Community managers are at the center of your online community. Not only do they run your community platform, they’re the ones that interact most with customers and other community members. Without community managers, your online community would have trouble growing and getting the results your company wants.
The important and highly visible role of your community managers makes recruiting and retaining community members a top priority for your company. Alexia Roseliep, a community manager at Higher Logic, gives us practical tips for ensuring that your community managers are happy and productive.
1. Keep an Open Line of Communication
Keeping an open and honest line of communication is key to a successful online community. It is important that community managers feel like they are being listened to by their bosses, teammates and those who are there to support them.
Community management is not a one-person job. The entire team is responsible for what takes place in the community. Community managers are the ones inside the community every day. They have the most contact with your customers and members and will be able to better advocate for their needs. As a supervisor, it is your responsibility to make sure community managers are happy with their workload and are not being overwhelmed.
Take the time to find out exactly what community managers do and the goals they set for the community.
2. Scale Your Community Management Team
This one may seem like a no brainer, however, the success of the company’s online community depends on the strategy behind your community management team. The goal of most online communities is to grow, and as it does, so will the size of your team.
Start by listening to the community manager’s needs. When a community manager feels that they have become too busy, you should already be in the process of hiring an additional community manager. It is important to not wait until things are slipping through the cracks to start looking for additional team members.
3. Listen to Your Community Manager
Community managers are the ones in the community every day making sure that everything is running smoothly and community members are being taken care of.
Listening to your community managers can help you detect the problems and activity inside the group. The feedback you receive from the community manager is important to consider when making decisions about your customer relationship strategy (and product). Making sure that people with deep knowledge about your market, like community managers, are included in decisions is a crucial aspect for avoiding missteps and building a lasting community.
Online Community Manager Takeaway
Community management is not a one-person job. Whether you have a team of 20 or two, it is important to keep open and supportive communication with your community managers for a multitude of reasons.
Community managers have the most contact with members online, therefore they are more likely to know the problems members are facing and how best to address those problems.
Look for burnout when talking to your community manager. If it seems like tasks are being dropped and members are becoming increasingly unhappy, it may be time to increase your community management team.
Overall, listening to your community managers will have the greatest impact on your online community. Community managers will be the ones advocating for your members, solving problems and providing feedback so including them in big picture decision-making conversations is the best way to make sure they are happy and your community is successful.