Community Manager

  • Community Manager

The primary role of the community manager for a brand or company’s website is to cultivate a thriving, active membership through positive interaction. He or she engages visitors to the website and forums, creating excitement around the products and encouraging lively conversation between members. This person is also the online authority on the brand and moderates the community with attention to the vibe and personality of the company he or she represents.


Duties

The responsibilities of a community manager for each website or members forum associated with a video game, recording artist, television series or film will vary greatly by company, but are roughly similar. Among the most common tasks are posting relevant information in the form of press releases, announcements, news links, or other written information. Also included may be reviewing comments submitted by members, moderating live forums, and answering feedback submissions from visitors. Depending on the size of the staff assigned to the web product, the community manager may also be charged with uploading art and media assets like photos and video, as well as writing or editing original copy. If a web marketing specialist is not assigned to the product, this person may add yet a few more duties, like performing search engine optimization on written copy, inserting meta tags, and monitoring web analytics. In most cases, the community manager should be a jack-of-all-trades who is capable of running a website independent of direct supervision or assistance. Large companies that operate numerous sites to generate interest and loyalty around a brand will likely have a large staff in place, but this is not a guarantee.

Skills & Education

A college degree in communications, computer science, or marketing is recommended, but your major is less important than your practical skills and experience. The community manager of a brand’s website or forum should be comfortable with an intermediate level of coding in HTML5, Java, CSS, and XML, and have a firm understanding of popular practices in web design and the platform on which the site is built. A basic knowledge of web analytics and search engine optimization is also beneficial. Especially important is the ability to foster a fun and enthusiastic community online by interacting with members. As such, the community manager must be knowledgeable about the brand, respectful of members, and willing to enforce the site’s terms of service.

What to Expect

The community manager may work closely with in-house web designers, graphic designers, and a social media manager. The exact hierarchy is not uniform within the entertainment industry. In fact, you can expect substantial differences in how a product’s web presence is operated between record labels, television networks, film studios, and game development studios. Positions may also be available with third-party marketing and publicity firms that are hired by entertainment enterprises to support the brand. Likewise, freelancers can make a living as an independent contractor moderating several sites for celebrities or independent artists.

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