Updated in February 2009

The Community Manager position is a broad encompassing role. And it really should be!

My definition of the position: A community manager is the voice of the company externally and the voice of the customers internally. The value lies in the community manager serving as a hub & having the ability to personally connect with the customers (humanize the company), & providing feedback to many departments internally (development, PR, marketing, customer service, tech support, etc).

A hat tip for Ning for many of these. I have added additional points.


  • Creatively and proactively assist customers.
  • Serve as the initial point of contact for inbound requests
  • Identify and analyze issues, patterns and trends in customer requests & product performance
  • Transfer the information to the appropriate departments so that they can respond accordingly.
    • bugs to quality assurance
    • new ideas to product development
    • messaging effectiveness to marketing
    • frequently asked questions noted
    • identifying user generated content
  • Author blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos and screencasts – whatever media you want to use – to communicate creative uses of networks on Ning from the simple to the very complex.
  • Establish metrics & report on them on a monthly basis including recommendations
  • Identify & engage advocates
  • Proactively escalate issues, observations, opportunities, and insights to the executive team.
  • Communicate issues, opportunities and insights to the company at large.
  • Stay up to date on new social media tools, best practices and how other organizations and companies are using them, so that the company can continue to be an early adopter of these technologies.
  • Participate in professional networking by following the prominent bloggers and online writers & attending events.


  • You love helping people and find it rewarding to solve people’s problems. Then you love to proactively use that experience to make the whole service better.
  • You like working hard and thrive on the excitement of a goal oriented team
  • You are an independent, creative self-starter who loves running with things while keeping everyone inside and outside the company in the loop.
  • You love to write & enjoy sharing your ideas with others.
  • You spend a lot of time online and stay up-do-date on new, fun things out there for web savvy users as well as regular people.
  • You enjoy learning & are curious!

Now you can personalize that for what your company needs. My recommendation is to make sure that it’s open ended enough to allow the position to grow. The type of person that you’ll hire will want to be continually challenged & motivated to keep the community growing.

What have I forgotten?

I also have a post on specific tasks/goals & 2 other posts about job hunting

Jake McKee, Community Guy has a number of articles on hiring & finding a job.