Community management is a very complex and multi-faceted task that involves much more than just entertaining and keeping community members happy. At least if it is a professional online community that is managed by a company. In private communities, the tasks are not quite as demanding. The following are some of the tasks that community management takes on.
Monitoring and moderating content
Monitoring and moderating content is an important task for community managers, as it is important to ensure that the community is a safe and productive environment. Community managers must ensure that all posts to the community comply with the guidelines that have been set for the community. These guidelines may include, for example, that no offensive, discriminatory or inappropriate content is allowed. If a post violates these guidelines, community managers must act quickly and decide whether the post needs to be deleted or edited to make it compliant.
In addition, community managers must also monitor whether there are conflicts or problems in the community and, if necessary, intervene to resolve the situation. This may mean communicating with members involved to find a solution, or resolving the conflict in other ways to ensure a positive and productive environment.
Communication with the community is a crucial aspect of community management, as it involves building a strong relationship with the community and understanding their needs and wants. A community manager must therefore communicate regularly with members and respond to their questions and concerns. This may involve community managers responding to one-to-one enquiries, facilitating public discussions and ensuring that all voices are heard. It is about creating an open and inclusive environment where members feel comfortable and heard. Community managers also need to ensure that communication with the community is regular and up to date to ensure that all needs and concerns are addressed. This can be achieved through regular updates or surveys.
Communities have gained great importance over the years. Successful community managers with high communication skills are therefore in great demand on the labour market. They ensure high engagement and a vital virtual society!
Promoting engagement within the community is another important goal of community management, as it is about keeping members active and involved and strengthening their ties to the community. Community managers therefore need to regularly develop and implement activities and campaigns that promote member engagement within the community. This can be achieved through various activities such as online events, competitions, Q&A sessions, discussion groups or joint projects. Activities must aim to keep members active and interactive, and connect with the community and its members in a fun and engaging way. In addition, community managers can also gather feedback and ideas from members to ensure that activities are relevant and interesting to the community.
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Monitoring trends and analysing data
Monitoring trends and analysing data resulting from community activities is an important part of community management, as it involves developing an understanding of how the community functions and grows. Community management therefore needs to regularly collect data and monitor trends in the community in order to make better decisions and strategies for community management. For example, data that can be collected includes the number of members, the activity rate, the number of posts and interactions, the type and topic of posts and interactions, the demographics of members, and more.
Monitoring trends and analysing data can help community managers identify community weaknesses and strengths, and understand what members want and expect from the community.
Based on this information, a community manager can then make better decisions and develop targeted strategies to promote community growth and activity and build strong and positive relationships with members.
Representing the brand or organisation
As a representative of the brand or organisation, it is the community manager’s job to promote a positive image of the brand or organisation in the community. This can be achieved through various activities, such as embodying the brand or organisation and basically communicating the brand message. Community management must embody and represent the identity and values of the brand or organisation by communicating and behaving in a way that is expected of official representation. Community management must ensure that the brand or organisation is appropriately presented in the community and that its message is communicated clearly and consistently. In addition, community management must monitor the public reputation of the brand or organisation and, if necessary, take steps to correct negative statements and protect the positive image of the brand or organisation.
An important task of community management is also to ensure that the community continues to grow, if this is a desired goal. To do this, it is necessary to develop and implement activities and campaigns that make the community interesting for new members. This includes developing a sophisticated referral or affiliate programme that existing members can use, for example, to become friends and acquaintances and benefit directly, for example in the form of rewards or other rewards.
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Community managers are also responsible for creating and maintaining a positive and productive environment within the community. This includes identifying and resolving conflicts between members when they arise. In doing so, it is important to adopt a neutral and mediating stance in order to find a solution that is acceptable to all parties involved.
For example, in the case of conflicts between members, community management can lead a discussion to understand the different perspectives and then work together to find a solution. If there are rule violations, community management can take action to ensure that all members comply with the rules. If there are problems with the content, action will be taken to change or remove the content.
The aim of conflict resolution is to create a positive and inclusive community environment where all members feel welcome and valued. In doing so, it is important to maintain open communication and a respectful attitude towards all members.
Content generation and content maintenance
Content generation is an important task for community managers to keep the community active and engaged. This involves creating content, or having content created and published, that is relevant and engaging to the community.
This can include:
- Creating blog posts, tutorials, videos or other formats that provide relevant information.
- Organising events or online activities that allow members to interact with each other
- Publishing surveys or feedback opportunities to find out and take into account the opinion of the community
- Publishing testimonials or success stories from members to increase engagement and retention with the community
The aim is to provide members with relevant and interesting content that encourages them to engage and be active in the community. In doing so, it is important to keep the interests and needs of the community in mind and respond accordingly.
Planning events such as webinars or online games and fun challenges are also part of the community management task, especially if it is a professionally managed online community.
