The PR BlogDigital PRSocial Media ManagementA Community Manager's Job Description

A Community Manager’s Job Description

What exactly falls “under the jurisdiction” of community management?

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Instagram)

Community Manager is an increasingly popular job title.

I think of the community manager (also known as social media manager) as a classical conductor dedicated to showing the online community (the orchestra) how to get in sync, never through force or coercion, but by using the magical powers of suggestion alone.

So, what exactly falls “under the jurisdiction” of the community manager?

Here goes:

Responsibilities of a Community Manager

I’ve outlined several typical responsibilities here:

  • Develop and drive the inbound marketing strategy.
  • Adapt corporate messaging for social channels.
  • Manage online influencers and secure magic middle collaborations.
  • Transform social media channels into customer experiences.
  • Set up landing pages and compile lead magnets.
  • Drive traffic, interest, leads, and sales to landing pages.
  • Monitor the online community proactively and reactively.
  • Analyse and optimise for increasing relevant online conversions.
  • Run the email marketing- and the autoresponder program.
  • Strategically manage followers on social media.
  • Manage online reactions on owned, earned and paid platforms.
  • Deal with online trolls and handle online issues management.
  • Continuously evaluate and report on community reactions.
  • Manage and engage the brand’s true fans.
  • Establish and execute a growth strategy for the brand community.
  • Prepare and manage any online crisis.
  • Manage online customer service when it appears within social networks.
  • Train executives and specialists on how to use social media.

The above scopes of work are some of the most important public relations activities.

The Community Manager Appreciation Day

Many community managers I talk to tend to have this one thing in common. They often feel underappreciated. No wonder the profession has its own day every 4th Monday of January — the Community Manager Appreciation Day.

Bonus Resource: The Inbound PR Strategy

Inbound vs Outbound

The inbound mindset is a fundamental shift in public relations.

Inbound Marketing and Outbound Marketing - Doctor Spin - The PR Blog
The difference between inbound and outbound.

Instead of focusing on trying to spawn non-existing audiences, PR can do so much more with existing online publics.

If your inbound PR strategy is good enough, you might not even need an outbound PR strategy.

Jerry Silfwer speaking about inbound marketing
Jerry Silfwer (Doctor Spin) speaks about inbound marketing.

Read also: The Inbound PR Strategy

Bonus Resource: The Follower Contract

The Follower Contract

Many brands must rethink their approach to having followers, fans, and subscribers. Having a brand community is your privilege, not theirs. How can you honour their engagement?

Think of every single follower, fan, and subscriber having this agreement with your brand:

Dear Brand,

  • Yes, I’m now following you. Congratulations (to you).
  • I followed you based on what you’ve demonstrated in the past, so don’t be surprised if I’ll stop engaging (or unfollowing) if you do other stuff.
  • You now have my permission to provide me with the type of content that first attracted me to your brand.
  • Any potential involvement on my part will be determined by me, the follower, on a future case-by-case basis.
  • My follow is not a ‘payment’ for your past accomplishments; my follow is an ‘advance payment’ for what I expect from you in the future.
  • It would be best if you always presupposed that I’m interested in myself and my friends first and then, maybe, in your brand.
  • Until we part ways, I expect you to be clear about my potential involvement in your cause.

Best regards,
Your New Follower

Read also: The Follower Contract

Bonus Resource: The High Road Tonality

The High Road Tonality

An organisation is the total sum of all its coworkers. Imagine taking the most mature traits from each coworker and combining them into one voice — the high road tonality.

  • Openness. A mature organisation understands that everyone must be allowed to express their thoughts and opinions.
  • Fairness. A mature organisation will see (and respect) both sides of a divisive argument.
  • Strength. A mature organisation is confident in its chosen strategies and acquired abilities, not because they’re perfect, but because they are grounded.
  • Wisdom. A mature organisation will take their time to explain complex topics without condescendence.
  • Humility. A mature organisation understands that no one can have everything completely figured out and that we all have learning and growing to do.

Read also: The High Road Tonality: Don’t Be Pushed Around

Bonus Resource: The Social Objects Workshop (SOW)

The Social Objects Workshop (SOW)

To promote word-of-mouth for your brand, you need an idea about what social objects to create content around.

Social object = what people talk about with each other. A social object could be a thing, a person, an event, a concept etc.

For your brand, there are different types of social objects:

  • Curiosity objects — What do people seem curious about within our brand’s sphere of influence?
  • Fear objectsWhat do people seem afraid of within our brand’s sphere of influence?
  • Gap objectsWhat concepts or vocabulary is missing within our brand’s sphere of influence?
  • Mystery objects What do people find mysterious within our brand’s sphere of influence?
  • Inspirational objects What do people find inspirational within our brand’s sphere of influence?
  • Envy objects What do people seem to envy within our brand’s sphere of influence?
  • Conflict objects What do people seem to be fighting about within our brand’s sphere of influence?
  • Ego objects How do people express their individuality within our brand’s sphere of influence?
  • Anger objects — What do people seem angry about within our brand’s sphere of influence?

The workshop: In the first half, spend a few minutes on each type of social object. Write each idea as one sentence on a Post-It starting with, “Have you heard…”. In the second half, run through the ideas discussing, “Is this something real people would say?”

Read also: 9 Types of Social Objects and How To Use Them for PR

Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.



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