A Brief History of Community Manager Role
January 24 was Community Manager Appreciation Day! The Techintern team celebrated the vital role of community managers in developing healthy relationships between partner companies, customer base, and internal community. Some might assume that the community manager role started only recently when remote work became more prevalent in the digital space, but the role can be traced way back in the 90’s when online chat rooms and computer game administrators started implementing community moderation.
The tradition of giving thanks to community managers started in 2010, which continued to be celebrated every 4th Monday of January. The tradition bloomed further as platforms like phpList and CMX recognized the potential of community managers to have an impact on any industry.
What Do Community Managers Do?
Community managers not only reply and react to every post in a Facebook group, Discord or a subreddit of a certain community, they also organize and respond to messages in the company page’s inbox. The main responsibility of a community manager is to enable indirect but open communication between the community and developers. Like most roles, this expanded into more responsibilities that involve dealing with the PR, customer support, and even legal team.
Messages can accumulate over time, especially when there’s an event coming or simply just a regular day for big brands with a lot of following. This is why it now takes real patience and skills to do a community manager’s job, and it has indeed come a long way since its early days when the leg work of handling the company’s social media outlet is done by interns or juniors.
How a community manager presents themselves to the community is also an essential part of their job. They have to learn the language and culture of their community to be able to properly communicate with them.
Importance of Community Managers to Company Operations, Maintaining Relationships, and Branding
Market research is one thing, but being able to have a closer look at the culture of your own community is one of the most important things to consider for a company to thrive. For community managers, it’s what they do that truly matters to the public. Conversations in forums that share useful information are what the masses want to connect with because it helps them find like-minded people and learn new things about the industry and products.
Social media itself has evolved to follow the strategies that community managers would implement. Facebook, for instance, created opportunities for companies to create brand pages that help them advertise their content in a much wider audience. Discord is a great way to build and foster a community with younger members. In a way, community managers made use of the “reacts” feature of Facebook to humanize social media marketing
One of the qualities of community managers is that they are jack of all trades, being able to show empathy towards others in genuine conversations while also checking the technical side of social media. This enables them to keep the customer base engaged and connected to know for themselves that they are being heard.
How Do You Become A Community Manager?
- Learn about social media marketing
Most community managers not only handle people on a more personal level, they also have to understand that the motivation of their work is to further promote the brand through the content that they publish.
- Continuously improve your communication skills
Demonstration of verbal and written communication skills is paramount in this kind of job.
- Learn how to analyze social media metrics
Like any internet platform, metrics will help you determine trends and current affairs that people care about. This gives you an opportunity to jump on the trend and establish your brand’s relevance.
- Learn project management
Company events and activities are the domain of a community manager. This is where you can try to be creative and implement unique new strategies to understand the community.
Where Do You Hire A Community Manager?
- Social Media Job Posting
There’s no better place to find a social savvy individual other than social media itself. Community managers need to have previous experiences socializing with people online.
- Freelance Platforms
Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr are a blessing to the freelance workforce. Community managers often have a strong online presence so they’re most likely also engaged in freelance platforms that cater to remote workers.
- Specific Communities
While communication is the strongest suit of community managers, there are those that can demonstrate knowledge based on experience in a specific industry. At Techintern.io, for instance, you can find students and fresh grads with strong backgrounds in their respective technical fields.