There are two kinds of Community Managers in the world.

We hire Community Managers who facilitate discussions between our members, but we don’t hire the kind who do social media content and promotion. Why? Read on to learn more.

Who we hire: Membership Community Managers

Membership Community Managers enable groups of people to collaborate and help each other. They bring people together, encourage participation, and build relationships. Their success is defined by the engagement of the members. This work is based on membership organizations such as trade associations and professional societies. (This is the type we hire.)

Who we don’t hire: Content Community Managers

Content Community Managers curate and post content online to encourage and attract fans. Their success is defined by the quality of their content and the audience they attract. Their work is based on publishing and marketing models. (We don’t do that here.)

While these two roles are very different, most communities combine some aspects of each.

Social Media Community Managers are usually content focused, Association Community Managers are usually member focused, and Online Forum Community Managers are somewhere in the middle. It all depends on your goals — from brand building to member service.

cm-spectrum

community-spectrum

In general, the work of these Community Manager roles breaks down like this:

Role Membership CMs Content CMs
What they do
  • Lead and moderate discussions
  • Encourage participation
  • Suggest topics and pose questions
  • Define behavior and set boundaries
  • Build relationships between members
  • Build relationships with members
  • Participate in real-life/offline conversations
  • Post content
  • Moderate comments and discussions
  • Curate social media pages
  • Encourage comments and sharing
  • Drive traffic and inbound visitors
  • Spread the brand’s voice
How they’re measured
  • Participation
  • Conversation quality
  • Community size
  • Membership renewal rate
  • Content metrics: traffic, views
  • Follower metrics: number of followers
  • Response metrics: comments, CTR
  • Viral metrics: engagement, shares
Important skills and experience
  • Moderator experience
  • Member relations
  • More gravitas, less energy
  • Facilitation
  • Service-oriented
  • Relationship person
  • Face-to-face communications
  • Experience with associations and membership organizations
  • Passion
  • Editorial, writing, and content creation
  • Curation
  • More energy, less gravitas
  • Moderating posts and comments
  • Experienced with online forums and social media
  • Communicates with brand voice
  • 24/7 availability
Shared skills
  • Extraordinary writing skills — articulate and has personality
  • Relationship person
  • Service-oriented
  • Context and empathy: Understands the needs and the life of members
  • Is passionate and an expert on the community’s topic
  • Extraordinary writing skills — articulate and has personality
  • Relationship person
  • Service-oriented
  • Context and empathy: Understands the needs and the life of members
  • Is passionate and an expert on the community’s topic

Next: Learn about who might fit on this team