Event planning and management
Event management is an important task for community managers to strengthen the community and bring it together. This involves planning and implementing events and activities that bring community members together and strengthen their ties to the community.
This can include:
- Organising online meetings or webinars where members can interact and discuss with each other.
- Planning physical meetings or events where members can meet and interact in person.
- Organising competitions or challenges where members can demonstrate their skills.
- Carrying out activities where members can achieve or experience something together, such as joint projects or fundraising activities.
The aim is to provide opportunities for members to interact with each other and strengthen their bond with the community. It is important to plan events and activities that meet the interests and needs of the community and make members feel welcome and valued.
Community management uses market research to gain a better understanding of the needs, preferences and opinions of their community. This can be done through surveys, feedback mechanisms, data analysis and observation. This information can then be used, for example, to make better decisions, create more engaging content, promote community engagement and plan events and activities that meet community needs. Conducting market research does not have to be exclusively about the community itself. A community can also help generate valuable data to improve products, brands and services, such as a brand or customer community.
Collaboration with other departments
Community management is often part of a larger organisation and therefore works closely with other departments to ensure smooth communication and collaboration. This can include:
- Working with marketing departments to increase the visibility of the community and deliver a consistent message.
- Working with Customer Service & Support to ensure that community concerns are resolved quickly and
- Working with product development to gather feedback from the community and incorporate it into product development.
- Working with other departments to help effectively meet the needs of the community and ensure that all departments are on the same page and following a consistent approach.
If a company runs a community, it is essential for community management to interact with staff from other departments and divisions.
Community managers need a range of skills to successfully manage and promote a community. These include communication skills, the ability to resolve conflicts, leadership skills, organisational skills, marketing skills, creative thinking and an understanding of the needs and wants of the community. They also need to be able to identify trends and analyse data to make better decisions and strategies for community management. It is also important that they can work well with other departments within the organisation to ensure smooth communication and collaboration.
Organisational and project management skills are equally important and valuable for community managers to effectively plan and implement activities within the community. A good dose of creativity can’t hurt either in order to develop interesting content and activities for the community. A high level of customer and service orientation is also an advantage in order to understand and meet the needs and wishes of the members within the community. Incidentally, multilingualism can be advantageous for community managers.
Community managers can come from a variety of educational and career backgrounds, but some important skills a community manager should have include communication, marketing, customer service, project management, conflict resolution and analytical skills. A degree in communications, marketing, public relations, business administration or a related field can be helpful, but practical experience and mastery of the above skills are often more important than a formal degree.
A good and experienced community management should have an affinity for market research, numbers and data. At least it is not a disadvantage.
Internal and external community management: What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Internal community management means that the responsibility for maintaining and managing a community is taken over by an employee or team within the organisation. This person or team works directly for the organisation and is part of the business. They have a deep understanding of the brand, the goals and the needs of the organisation, which helps them to manage the community effectively. One advantage of this approach is that it is easier to align the organisation’s community needs as the community managers are directly part of the organisation. In addition, internal community management can also be more cost effective as there is no need to pay external service providers.
- Deep understanding of the company and its goals: An internal community manager has a thorough understanding of the company’s vision, mission and goals and can align community activities accordingly.
- Ease of communication and collaboration: Internal community management enables closer collaboration with other departments and teams within the company, resulting in smoother communication and collaboration.
- Availability: An internal community manager is part of the company and can therefore be approachable at any time regarding the needs of the community.
- Cost-efficiency: Internal community management can be more cost-efficient as there are no additional costs for external agencies or freelancers.
- Monitoring compliance and data protection regulations: An internal community manager is familiar with the company’s internal compliance and privacy policies and can ensure that community activities comply with them.
- Opportunity for staff development: Internal community management provides opportunities for training and career development for staff interested in a career in community management.
- Close ties to the community: An internal community manager has close ties to the community, which leads to a better understanding of the needs and wishes of the members.
- Flexibility: an internal community manager can respond quickly to changes within the community or the organisation and act swiftly accordingly.
- Integrity and trust: Internal community management can help to strengthen the community’s trust in the company, as communication and activities appear more authentic.
- Continuity: An internal community manager can ensure a continuous presence within the community, leading to stronger retention and engagement of members.
- Flexibility and adaptability: As internal community managers are part of the business, they can react quickly to changes and ensure that the community remains in line with business goals and requirements.
- Close collaboration with other departments: Internal community managers can work more closely with other departments within the organisation to ensure that the community receives the support and resources it needs.
- Opportunity for staff development: Internal community managers have the opportunity to develop their skills and career opportunities within the organisation.
External community management can provide an organisation with a fresh perspective, as external providers are not directly influenced by internal goals and interests. In addition, an external agency can provide specialised resources and skills that are not available internally. This can help to manage the community more effectively and efficiently. In addition, an external provider can draw on years of experience in community management and thus have a broader expertise to address issues and challenges more effectively.
