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What makes a great community manager?


So when I talk about what a community manager is, I usually mention leading by influence, advocating, explaining viewpoints, defending the community, representing the community within the company, and in general keeping the community healthy. They are ambassadors that spend lots of time communicating.

Chris Brogan wrote a great post about the Essential Skills of a Community Manager that covers a lot of the same ideas but expresses it much better. I especially liked his analogy:

The best community managers are like a good party host mixed with a fine restaurant host.

 A few other points he added, that I'll have to add to my description when I talk to people are:

  • "Community managers are bodyguards." In addition to protecting the community (from the public and the company), he also points out that community managers are bodyguards, they protect the community from trolls.
  • "Community managers must build actionable reports."  I think this is really important, especially since:
    • community managers are a relatively new role in the online world so people don't know what they do,
    • without clear goals, it's easy to spend a lot of time just "communicating" and making things run smoothly without a clear goal in mind,
    • having a clear actionable plan shows the value of not only the community manager but also the community they are working with and the company that hired them.
If you are interested in community management, check out Chris' post. He says it well in the Essential Skills of a Community Manager.

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