What Is a Community Manager? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.
A community manager cultivates healthy online relationships with a company’s customer base by monitoring social platforms, blogs, forums and other digital spaces. They engage with customers when appropriate to share content, facilitate discussions and spread brand awareness, with the goal of turning customers into fans. Here’s what to know about a community manager’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.
What Is a Community Manager?
Community managers monitor digital spaces and engage with customers to build and spread a positive brand image. These professionals may promote content on social media, respond to reviews or answer questions in online forums. The ultimate goal is to raise the status of a brand by fostering trust, respect and loyalty among customers.
What Do Community Managers Do?
Community managers maintain and spread a positive company brand through online interactions. As a key part of a brand’s online presence, a community manager displays a consistent voice and tone while strengthening relationships with audiences.
Community Manager Responsibilities
- Build and manage a brand’s online community.
- Interact with — and facilitate interactions between — a brand’s customer base.
- Promote and help run company events.
- Keep a pulse on customer sentiment.
- Maintain uniform brand voice and tone during digital customer interactions.
Day-to-Day Responsibilities of a Community Manager
- Monitor changes in customer sentiments with social listening and analysis tools.
- Respond to individual reviews or messages to resolve questions or complaints.
- Create social media posts to promote content for company events, ad campaigns and other marketing initiatives.
- Attend live events to connect with promising leads and spread brand awareness.
Community Managers Within a Company
As a mid-level professional, the community manager is often part of a company’s marketing department, in which case they may report to a director of marketing. This hierarchy may look different for each company, however. For some companies, the community manager may be part of a product, growth or communications team.
Importance of Community Managers
Community managers increasingly play a pivotal role in helping companies build and maintain strong relationships with new and existing customers or users. Successful community managers help raise the image of a brand in the eyes of online audiences, as well as encourage customers to become word-of-mouth advocates for the brand.
What Skills Are Needed to Be a Community Manager?
Qualifications to Be a Community Manager
- Experience facilitating or leading online communities.
- Knowledge of various social media and community platforms.
- Track record of engaging with customers or product users.
- Ability to lead events and webinars.
- Knowledge of marketing principles and strategies.
Community Manager Prerequisites
- Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications or a related field.
- One to three years of marketing-related work experience.
- Community manager courses and certifications (not necessary, but can boost skill set and increase job opportunities).
Community Manager Hard Skills
- Marketing and branding expertise.
- Written and visual content creation skills.
- Familiarity with social listening tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite.
- Research and data analysis skills.
- Knowledge of social media best practices.
- Sales and customer service skills.
Community Manager Soft Skills
- Enthusiasm for the brand’s product or service.
- Ability to organize events.
- Strong empathy, conflict resolution and active listening skills.
- Creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
- Quick decision-making skills.
- Business savvy.
Tools and Programs Community Managers Use
- Community management tools like NapoleonCat and Sprout Social.
- Forum software like Zendesk and WordPress.
- Social listening software like HubSpot and BuzzSumo.
- Social media platforms like Instagram, Reddit and Twitter.
- Survey tools like SurveyMonkey and Google Forms.
How to Become a Community Manager
Community Manager Education and Experience
Community managers typically complete a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, communications, journalism or a related field. Community manager roles typically require one to three years of relevant experience, and aspiring professionals can round out their resumes through entry-level roles like marketing coordinator, social media specialist, inside sales representative, copywriter or graphic designer. Gaining experience in marketing, design, writing, sales and other related areas is ideal for a community manager role.
Community Manager Certificates and Courses
- Courses in related areas like content marketing and sales.
- Design courses on tools like Adobe products.
- AMA professional certification programs.
- Certifications in social listening tools like Google Analytics.
- Social media marketing certifications in platforms like Meta.
Community Manager Career Path
Community managers often start out in entry-level roles like marketing assistant, PR specialist or social media specialist. Once in a community manager position, professionals may have the opportunity to advance to more senior roles, such as director of community or VP of community, which require anywhere from five to eight years of management experience. If these roles are unavailable, community managers may choose to move into other higher-level roles like marketing or communications director.
Community Manager Salary and Job Outlook
Data for marketing managers suggests the community manager position may be on the rise. Job growth for advertising, promotions and marketing managers is expected to rise by 10 percent between 2021 and 2031.
The full compensation package for a community manager depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average community manager salary.