One of the most visited articles on my blog is a list that I posted in July of 2008 of Responsibilities and Goals for a Community Manager. This was what I envisioned the role to be in 2007. It has been referenced many times and is linked from Wikipedia’s definition of ‘Online Community Manager’.

Here is a long overdue revision. This forms the framework of much of my speaking & workshops this year.

Enjoy! and your thoughts are always welcome.

Responsibilities & Goals for Community Manager Role

1. Online Marketing, Outreach Strategies & Building Brand Visibility

  • Contribute to the development of the Company’s online marketing and outreach strategies.
  • Foster a sense of community around the brand at both the brand properties and on the web at large by building relationships.
  • Contribute to the Company’s web strategy so that customer communications at all touchpoints are maximized.
  • Monitor key online conversations and events to make sure Company is participating effectively & is being represented.
  • Participate in social networking sites:
  • Claim brand names on social networks by creating profiles to protect the brand.
  • Identify & participate in social networks where appropriate for your brand & Company.
  • Manage, maintain, and ensure the success of the Company blog
    • Ensure that it becomes a viable tool for communicating to Company’s customers
    • Encourage, recruit and provide Company & outside “experts” with the resources to blog
    • Promote the blog by increasing awareness of the blog’s potential both within Company and externally

2. Public Relations

  • Identify influencers in your industry. Establish relationships, partner & collaborate with them.
  • Engage and motivate the Company’s most active online advocates & ensure that their efforts are recognized.
  • Respond to crises in a timely and professional manner.
  • Coordinate the efforts of evangelists, forum moderators, & advocates so that affected Company projects are executed efficiently & in a timely manner.
    • Provide leadership to motivate & maximize the impact of online community’s efforts
    • Encourage WOM: teach them how to start the conversation & sustain it
    • Establish the goals, identify objectives & timeline
    • Break down the goal into tasks, deadlines & manage the projects to meet the goal.
    • Ensure that projects are completed & those involved are compensated & recognized.

3. Customer & Technical Support

  • Become one with the product(s). Learn it inside & out.
  • Listen to customers and gather their feedback. Thank them for their input.
  • Route customer needs to the appropriate department.
  • Be responsible for the administration of the Company’s online brand property(s).
    • Ensure that a positive environment is maintained that reflects Company’s commitment to excellent customer service.
    • Work closely with Company’s IT manager to ensure that the goals of the forum are met.
    • Monitor online forums, identify potential problems & issues & promptly communicate them to the IT Manager as appropriate
    • Practice excellent judgement in communicating with customers about potentially controversial topics.
    • Advocate for the customer’s needs but balance that with the needs of the company & diplomatically communicate that to both customers & Company

4. Product Development & Quality Assurance

  • Communicate customer suggestions and provide ideas for product improvement.
  • Participate in discussions on product use.
  • Report product defects.

5. Sales & Business Partnerships

  • Identify and route potential sales opportunities to the appropriate teams.
  • Be proactively strategic in building relationships that will result in mutually advantageous business partnerships.

6. Internal Web 2.0 Ambassador

  • Encourage internal communication & provide leadership for cross functional efforts.
  • Develop guidelines to ensure that Company’s online outreach is both effective and consistent with the organization’s image and overall communications strategy.
  • Increase awareness of web 2.0 tools across the Company and provide training in their use.
  • Teach, guide, & encourage those that are new to Web 2.0 tools and culture.
  • Be available to staff across the Company to assist them in identifying & using online tools to help them achieve their goals related to their position.
  • Advocate for the culture shift that’s required to be a customer-centric company.

7. Reporting

  • Participate in creating the online community plan including a budget
  • Track and report the following on a regular basis:
  • Quantitative measures as outlined by business goals
  • Amount of activity at community site(s)
  • Qualitative report of consumer responses
  • Suggestions & feedback for management & executive levels
  • Identify & offer solutions for breaking down barriers between customers & corporate. This includes identifying needs that aren’t being met from the customer’s perspective & being involved in the discussion as to whether the needs are valid, can be met and if they will benefit the organization as a whole.

8. Goal Setting & Professional Development

  • 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 emerging technologies.
  • Participate in professional networking by interacting with peers and thought leaders in online arenas & attend events.