2023 is the year of change, and that’s especially true for human connection. With the pandemic pushing more interactions online, community-focused business models have become the norm. This has elevated the significance of community management, making it a crucial aspect of any business looking to build an online community, increase customer engagement, or manage its brand reputation.
As the stakes are high, finding the right person for the job is essential. By understanding the roles and responsibilities and seeking out the necessary attributes, you can create a thriving online community that drives growth and engagement for your business. Trust me, I’ve seen the impact of community management firsthand. With over seven years of experience in the industry, I wanted to share my insights on what businesses need to keep in mind when hiring for a community role.
Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in. 🧠
Types of Roles in Community for a Business to Consider
When it comes to building a solid community, it takes more than just one person to make it happen. That’s why it’s crucial for businesses to consider various community management roles to ensure they have the right team in place. The size and needs of a company will determine the specific roles needed, but here are some of the most common positions (at this time):
- Head of Community: The mastermind behind the community vision and strategy. This leader should deeply understand the company’s goals and have a clear vision for the community’s future. Working closely with leadership and the community team, the head of community ensures the community aligns with the company’s mission and drives impact.
- Community Manager: The primary role is managing and growing the online community. The community manager builds and maintains relationships with customers and stakeholders, drives engagement, and ensures the community thrives.
- Community Program Manager: Overseeing and executing community-building and engagement initiatives for a company; this role includes developing strategies to foster relationships, increase brand awareness, and build a community around a brand or cause.
- Community Operations: Keeping the community running smoothly, this role handles day-to-day operations like moderating discussions and enforcing guidelines.
- Community Data Analyst: Tracking and analyzing the community’s performance, this role provides insights and recommendations to improve the community management strategy.
- Social Media Community Manager: Managing the company’s social media channels aligns with the overall community management strategy to create a consistent and engaging online presence.
Long-term success in community building requires strategic planning and a team effort. By carefully considering the roles and responsibilities involved in community management, businesses can build a thriving community.
Responsibilities of Someone in the Role:
- Nurturing the Community: The community manager is key in creating and fostering the online, in-person, or hybrid community. They are responsible for moderating conversations, addressing questions, and driving engagement among members.
- Crafting Community Strategies: An expert in this role must have a knack for creating and executing strategies that align with the company’s goals. This includes measuring success with key metrics and tracking progress.
- Generating Engaging Content: The ability to create and curate content that resonates with the community is a must-have for this role. From writing articles to producing videos to managing social media, the community manager is the content king or queen.
- Strengthening Relationships: Building strong relationships with community members is crucial for the community’s success. The community manager must possess the skills to establish trust and foster meaningful connections.
Consider these areas when hiring for a community management role. It will help ensure that you have the right person to achieve your goals, build an effective community, and foster engagement with your target audience.
Top Attributes to Look for
- Strong communication skills: Folks in community need to communicate effectively with the members, internal teams, and stakeholders when answering questions and addressing concerns.
- Empathy and emotional intelligence: Community requires strong empathy and emotional intelligence, and folks must be able to understand and respond to the emotions of community members. It’s no easy task, but it’s one that your members will pick up quickly on and will differentiate your community from the competitors.
- Organizational skills: Community management can be a complex and time-consuming process. They should be able to prioritize tasks, manage their time effectively, and stay organized to ensure it runs smoothly.
- Creativity: One thing I see in the field repeatedly is the ability to think outside the box and develop creative solutions to challenges. They should be able to generate new ideas and be open to trying new things. As the landscape of connection constantly evolves, so should your approach to building, growing, and scaling a community.
Please note that these are only some, not all, of the attributes of a skilled community builder. However, from what I’ve experienced and from what I’ve seen from folks in this industry that demonstrated success in their roles have had these underlying attributes.
The Impact of Hiring Community Roles for Your Business
One of the main benefits of hiring for a community role commonly communicated across Twitter, LinkedIn, and blog content, and I’ve even seen on Reddit, is how it’s improved customer engagement. This is important because it increases brand awareness and reach. A skilled individual in community can create and curate content that resonates with your target audience, foster a sense of belonging with your audience, and increase customer loyalty to your brand.
In addition to improved customer engagement, they can also help manage your online reputation. Monitoring customer feedback, responding to customer inquiries, and addressing negative feedback promptly, professionally, and with your brand tone can help maintain a positive brand image and build customer trust.
Trust. This can be especially important in a crisis, as a community role can help manage the situation and minimize the impact on your business. An area that, when broken, is incredibly hard to regain and rebuild.
Another fundamental impact of hiring a community role is increased customer retention. When building a sense of community and improving customer engagement, a community management strategy can foster customer loyalty and reduce customer churn. This leads to increased customer retention and helps drive business success over the long term.
Community is the Key to Long-Term Success
In today’s ever-changing business landscape, it’s crucial to keep customers and stakeholders connected and engaged with your brand. And a strong community is the step to making that happen!
By fostering a sense of belonging among your audience, you can drive higher engagement, a more competitive brand following, and even more devoted customers. But there’s more to building a community than just boosting customer satisfaction. It also gives you valuable direct communication with your audience, which can inform your business decisions. Responding to your community and actively engaging with them builds trust and support, which is crucial for long-term success.
So, what does all this mean for your business? Simply put, investing in a community management role can have a significant impact on your business. Improved customer engagement, better online reputation management, and increased customer retention are just a few of the benefits. As the economy evolves, so do your customers, and it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve by adapting to their needs.
Don’t miss out on the impact a thriving community can bring to your business — embrace it as the essential tool that it is!