- Independent perspective: External community managers bring a fresh, unbiased perspective that allows for an objective review of the community.
- Opportunity to learn and benefit from the best practices and experiences of other community management projects.
- Increased flexibility and scalability to respond quickly to changes in community management.
- Access to advanced tools and technologies necessary for successful community management
- Specialised expertise: external community managers often have broader experience and expertise in community management, including best practices and proven methodologies.
- Advanced resources: External community managers often have access to advanced resources, including tools and technologies needed for successful community management.
- Greater flexibility: External community managers are able to respond quickly to changes or challenges in the community because they are not tied to internal processes.
- Cost-efficiency: Using external community managers can be more cost-efficient in the long run as they are often paid on a project basis and do not require internal salaries and benefits.
- Scalability: External community managers can easily adapt to the growing needs of a community by providing more resources as needed.
- Reduced internal distractions: Delegating community management to an external provider allows the internal team to focus on their core activities and avoid distractions.
- External relationships: External community managers can often build valuable relationships with other industry colleagues and resources that can be beneficial to the community.
- More time for strategy: delegating community management to an external provider allows the internal team to spend more time on strategic initiatives and projects.
- Increased efficiency: External community managers can often work more efficiently as they are not bound by internal political or bureaucratic obstacles.
- Training and development: External community managers can provide training and support to the internal team to improve their community management skills.
In order to successfully implement community management, it is important to become aware of what the most important tasks of community management are and to fill these tasks with life. In the following, we outline 10 tips on how companies can successfully implement community management.
Community Management ist das, was eine Online-Community überhaupt erst erfolgreich macht.
By clear goals we mean that it is important to think in advance about what goal you want to pursue with the community. This could be, for example, increasing brand awareness, promoting customer loyalty or attracting new customers. By defining clear goals, you can better align community management and plan and implement activities in a more targeted way. Other examples of short-term and long-term goals of an online community may include the following:
- Increasing membership and activity
- Promoting interaction and engagement
- Strengthening the brand and image building
- Gathering feedback and suggestions
- Strengthening customer loyalty and retention
- Disseminating information and knowledge
- Creating a positive online presence
- Increasing visibility and reach
- Generating sales and leads
- Brand awareness: increasing awareness and perception of your brand
- Customer loyalty: strengthening customer loyalty and customer relationships
- Customer support: providing fast and effective customer support
- Lead generation: generating new business contacts and lead qualification
- Market research: gathering feedback and information on your products and services
- Product development: Integration of customer needs into product development
- Reputation management: monitoring and strengthening your brand’s online reputation.
- Strengthening community spirit and promoting team building.
Tip 2: Promoting engagement
Encouraging engagement means taking active steps to increase member interaction and participation in the community. This can be achieved by starting discussions, asking questions, organising competitions and raffles, involving members in projects and decision-making processes, and recognising and rewarding engaged members. It is important for community management to create a comfortable and welcoming climate in the community where members feel welcome and valued to encourage engagement.
Tip 3: Communicate regularly
An important task of community management is to keep in touch with community members on a regular basis and ensure that they are informed about all relevant information and news. This can be done through regular newsletters, updates or community events such as webinars or video meetings. It is important to establish a regular flow of communication to strengthen members’ engagement and commitment to the community. This can also help to avoid misunderstandings or uncertainties and keep members informed about upcoming events or updates related to the community goal. Overall, this can be implemented as follows:
- Provide a newsletter or regular update letter.
- Use the timeline to communicate with community members.
- Host webinars or online events.
- Conduct regular surveys or feedback rounds.
- Offer exclusive content or benefits to active community members.
- Share industry trends and news.
- Keep members informed about upcoming events and activities.
- Respond quickly to members’ questions and concerns.
- Use a personalised approach and call members by name.
- Maintain open and honest communication that focuses on transparency and trust.
Tip 4: Use personalised communication
Personalised outreach refers to using a community member’s name or other personal information to build a closer and more individual relationship with them. This can help build trust and retention and increase motivation to actively participate. To achieve a personalised approach, it is important to collect and track information about members in order to send them personalised messages and offers. This could be implemented as follows:
- Use members’ names in your posts and messages.
- Analyse members’ interests and preferences to make targeted offers.
- Respond to members’ posts and messages and show interest in their topics.
- Personalise invitations to events or promotions.
- Create individualised offers and surprises for particularly active members.
- Use images and avatars that emphasise the individual character of members.
- Personalise newsletters or other mass communications.
- Offer personalised support options.
- Celebrate members’ special events, birthdays or milestones.
- Ask for feedback and opinions from members and integrate them into your work.
