How-to-Guide: Hiring an Online Community Manager


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This How-To Guide discusses what an online community manager is, the importance of having a community manager and the key qualifications that the candidate should possess.

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How-to-Guide: Hiring an Online Community Manager

  1. 1. How-To Guide © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Hiring an Online Community Manager Executive Summary Online communities have existed since the inception of the Internet. Before wall posts, tweets and hash tags, there were chat rooms, discussion boards and instant messaging. Although the buzzword du jour is “online community,” the actual concept precedes its designation as such. According to, “A common myth is that online communities are only useful for dating and meeting new friends. However, it is now a well-established fact that companies make use of online communities in order to make new contacts and expand their business relationships.” The idea of building a community for your website has grown rapidly over the last year and, just as with any other initiative, the growth of the program requires the specific attention of an individual or a group (i.e. Social Media Manager, SEO Program Manager, etc.). This How-To Guide discusses what an online community manager is, the importance of having a community manager and the key qualifications that the candidate should possess. What is an Online Community Manager? “The online community manager role is a growing and developing profession. People in this position are working to build, grow and manage communities around a brand or cause.” “Community managers are no longer simple forum moderators, but role models that listen to the community and relay that information to those who can improve it. While some may also take on the role of social media managers they may not place emphasis on marketing content and tactics, which is ideally what users want anyway. A friendly voice who will listen when they have a complaint, and fast response with solutions to their problems.
  2. 2. How-To Guide © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. What is the Importance of a Community Manager? “The Community Manager role is critical to the success of our online community because it serves as the lifeline between our members and the product development process. By building tight knit relationships with our members, encouraging active participation and rewarding users for providing us with valuable feedback, we’re able to identify new and innovative opportunities in a timelier manner, which ultimately allows us to build higher value products & services in less time.” – John Follett, CMO Demand Metric While some companies may see a Community Manager as superfluous, there are guaranteed benefits to creating this position for your marketing and product teams. To reiterate a bit of Follett’s statement above, a few of these benefits include:  Engaging Current Community Members – Having a full-time employee constantly attending to the day-to-day user feedback and rewarding members for valuable insights will help forge long-term relationships. No post will go unmissed and no user will go unnoticed ensuring that members are satisfied with your customer service and product/service.  Monitoring User Posts/Content – It is important that someone is monitoring user posts/content in order to ensure all communications align with your brand. This is not to say that users cannot give constructive feedback, however, you do want to remove any solicitations or inappropriate content that may come your way.  Developing New Ideas for Content – Since the Community Manager will work with member feedback daily; he/she will most likely have the opportunity to learn of new content ideas first-hand. With new topics at his/her disposal, the Community Manager can complete additional research to share with the marketing and product development teams.  Increasing Traffic to Website – The continuous posting and commenting of the Community Manager will help your SEO efforts. New keywords and pages will only increase your rankings and push more potential leads/clients in your door.
  3. 3. How-To Guide © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Qualifications for a Successful Community Manager  Education & Experience: o Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, business or related field o Minimum 2 years of experience in Online Community Management or related field  Skills: o High level of written, verbal & editing skills are a must o Demonstrate excellent research & analytical skills o Proven knowledge of SEO writing techniques and SEO management o Demonstrates a basic knowledge of HTML o Proven ability to conduct high level analysis of business concepts o Experience with social media  Presentation/Personality: o Ability to influence & shape the direction of community discussions o Exhibits potential to be the “voice” of the community o Ability to work independently while maintaining the ability to collaborate on new content development initiatives o Exceptional organizational and project management skills required o Highly responsive and eager to help
  4. 4. How-To Guide © 2013 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Action Plan: 1. Review our Online Community Plan Methodology to learn how to develop an online community for your company and to see how an Online Community Manager fits into this process. 2. Download our Community Manager Job Description to help you develop a standardized functions and responsibilities for this position. 3. Customize our Interview Questions Tool and conduct interviews for potential candidates. 4. Select the most qualified candidate by customizing our Interview Evaluation Matrix for the Community Manager position and measuring the qualifications of each candidate within the assessment. Bottom Line If you are considering an online community for your business, an Online Community Manager is the core to the success and vitality of your community. While you can delegate online community management functions to other employees (Social Media Manager, Marketing Manager, Marketing Coordinator, etc.), the constant watchful eye on your community by a specified employee (Online Community Manager) will increase the contact you obtain with members, their loyalty to you, encourage more insightful participation and, ultimately, lead to mutually beneficial relationships between your organization and members/clients.