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Online Community Manager

Community Manager Don't Grow On Trees

and the sociologist David Brain said: “Community is something we do together. It’s not just a container!”

Web based communication systems first began offering features and functions that require a totally new task force: The Community Management.

Thus, the online community manager’s role is a growing. It’s a new professional profile many organizations and companies need urgently in order to face the complexity of the new social media interfaces. It’s also a new job profile crossing the borders of the existing departments and that’s why it’s so uncomfortable. People in this position work to build, grow and manage communities around a brand or cause. They are also connecting the corporate identity, the inhouse workflow to the users, customers and possible co-workers.

As more and more companies are convinced of the necessity of a CRM 2.0 and a smart viral marketing trying to involve UGC and the benefits of CTA (call to actions); they need also a multi tasker managing the different communitiesOnline community managers may serve a variety of roles depending on the nature and purpose of their online community, which may be part of a profit motivated enterprise. “Every network has an underlying purpose and motivations for such network creation include:

  • Mission, Business, Idea, Learning By Doing

Online Community Managers are representing and visualizing the collective vision, creating and managing relationships and manage collaborative processes. Their role is as complex as the Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 grid and under permanent construction. That’s new and part of the new Enterprise 2.0 and Business 2.0 issues. We have to think different and manage differently.

The Communit Mangers are managing the social profile of the Corporate Identity (collectively and individually), the human interaction inside – outside the company, the image, the reputation They have also to manage the social loop.

Unfortunately, there is no curriculum preparing the future managers leaving the business school for this very complex and highly requested job. Once again, we are facing a quite confusing situation. A growing demand without any clear and convincing

The Community Manager’s job profile


«It’s a missionary work for online and offline community building, social media, and customer-company interaction working with online communities, fan groups, and consumer groups. It’s a full time job for evangelists, always ready to convince and to convert all the change resistant people inside the organizations. The biggest challenges is not to connect and follow the communities on the Social Web or outside the company.  

The Community Manager needs a background in

• Social Media Engineering
• Community Management
• Online collaboration tools and strategies
• Web 2.0 and Web 3.0  cross-media communication know-how.

The Community Manager is the face and the interface of a company, managing the communication flow in both directions.
This digital-savvy evangelist  is responsible for all communications, PR, social media, events, and content creation, and, last not least the curator of the immaterial capital any company wants to keep and increase.

His daily workflow

  • Content creation – publishing blog posts/ videos, articles, communications materials, and material for social media channels. He has at least to know how it works and to respond to comments, when appropriate, in order to foster a positive community and add value to the user’s experience
  • Total Web Awareness, setting the relevant alerts, monitoring the flow, with an open mind and open eyes  for  user generated comments and posts with a MOON ( massive open online network).
  • Smart Social media engineering– creating, managing and growing the company’s presence through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and other strategically relevant online properties.
  • CRM 2.0 – the Community Manager is often responsible for customer support – answering questions however they come in (phone, e-mail, Twitter). The new business of kindness is part of his job.  
  • Liquid Learning Management and Knowledge Management, the information flow, the user generated content, the co-workers’ know-how and knowledge has to be harvested and curated in order to remain visible and accessible.

New Skills for a new job profile

To do this job efficiently, a Community Manager should have all these skills:

Resilient personality – they will be required to walk into networking events and be comfortable introducing themselves to strangers.

Publishing skills – blogging creates authenticity, if you don’t spam, but videos become  a performant communication channel, as nothing is so convincing as the human voice and an image. Many new tools and new tasks require a permanent up-date of the PR strategies and performances.

Social media experience – experience with social media tools isn’t a must, but it’s definitely helpful and cuts down on training. Look for someone who can navigate Word Press and understands Twitter and Facebook for business. Be smart enough to realize your cross-media communication engineering, inhouse.

 Do you know any European institution (except St. Gallen) where future community managers are prepared for this amazing job?


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