The Community Roundtable aims to advance the business of community. I’m going to say that again…we advance the business of community. I wanted to repeat it because I think it’s an important distinction as the way we look at community management. As Jim Storer has said, everyone is a community manager – meaning everyone has constituents they can and want to build and cultivate better relationships with for mutual benefit. But not everyone has the title of Community Manager.
In our own company for example. My role is that of marketing. I am not a community manager. Or am I? If you look at it purely from this SocialFresh graphic it sure looks like I am. But I believe this data best represents those from the marketing function that fill a Community Manager role. And while community management is part of my role it is not my sole role nor is it my title. That is Hillary Boucher’s defined role and by all accounts from our TheCR Network community members, she does it well. Then there are Jim Storer and Rachel Happe. Neither of them are in the role of community manager and yet they are undoubtedly part of our greater community management activities and strategy each and every day.
Here’s my attempt to detail the difference
Practicing the discipline of community management means:
- Bringing multiple constituencies together
- Developing & cultivating relationships with those constituencies
- Ensuring value for community members and the organization
- Overseeing operations of the community
- Being the cheerleader internally for support and awareness for the community
Along with supporting the above, practicing the role of Community Manager means:
- Executing community customer service – responding to requests, questions, complaints regularly via social media and directly through community tools
- Being the chief of engagement – ensuring members are comfortable in sharing, making sure members are participating, and checking in with those you haven’t heard from in a while
- Onboarding new members – making sure members understand how the community works, getting them comfortable, and showing them how to use it for their interests
- Curating or writing content for the community
- Monitoring and mediating the discussion
We believe that community management is emerging as a philosophy and way of thinking about a functional discipline, as well as being a discrete role. A community-minded leader values transparency, engages with various constituencies, solicits feedback, promotes inclusion, and supports and shares other people’s ideas. That person may be a community manager. Or they may have a very different title…say CEO, mailman, store manager, human resources, CMO, customer service representative, and increasingly this discipline is being managed by teams whose members have a variety of specialties and who work across enterprises to coordinate social business activities.
Who do you know who is practicing the discipline of community management that may not have the title of Community Manager?
The Community Roundtable is committed to advancing the business of community and being a valued resource to community management and social media professionals through our monthly subscription report, membership based peer network, community management training program and customizable advisory services for corporations and individuals.