looking to grow your community. Do you have a solid product or service but aren't generating enough brand awareness? A community manager can work closely with a social media team to craft strategies and facilitate conversations with people who would love your brand or product.
What skills should a community manager have? 🧰
Every community manager differs in experience, but a few skills are non-negotiable. (Similarly, you must have certain skills to interact effectively with Independents.)
Here’s a rundown of what to look for in a community manager:
- Community understanding. Community managers are responsible for relaying feedback from your community to the rest of your team. That feedback directly impacts the way your brand or product can grow and evolve.
- Platform knowledge. Outside of the platform you use to communicate with your community, like Slack or Discord, community managers may utilize different platforms for their workflow. That’s why they need to be able to pick up and learn these platforms quickly and efficiently.
- Communication. Community managers talk to a wide variety of people every day, and in some cases, they have to teach an audience how to use a product or service. This is why strong communication skills are so important — supporting and communicating with community members clearly is needed.
- Analysis. A great community manager effectively analyzes data. They should be able to use analytics tools to monitor social media performance, gain insights from user feedback, and use this data to refine their campaigns.
- Attention to detail. Community managers juggle a myriad of tasks simultaneously, and a keen eye for detail ensures everything runs smoothly. This allows them to identify inconsistencies in brand representation, spot emerging trends, and maintain the creation and posting of high-quality content.
- Problem-solving. Social media is dynamic, and community managers often have to deal with technical glitches, customer complaints, and other unexpected issues. Strong problem-solving skills enable them to address these challenges promptly and effectively.
Hire an Independent community manager on Contra ⤵️
Ready to build a thriving online community for your brand? Contra is a commission-free hiring platform that connects you with the right community manager for your project. Handle hiring, contracts, and bonuses easily in one place. Start by posting your first opportunity on Contra today!