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32 Posts authored by: Libby Taylor

So you've got yourself an online community and need someone to take care of it... Considering the recent wave of Web 2.0 technologies and the advancement of community and forum-type platforms, you think it would be easy to find someone who can head up a community, right?

Not even close.


The job of community manager is a fairly new one and often encompasses a wide range of roles and responsibilities. Finding just the right person to fit the bill can be a challenge. Starting with the right job description is critical to making the right hire for the position. The bottom line is that you won't find someone who can do every single thing on your list. You'll need to know up-front which responsibilities are more critical to your community than the others.



Consider these points when writing up the job description:

  • What level of project management will your Community Manager need? Is this a senior position where the CM will drive the strategy for an enterprise community consisting of thousands of users? Or is this role for an already established community where there are others driving the direction of the program?
  • What are the specific skills needed to manage your community effectively? For some communities, the CM will need to be able to do a little bit of everything. From graphic design, to writing, to analytics, you will have to determine which of the broad range of activities are most important for your community manager.
  • Is the position internally or externally facing? If your community manager will be dealing with customers on a regular basis then the job description needs to highlight that factor. On the other hand, if your community manager will need to navigate the inner workings of company politics, then that's another skill set altogether.



Here's a list of possible Community Manager roles and responsibilities:

  • Help desk: Respond to user questions, help on-board new groups. Act as a technical expert for the community. Elevate questions that cannot be answered to your support team.
  • Teacher/trainer: Create help documents, videos, and host events where users are trained on how to make the most of your platform. Get ready for a lot of change management in this part of the role.
  • Hand-holder: To nurture engagement you have to hold some hands. Connect with users, encourage their activity, ensure questions have a response.
  • Project Manager – Communities don’t build themselves. There needs to be somebody who's got the big picture in mind. You’re going to be responsible for creating and delivering all kinds of reports, briefings, fact sheets, and metrics and you’re going to need a plan for how to meet those deadlines and still engage with the community itself.
  • Consultant: Groups will come to you to find out how they can best use the community to get work done. You'll need to be prepared to act as both experts and adviser in these consultations.
  • Writer: From blog posts to help documents, the community manager should have a voice and writing skills to back it up.
  • Cheerleader: Enthusiasm for the job and the community are a must have! Your community should feel the love and positive energy. Celebrate community successes.
  • Graphic designer: You want your site to look pretty, don't you? Having graphic design skills can make your community manager a superstar in your organization. Let's face it, everyone wants to look good.
  • Referee: At times, you might need to step in between users or else make the call on whether something should or should not be posted. At the end of the day, you want everyone to make nice and get along. Or at least agree to disagree.
  • Marketeer: Advertise activities to promote new users and engage returning visitors. You might even need to advertise outside your community in order to draw people in.
  • Psychologist: For many, blogging in a community is an act of self-exposure that is uncomfortable to some people. You might have to help people, especially executives, overcome their fear of being that transparent.
  • Party host: Your community is the longest running party you will ever plan and attend. Your job is to make sure the fridge is stocked, drinks are flowing, and music is playing all night long. You'll also have to make sure the room looks good and the invites are send and resent as needed.
  • Comedian: Let's face it, life is better when you are having fun. Make your community laugh once in a while, it's good for them and boost engagement. Comedy can also stir up things when content gets stale.
  • Leader: Admit it, you can't do everything yourself. By engaging other people to help you with certain aspect of your community, you'll be building a strong network of advocates who will keep your community alive when you need to do things, like sleep, for example.
  • Advocate: When bugs pop up, and they always do, you'll need to raise the issue up with developers to get them fixed. Or when things can't be fixed, explaining the situation and smoothing feathers in the may be required.
  • Ambassador: If your site is customer-facing, your community manager should be ready to be the brand and speak to the decisions and key strategies of your company.
  • Analyst: Behind every community is a pile of numbers, numbers that need slicing and dicing to make up the reports that the sponsors of your community will demand.
  • Police man: Monitor posts and moderate as needed: Keep a watchful eye on the community. Provide rapid response for inappropriate or flagged posts. Deactivate or delete users when necessary.
  • Janitor: Every good party needs some clean up every once in a while. From dead groups to out of date content, regular cleaning of the community is necessary for the health and wellness of your site.


