Social media has become a foundational component of successful digital marketing.
Brands that do well in social media marketing have strong relationships with their customers, widespread brand recognition, and engaging, entertaining content that can be shared with their followers.
Without social media, brands risk losing authority and recognition in their industry.
In order to successfully run a social media marketing strategy, brands need to have multiple team members dedicated to their social media channels.
That means that there are a number of jobs that exist under the umbrella of social media. One of those roles is that of a community manager.
- But exactly what is a community manager?
- What does an individual need to know in order to get involved in the role and find a career as a successful community manager?
In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know about becoming a community manager, including salary, tasks, skills, and qualities.
What is a Community Manager?
So what is a community manager? Let’s begin by defining the role.
A community manager is the person on a social media marketing team who works as the liaison between a brand and its followers on social media platforms.
A community manager acts as a kind of moderator for the brand’s voice by engaging with audiences, providing community support, and helping distribute content and posts.
The end goal of a community manager is to build up a brand’s trust and online presence.
A large part of the community manager role is actually engaging with audiences and helping facilitate the brand’s message to followers on social media platforms.
A community manager will reply to posts, offer solutions, and answer direct messages for the brand.
Community Manager vs. Social Media Manager
Oftentimes, a community manager role can be confused with a social media manager position. While there are some similarities between the two, there is a clear difference.
A social media manager is the person who creates a social media strategy for all channels and chooses the tools and methods through which that plan will be implemented.
They post directly from the brand’s account and are responsible for organizing and managing budgets, plans, and the brand’s voice and tone for replying and engaging with audiences.
The community manager is the person who actually implements those plans.
They take the directions set out by the social media manager and then work to manage the communications and interactions that come afterward.
Community managers often post from their own accounts, not the brand’s, which allows them some more freedom to choose how they interact with followers and gives some leeway on the type of content they create.
That means that community managers are often seen as advocates and brand ambassadors rather than just strategists for the brand’s social media content.
Why is a Community Manager Important?
So why are community managers important roles in a social media marketing team? There are several different key functions that a community manager provides, including:
- Increasing brand awareness.
- Providing additional value to customers and followers.
- Gathering feedback and sentiments from customers.
- Initiating conversations with individuals on behalf of the brand.
- Developing relationships and increasing brand loyalty with customers.
- Learning more about customers.
- Supporting followers and customers when they are seeking help.
How to Become a Community Manager
Community managers often come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some have degrees in journalism, sales, and recruiting, or even things like engineering and finance.
More than a specific degree, brands look for applicants who have strong customer service skills and a proven background in social media tools.
If you want to apply to become a community manager, consider your experience on social media platforms, either from another brand or personally.
If you don’t currently have a strong personal brand on social media, try building up strong profiles and increasing your followers and reach before applying for a job.
That will let brands know that you can achieve goals on social media and grow a business.
In addition to pursuing experience and getting an advanced degree, you can also try earning different certifications that can help you increase your value to employers.
Google certifications, Facebook certifications, AMA certified professional marketer, and HubSpot certifications can all help you gain more authority with potential employers.
The Salary of a Community Manager
The salary of a community manager falls fairly close to that of other social media roles, like a social media manager and social media strategist.
The general range of salary is from $48,968 – $74,372 a year, with $59,798 being the median as of December 2021.
As with all salaries, the exact amount for the role will depend on the size of the company you join, the experience you bring to the table, and the area you live in.
Check the salary ranges for your state or country and ensure that your offer fits into the average for your area.
The Tasks of a Community Manager
Community managers have a number of tasks that they need to complete in order to achieve their goals of increasing the brand’s reputation and reach, communicating with audiences, and monitoring the relationships between the brand and customers.
Let’s take a look at some of the short and long-term tasks that a community manager needs to accomplish.
- Creating engaging content that follows the plan of a social media manager.
- Interacting with community members.
- Running social media campaigns and advertising campaigns.
- Reviewing, replying, and monitoring comments left across social media channels
- Gathering customer feedback.
- Starting conversations with content and posts.
- Curating content for social media managers.
- Tracking performance and social media metrics.
- Reporting metrics and performance to the social media team.
- Finding new leads and prospects on social media.
- Growing follower counts and audience bases.
- Managing social media crisis and reputational crisis.
- Evaluating the value of social media platforms.
- Brainstorming ideas for new social media content and posts.
- Tracking quarterly and yearly social media performance.
- Creating the social media calendar with the social media manager.
- Developing comprehensive analysis and competitor comparisons.
- Guiding the internal social media marketing team.
The community manager often works hand in hand with the social media manager when it comes to planning content and working on campaigns on social media.
However, the daily tasks that come up on the plate of a community manager have different goals than those of the social media manager and other members of the social media marketing team.
Skills and Qualities of a Good Community Manager
In order to successfully take on the role of a community manager, individuals need to focus on several different skills and qualities that make a good community manager.
Here are a few of those skills that community managers should display:
Whether you are replying to a message or hopping on a live stream to answer community questions, communication is maybe the most important skill for a community manager to have.
In order to build relationships and work on improving the brand’s reputation, communication is key.
Social media management, in any role, requires a high level of organizational ability.
Working across multiple platforms, answering different replies, looking at the history of posts, and gathering feedback requires someone who can multi-task and keep themselves organized throughout the day.
Gathering insights from your audiences and measuring the success of social media efforts requires a high level of analytical skill alongside organizational skills.
Taking the general feeling towards a brand and turning that into quantifiable data that can be shared among an organization means that a community manager needs a good head for numbers.
If there’s one thing we know about social media, it’s that it changes on the daily.
Brand sentiment can change overnight, and anyone working in a social media role needs to be able to adapt to changes both with the brand directly and with general cultural and societal changes.
A community manager is a brand ambassador, which means that they need to be loyal to the brand and want to promote it.
As the face of the brand to audiences, community managers need to always put the brand first and communicate that loyalty to customers.
A community manager is a key role in a social media team, responsible for managing the relationships between the community and the brand.
Community managers need to have a strong understanding of what social media is and how to best navigate communication between a brand and its audiences.
A community manager needs to be highly skilled in communication, digital tools, and relationship building.
When a community manager excels in their job, your brand will have a better online reputation, more brand mentions, and more direct engagement with audiences.
That leads to more sales and revenue for the brand.
Now that you know the answer to “what is a community manager”, you might be wondering what other social media marketing jobs are available for you along with community manager positions.
If you want to learn more about different roles, check out our blog on social media marketing jobs.
You’ll learn about many different positions on a social media marketing team and discover which role is the best fit for your skillset.