In order to involve community members as co-creators, community management should regularly offer members opportunities for participation and co-determination. This can be done by including feedback mechanisms, surveys, polls or discussions in decision-making processes. It is important that community management responds to members’ needs and concerns and gives them an active role in shaping their community. This will increase member engagement and retention and foster stronger identification with the community. Examples of how to involve community members:
- Invite members to participate in surveys and voting
- Provide an infrastructure for communication and collaboration
- Assigning responsibility and opportunities to shape the community
- Provide a supportive and appreciative atmosphere
- Provide recognition and rewards for their participation
- Provide regular feedback opportunities
- Organise joint activities and events
- Involve members in decision-making processes
- Allow members to participate in content and projects
- Give them enough freedom and flexibility to participate.
Tip 6: Set clear rules and guidelines
An important part of community management is to define clear rules and guidelines that govern members’ behaviour within the community. This can include what type of content is allowed, how conflicts should be resolved and how spam can be prevented. By setting rules and guidelines, one can promote a pleasant and respectful interaction within the community and ensure that all members feel comfortable and can participate in a positive and productive way. It is important to regularly review and update these rules and guidelines to ensure that they are current and appropriate. It is also important to ensure that the rules and guidelines are easily understood and accessible by all members. Specifically, this may look like the following:
- Conduct guidelines: rules for appropriate and respectful behaviour, for example towards other members, administration and moderators.
- Content guidelines: Rules for the content that members are allowed to share, e.g. no offensive, racist or violent content.
- Dealing with spam: Rules for dealing with spam, for example by monitoring links and messages.
- Rights and responsibilities: Rules for the rights and responsibilities of members and administration, e.g. in the event of breaches of rules.
Tip 7: Punish violations of rules consistently.
It is important that violations of the rules and guidelines are consistently prosecuted to ensure pleasant and respectful interaction in the community. This can be achieved by monitoring content and reacting quickly to violations. This can be done through automated monitoring tools or manual monitoring by the community management team. It is also important to establish clear measures for monitoring violations, such as warnings or temporary or permanent exclusions, in order to make consistent and fair decisions.
Tip 8: Collect feedback and suggestions
An important task of community management is to collect feedback and suggestions from community members to find out what is important to them and how you can improve their experience. This can be done through surveys, feedback forms or regular questions or discussions. It is important that you respond to feedback and show members that you value their opinions and take them seriously. Think about how you can incorporate and implement feedback into your plans to increase member satisfaction and engagement. Examples of collecting feedback and suggestions include the following:
- Provide feedback form: Provide a feedback form on your community website so that members can share their suggestions and criticisms with you.
- Conduct regular surveys: conduct regular surveys to gather feedback and suggestions from your members.
- Discussion forums: Prepare discussion forums where members can interact and give feedback.
- Address members directly: Address members directly and ask them for their opinions and suggestions.
- Reactions to posts: Collect reactions to posts, such as comments and likes, and use them as an indicator of your members’ feedback.
- Conduct usability surveys: Conduct usage and usability surveys to get comprehensive feedback on usability from your members.
Tip 9: Analyse content continuously
Continuous analysis is an important part of community management. It is about collecting and analysing data and information on a regular basis in order to be able to review and improve the performance of the community. To do this, you can use various tools and metrics to measure member activity and interaction, such as the number of posts, number of comments and reach.
This analysis can help identify strengths and weaknesses of the community and take action to increase engagement rates, improve member satisfaction and solve problems. For example, it may be possible to see from the analytics that certain topics or discussions are particularly popular with members, or that there is a particular time when interactions are highest.
It is important to regularly review the results of continuous analytics and take appropriate action to improve and optimise the community.
Tip 10: Reward active members
Rewarding active community members is an important measure to encourage their engagement and loyalty. One way community managers can show appreciation is by giving them exclusive content, access to closed areas, events, or a special membership that offers more benefits. Another way to reward active members is by awarding virtual badges or trophies to celebrate their achievements and accomplishments. It is also important to take feedback and suggestions from active members seriously and show them that their contributions are valued. In this way, you can build a stronger bond with members and encourage their commitment and loyalty.
An online community is a place where people from all over the world can come together. Without active community management, the goals of a community could not be achieved!
Community management plays a crucial role in the design and success of an online community. It helps to foster interactions and relationships between members by defining and monitoring rules and guidelines. This provides a safe and enjoyable environment in which members can feel comfortable and engaged.
Effective community management also ensures that feedback and suggestions are collected regularly. This can help to ensure that the community is constantly improved and its potential is fully realised. It also allows for personalised communication with members, which can help them feel more included and valued.
In addition, community management helps to monitor the performance of the community and check whether goals are being met. This allows adjustments to be made if necessary and the strategy to be adapted accordingly.
In summary, community management plays an important role in the creation and success of a successful online community. Without community management, an online community would be a disorganised and unstructured collection of people in a virtual community that has little chance of a long life cycle.