Here's a good example of a community manager job description:



Jive is seeking a socially savvy and driven individual to champion the use of our own products to the benefit of our employees in the Brewspace community. The enterprise community manager will consult with individual business units to develop a plan to optimize the use of the internal community to meet the needs for collaboration as well as help our employees better engage with customers. This individual will be responsible for the strategy and management of Jive's social intranet and develop strong relations with the external senior community manager to execute on a single strategy for community management. The internal community manager will report to the Sr. Social Media Manager.


General Responsibilities:

    • Determine strategy for home page architecture and design
    • Engage closely with each business unit to consult on how to get the most value out of the community
    • Develop a plan for community improvements and how new use cases will be brought on board.
    • Define and set measurable goals for each major Jive community. 
    • Mentor and advise designated space/group community managers to help them curate and optimize their respective social channels
    • Develop and/or facilitate employee-wide trainings on community best practices
    • Help define and enforce consistent governance policies
    • Lead by example in promoting an open, positive and active employee community
    • Motivate and engage users daily; create excitement around community initiatives
    • Work with the help desk to identify issues and track them through to resolution
    • Coordinate with marketing to represent community management best practices and case studies to external audiences via blog posts, presentations, etc.
    • Develop of network of community advocates to help champion best practices and groups.
    • Work closely with Jive product management to triage and funnel user requirements for inclusion into the product road map when appropriate
    • Create and manage social rewards and recognition program for employees
    • Develop and report metrics consisting of both qualitative and quantitative measurements that helps Jive evaluate collaboration
    • Stay up to date on the latest social trends


    • Excellent organizational, writing, and presentation skills
    • 5-7 years project management experience
    • Open and honest communication skills
    • Hands-on and self-driven
    • Passionate about community best practices, principles, concepts, and technologies
    • Ability to work collaboratively with a geographically-distributed workforce
    • Ability to work across all functional organizations as well as levels in the organization
    • Basic UI/UX design knowledge
    • Multi-tasker who understands how to develop tactical plans that align with the company's strategy


Before you cut and paste this position word-for-word, remember that your community is a living, breathing organism that deserves the best community manager you can find. This list should only be a starting point.


In the end, finding a community manager that fits the job requirements and company culture is up to you.

Good luck!




Community Manager Job Description, A Definitive Guide « Social Fresh

The Many Roles of an Internal Community Manager | Social Media Strategery


Cross-posted in: The specified item was not found. [ARCHIVE] Jive External Communities The specified item was not found.

Rachel Duran is no newcomer to community management. She's written some excellent blogs in the Jive Community including 5 Tips for Becoming an Expert in Your Community and also 5 Reasons Why An Internal Community May Not Be Right For You. She'll also be speaking at JiveWorld14 for a session called Connect the Dots: How RadioShack created viral internal engagement.

How I Work - Rachel image.jpg

    Rachel's got enthusiasm you can almost smell. Okay, maybe you can't smell it, but you sure can FEEL it.


Get the feeling for what it's like to be in Rachel's shoes by reading more below!


Libby Taylor: Let's start with the obvious, where do you work?
Rachel: I work for the RadioShack Corporation. RadioShack is an international electronics retailer with 4,500 company-operated stores in the U.S. and Mexico and over 900 dealer and partner locations worldwide. The company was founded in 1921 (93 years old!) and is based in beautiful Fort Worth, TX.


LT: And what do you do?
Rachel: I am one of our two community managers (shoutout to ahawkins) that are dedicated specifically to our two Jive communities. Our internal community launched at the end of April 2014 and has over 15,000 registered users today, with a 60% active rate. That community is like my third child! Our associates and field leaders amaze me every day with their brilliance and passion, and even our CEO gets in on the fun daily. Our external mobile support community is a great place to get answers for your techy woes.


