Daily Buzz: Define Your Community Manager’s Role

A lack of clarity about what a community manager is supposed to do could lead them to focus on the wrong things. Also: why you should keep your data organized—but ready for play.

If you’re a community manager, you might find that you’re asked to do a lot of heavy lifting outside of your area of expertise.  Part of the problem may be a lack of clarity about the community manager’s role in your organization.

In a post on Community by Association, American Society of Civil Engineers Senior Coordinator of Online Community Tirza Austin describes five areas that community managers typically have some responsibility for.

She says that managing content and engagement are the most important parts of the job. “I urge you to look at community discussions as user generated content,” Austin says. “It is not engagement for engagement’s sake. Every post and thread should add value to your members, especially if they are receiving digest subscriptions.”

She adds that creating content is not part of the community manager’s job description. Instead, “you should be working with community members to create content. This encourages accountability and involvement with the community,” she says.

Although the least important areas for community managers are the business and strategic elements, it’s important to keep these in mind, she says, as they are “what separates good community professionals from great ones.”

Play Around, But Keep It Sorted

Speaking of defining parameters, it’s important to have an understanding of how to use your data—and why, sometimes, you should be playful with it to allow for experimentation. This can lead to new ideas and approaches for personalization, says Erin Shy, vice president of event technology at Community Brands. But that doesn’t mean you can get sloppy.

“I think your database is like your garage,” Shy writes on Association Success. “You wouldn’t want everything just thrown in there haphazardly that it makes it too difficult to find what you need later. As long as you can keep it neat and organized, you’ll be able to navigate.”

Other Links of Note

You may be wary of using Siri after recent news coverage revealed Apple has been listening in on conversations.  The company has promised changes, The Verge reports.

Are you a procrastinator? You can still pull off a useful to-do list. Fast Company explains how.

The MTV Video Music Awards are often a major spectacle. How’d they do this year? BizBash asked event planning experts for their reviews.

(AndreyPopov/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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