A Community Manager’s role is to look after your community member. They respond to support requests, encourage content creation and in general help shape and evolve the community over time. In addition to their day to day duties, a Community Manager for an enterprise community can report into the business. Providing insights and feedback from community members.
Having a defined Community Manager role, while not essential, can mean the difference between a successful online community and one that languishes. In our experience, there are a few things you can put in place that will help enhance, focus and refine the role. Here’s a brief overview.
Community Manager bible
The idea is simple; describe the core roles and responsibilities of the Community Manager. From here, you can build the processes needed to provide a consistent experience for community members. Examples of what should appear in the community manager bible include:
- Communication guidelines. Let your Community Manager know when to probe and comment, what to say and who to target.
- Moderation rules. Inevitably, a community member is going to say or do something that falls outside of your community guidelines. When this happens, your Community manager needs to know what to do and how to do it.
- Insight reporting. Often a Community Manager will need to report internally. Make sure they have a structure and communication method in place.
- Social media responsibilities. If your community manager is going to be responsible for posting externally, make sure you have guides on language, tone and approach to use.
The bible doesn’t have to start out fully formed. It’s often better to start with an outline and grow it over time. Once it’s in play, a Community Manger bible can grow quickly. When looked after, it can also provide a priceless foundation to new Community Managers joining the team.
It’s unavoidable. Part of a community manager’s job will involve a degree of repetition. They’ll end up responding to the same queries and questions again and again. You can mitigate against this by anticipating some common queries and inserting this copy in key locations. This typically includes:
- FAQ section. This can develop and evolve over time. The likelihood is you’ll have an idea of some of the basic FAQs that will turn up before you launch.
- Canned responses. Any decent customer relationship management service will allow you to upload canned responses. Get an initial foundation in place and you’ll have a framework in place to save time and avoid repetition.
Focusing the admin experience
Admin panels allow you to do everything which is often too much for most people’s roles. When we build communities for clients, we help them by creating different admin views, broken down into individual roles. The main benefit of this approach is a clear and focused experience. Your team won’t be able to accidentally make critical changes to your community. Also, you can hide personally identifiable user data from people who have no need to access it. Examples of admin roles include:
- Community management. These team members are likely to spend more time using your communities admin panel than anyone else. Make sure they don’t have to wade through interfaces and options that aren’t relevant to them.
- Editorial. The team that posts content to your community. They need simply posting and editing tools. Nothing more. Nothing less.
- Super admin. Typically just one or two people. A super admin has keys to every element of your admin panel. Hand out super admin roles judiciously.
Running a community, be it enterprise-level, pop up or niche in nature, is only as successful as the time and energy you put into it. The real trick is to use optimise this time to maximum effect. Putting a plan in place at the start can reap rewards in the long term.