LT: How do you use Jive (internal, external, etc)?
Rachel: Today, we are very focused on our internal community. My responsibilities lie primarily in adoption, engagement, and content management strategies. I spend my days evaluating community needs for content placement and governance; managing our executive engagement program; planning gamification strategies; working with other departments to form contests and engagement strategies; facilitating training for the community; and managing the moderator team.


    Rachel in action: Presenting on the internal community and gamification at RadioShack's field leadership summit.

LT: Mac or PC?
Rachel: I have a Windows laptop that I can dock/undock quickly (perfect for those emergency meetings). But when I'm docked at my desk, I love my huge side monitor. I need to see all things at once!!



   Rachel also needs to see what's happening outside and she has a huge window to do so. #windowenvy


LT: What's your mobile device?
Rachel: I have an iPhone 5s. My recent upgrade decision revolved heavily around my need for the new Jive app, since we run our internal community on Jive 7. iPhones are easy to use; I'm a PC girl, but my phone has to be Apple.


LT: Pick one word that best describes how you work.
Rachel: Fervidly


LT: What apps/software/tools can't you live without?
Rachel: Like I said, I HAVE to have the Jive app. When you run a community, you have to be able to consume content and navigate the way your users do. That practice I've had for years and it's saved me from running into huge problems with adoption and training. I also LOVE Pixlr. It's fantastic for whipping up a visual tool for a Jive Doc. And I absolutely cannot live without Google Docs!


LT: Do you have a favorite gadget?
Rachel: I don't leave the house without my RadioShack key-chain power bank. I have a double USB car charger that charges the key-chain and my phone and the same time, so I always have backup emergency power!


LT: Do you have a favorite to-do list manager?
Rachel: I love the Calendars 5 app. I have to see color coded tasks, events, and personal all in one place or I over commit easily.


LT: What you surround yourself with is important.  What is your workspace like?
Rachel: It's very colorful and bright! That keeps my disposition quite cheery. It also has reminders of my favorite things, like tons of pics of my kiddos and hubby, my companion cube cookie jar, and my Borderlands 2 art book.


    Impossible not to be cheery looking at that baby face.


LT: Pictures are important, so is sound... do you listen to music while you work?
Rachel: I listen to a lot of metal and dubstep/rap; Bring Me The Horizon and Big Chocolate are my go-to energy boosters. I also get down to Beyonce's new album, but I have to be careful not to start randomly singing out loud with my headphones on!


LT: Can you share your best time-saving trick?
Rachel: Delegation. You're not always the best person to implement your vision. I recognize and deploy pieces of my big picture to those who know how to make them happen best.

LT: How do you balance work/life?

Rachel: This is always a tough one, especially when your job is in social media sites that have an app! My moderators are trained and empowered to handle minor upsets and are fantastic about escalating major issues appropriately. Standard operating procedures combined with rewarding and empowering your best users are key to being able to put down the phone and enjoy your family, friends, or you time.


LT: I almost hate to ask this since I see you have a baby... What's your sleep routine like?
Rachel: Yes, I have an 8-month-old, so my sleep is anything but routine.


LT: Sleep deprivation can be torture, so let's move on...  Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
Rachel: Extrovert, for sure! I thrive on sharing ideas with others. I'm not afraid of being silly or grabbing the mic.


LT: What's the best advice you've ever received?
Rachel: I received this advice from my CEO at Ilfusion Creative (where I was the Director of Social Media Strategy): "You can't fall on every sword. Pick the battles that most need to be won, and fight those with the full fury of your passion." I want everything to be exactly right, but have had to learn to love the art of process.


LT: Fill in the blank...

Rachel: I'd love to see ___ Will Rose ___  answer these same questions.

LT: Pretty cool stuff. Check out this photo of Radio Shack's social media command center when they ran the surprise Super Bowl ad! (That's Rachel in the front, left)



To thank Rachel Duran for her responses to this interview, I've made her a magical montage of the people, things, and terms that capture her workstyle. And it's in a handy dandy Facebook timeline cover-size in case she wants to highlight her workstyle there.


Rachel Duran Workstyle.jpg

   If you would like to participate in the How I Work series and get a cool #workstyle graphic like the one above, just let me know!

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