What Makes A True Community Manager?

January 23rd marked #CMAD (Community Managers Appreciation Day). Traditionally it is a day when community managers around the world celebrate their awesomeness and come together for a series of webinars, hackathons, and whatnot to connect….with each other.

After a whole year of connecting to and with their communities, it’s nice to finally have a chance to connect with fellow red-eyed, adrenaline and coffee rushed people and exchange information, knowledge and thoughts.

For me, though, being a single outsourced community manager who develops and runs many very different communities, this day is just another work day. I don’t have a team or a boss who can cover for me or give me a day off and who can support me when I want to take a moment to do something else ?

Still, this is what makes me a “community manager”. It is part of who I am, my passion and drive for bringing people together. So, I decided to put down on paper (well on my keyboard) what a community manager really is to me. What it means to be one and what are the makings of one.

A community manager is not a social media manager. It is not a person who runs your Facebook page and posts on twitter. A Community Manager is the person who gives life to your brand. This is the person who takes your business from a name and logo and makes it a living entity comprising the people who believe in it, follow it and want to see it succeed and grow. It is the person who gives your brand a name, a face and a unique voice (I have written more about that here: Community Management as a tool for Conversion and Retention).

Without a real community manager, you just have a group of random followers or a network, but not a real community (I have written about that here: A Community without a leader is just a random group). Every time a reputation crisis is averted – you should thank your community managers. Every time you have a big launch coming up and everything goes smoothly – you should thank your community managers.

For me, a true community manager is a customer service, tech support, content creator, social media manager, marketing director and business development – all rolled into one.

If you have a ton of followers on your social channels but no one really bothers to answer them when they comment, or they don’t communicate with each other – you have no community and probably no community manager. If you have even a small group of followers but they talk to you and about you, they answer each other’s questions before you even have the chance to, they raise a flag and alert you when something negative is coming your way… those are the hallmarks of a true community and this is the power of having a dedicated authentic community manager.

So today, take a couple of minutes to thank your community managers, please. We work hard… and we deserve it!

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Elinor Cohen
Elinor Cohenhttp://www.engstr.com/
ELINOR is an Engagement Strategist (a combo of Community Management, Content Marketing, Online Marketing and Social PR), dedicated to helping brands grow, evolve and engage. Focused on the Human aspect of anything and everything around us and remembering that all business is done with and between people, She works with brands to help them evolve and transition from the narrow B2B or B2C approaches to the broader B2P. Elinor also trains Executives in Social Media and Personal branding and the future generation of Engagement Strategists. She is currently operating from the world’s innovation hub – Israel, the Start-up nation – working globally with clients from around the world.


  1. I ran into two managers up for a promotion. One ran a tight ship where everyone did what what was expected and went that extra mile. The other manager had everything falling apart, putting out fires on a weekly basis. Each was up that promotion. Guess who got it?

    The fire-fighter of course. It’s because we only pay attention to people that that fix problems we see. We don’t pay attention to people that fix the problems we don’t see.