Community Managers – Who are they?

I have been a community manager for about 9 years now and I have led community of few hundreds to few thousands for my projects as well as the organisations I have worked with. Community management being a critical piece for organisations, I wanted to write about what I understand about the role of Community Managers in organisations of different scale.

Professionals who are the voice of your brand, who understands the organisation’s culture well, has empathetic persona and who can communicate the brand of your organisation in more personal way because of (possibly) following simple reasons:

  • Being empathetic towards all the stakeholders whether it is the employees, the customers or any prospective hire in the future – they handle your brand reputation in the best humanly manner through consistent communication.
  • Marketers primarily focuses on establishing organisation as the market leader, market the products and services of the organisation which is massive work in itself.
  • Human Resources are perpetually managing major tasks like requirements, negotiations, onboarding processes and what not.
  • Sales professional focus primarily on building sales pipelines, does the market research, understands the product and market better, does the prospecting, demos and thousand other things.
  • There was a need of someone who has the trait of HR + Marketers or HR + Sales Pros or the trio – HR + Marketer + Sales Pro.

Why every organisation needs a community manager?

While there are departments like Human Resources, Marketing, Sales – the organisations definitely needs someone who can act as a bridge between all these three departments and has the complete understanding of what’s happening in these departments who are like power houses of the organisation.

Furthermore, the community managers interact with the employees, customers, prospective hires in different setups – like during the events in the sponsors booth, while attending conferences, during the town halls / retrospective meetings of the offices.

To build an organisation which lasts for decades and more, a community needs to be built up possibly around organisation’s areas of interest, for example if the business is an Airlines organisation – then community around Flight Attendants, Pilots, Aviation enthusiasts can be built and nurtured which will help in discussing the industry best practices, building sales / hiring pipeline ( which is of significant advantage ).

Moreover, when a community is built up, the pointers discussed are actually the personal experiences of the professionals which can help in improving the processes, the attendees with little or no experience will have great learning experiences and all attendees will enjoy the networking which opens the gate for mentoring and fostering relationships.

Communities are meant to be inclusive and businesses should embrace them. Seeing each and every fellow organisation as the competitor actually limits the ability of organisation in terms of network, getting access to industry wide best practices, pool of prospective hires.
Organisations will stop poaching ( which is the case in most of the industries ) because of one simple reason – respect within the community.

Employee’s loyalty these days is hard to judge/ forecast. While there will be outliers in a positive way ( they will become veteran of the organisation ) or negative (leaving job in months the moment better offer is received), no one leaves a well engaged, highly rewarding ( in terms of learning, roles and responsibilities and monetary way ), employee centric organisation with unbiased leadership.

To retain employees for long term – the organisations must nurture the employees by identifying their personas, understanding their motivations and their career aspirations and then planning the succession of theirs.

Community Manager takes care of the engagement part very well as they tirelessly communicate with the internal community which is the employees and while understanding the concerns of the employees regularly, they actively work towards enriching their experience at the workplace – by encouraging them to volunteer and participate in different organisation’s activities, acknowledging their achievements on organisation level platform ( through emails / social media ), encouraging them to attend events, take up certification courses ( every industry has got internationally renowned specialised certifications available which upskills them ).

Fostering and supporting the Communities is a challenging task which will require dedicated volunteer hours, some capital ( for hosting the events ), lots of passion and grit.

More to come soon.

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