Recently I started thinking more and more about the role of the Online Community Manager and what the role actually means to business and the external and internal communities they are serving. I want to try and unpack the role slightly more as well as its significance.
Who owns the online community manager?
Let’s unpack this role a little more first. Essentially an online community manager is there to ensure that the company that they work for is engaged in the discussions that the target market is having on a daily basis. They then need to glean critical information from these conversations as to gauge the sentiment of their target audience as well as any product development that can be done in this space.
The community manager is also responsible for seeding conversations by placing relevant and topical editorial in to the areas where the target market spends most of their time online. This editorial is there to spark conversation and to position the product or service within the mind of the target.
Lastly, the community manager is there are a brand evangelist! They are there to ensure that the message or the brand is conveyed at all times in a way in which will resonate throughout the communications cycle.
With the above three paragraphs, you can begin to understand why I am curious about who “owns” the community manager… There elements of marketing; sales and customer service.
Help me answer this by filling in the online poll.
Trend or Permanent?
I believe the community manager role – especially the online community manager role is here to stay. This is especially true if those filling the role are able to adequately and succinctly communicate the value that their role offers and then demonstrate the value that they are bringing to the business.
This is arguably the most difficult aspect of the role as many “legacy” managers simply do not believe firstly in the benefits of digital marketing; and much less in the necessity of a salary to manage the community forming around it.