How to Become a Community Manager


Lessons from a Digital Marketer Who Actually Does the Work

Community management has become a game-changer for brands, organizations, and online communities. Having a top-notch community manager is key to forming connections and boosting engagement in this digital age.

But what exactly does a community manager do? We’re diving into the role of a community manager, uncovering the essential skills and strategies needed to excel in this position. From creating that sense of belonging to sparking meaningful conversations, community managers are the driving force shaping vibrant online communities.

We’ll dig into their responsibilities, challenges, platforms, and tools they use to keep audiences hooked. So, whether you’re a seasoned community pro looking to up your game or just curious about this role, we’ve got insights and tips to help you level up and claim the community manager title.

The Importance of Community Management in Building Connections

Building connections is essential for any brand, organization, or online community. Community management plays a vital role in building connections by creating a space where individuals with similar interests can come together and engage with one another. 

A skilled community manager totally gets why it’s crucial to make members feel like they belong and encourage real conversations. By weaving these connections, they’re not just growing a fan base; they’re creating a loyal audience. And that leads to more people knowing about the brand, sticking around, and even potential collaborations.

Online communities are like gold mines. They’re not just for hanging out; they’re great for getting feedback, doing market research, and brainstorming new ideas. Community management isn’t just about linking people up; it’s about cultivating a vibrant and engaged community that can have a profound impact on your brand’s success.

Key Responsibilities of a Community Manager

Community managers wear many hats. They’re the community’s voice, cheering everyone on, and at the same time, they’re repping the brand they work with.

At the heart of it, their job is to make sure the community is a welcoming and friendly place. How?

  • They keep an eye on discussions, making sure they match the community’s rules and vibe. 
  • They also keep engagement up by getting people to share their thoughts and ideas.
  • They’re the middle person between the community and the brand, passing on the important stuff, sorting out problems, and bringing in some smart insights. 
  • They’re the brains behind planning and executing community events, contests, and initiatives to keep the community active and growing. 
  • And when things get a bit heated or tricky, they’re the go-to person, smoothing out conflicts and handling those tough situations.

A community manager is the glue holding everything together!

⚡Related Podcast: The Teacher Who Manages Online Communities with Megan Ramus

One of my UDMA School students, Megan Ramus, got hired to a 6-figure entrepreneur’s team as her Facebook community manager. She shares all about where she found the job, how she got hired, what she’s doing, and all the perks & drawbacks. This valuable insight will help you get hired for this type of role! 

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | iHeartRadio | Google Podcasts | Amazon

Skills Required to be an Effective Community Manager

By honing these skills, community managers can lead and nurture their communities to success. Want to learn these skills? Check out my Facebook Community Manager Workshop. This 2-hour course gives you the in-demand skills to start getting PAID as a work-from-home Facebook Community Manager! Enroll here

Strong communication

Community managers must be able to effectively convey information, listen to community members’ feedback, and respond in a timely and empathetic manner. 

Excellent writing skills 

They will be responsible for creating engaging and informative content for the community. 

Relationship building

They need to establish trust and rapport with community members. 

Identifying and leveraging unique strengths

Use the interests of individuals within the community to foster collaboration and encourage active participation. 

A solid understanding of social media platforms

Community managers need to know how to use online forums and other commonly used digital tools. 

Knowledge of analytics and metrics 

They need to be able to measure community engagement and track the success of community initiatives. 

Strong problem-solving skills

Community managers will encounter various challenges within a community and need to know how to quickly resolve any conflicts.

How Community Management Boosts Engagement

Community managers make sure everyone feels at home and welcome in the group. They get conversations going by asking interesting questions, starting chats, and dealing with any issues members might have.

By doing all this, community managers build a space where everyone feels listened to, appreciated, and connected. That feeling of belonging makes people want to keep coming back and get more involved, which leads to better discussions and a super tight-knit community.

On top of that, community managers can keep it light and fun with strategies like gamification, exclusive content, and collaboration among members. By always keeping things lively, community managers can make a community that’s not just surviving but thriving, and that’s beneficial for both the members and the brand or organization.

This snippet from my Unicorns Unite podcast features community strategist Shana Lynn Bresnahan who shares valuable insights and strategies for creating a strong and engaged community.

You can subscribe here to Emily’s YouTube channel for Online Marketing Techie Skills & Strategies for Digital Marketers

Looking to become a Community Manager? Check out Shana’s signature course Cultivate*. Training on everything you need to manage a thriving online community, course, membership, or group program. If you want an empowered community team without the stress and overwhelm, it’s time to join her Cultivate program. *For $200 off, use code: UNICORN

Strategies for Building and Growing an Online Community

Building and growing an online community requires a strategic approach. Community managers can employ several strategies to attract new members and encourage existing members to stay active.

  1. Clearly define the community’s purpose and values. This allows individuals with similar interests and goals to identify with the community and feel compelled to join. 
  2. Focus on creating valuable and relevant content that resonates with the target audience. By consistently providing high-quality content, community managers can establish their community as a trusted resource and attract new members. 
  3. Actively promote the community through various channels such as social media, email newsletters, and partnerships with like-minded organizations. 
  4. Leverage the power of influencers and advocates within the community to spread the word and attract new members. 
  5. Encourage active participation by recognizing and rewarding members for their contributions. This can be done through contests, badges, or other forms of recognition.

By implementing these strategies, community managers can build a strong foundation and foster organic growth within their online communities. 

Tools and Platforms for Community Management

Community managers have access to a wide range of tools and platforms to streamline their community management efforts.

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are commonly used for community engagement and communication. These platforms allow community managers to share updates, respond to member inquiries, and facilitate discussions. You can get a step-by-step walkthrough showing exactly how to manage Facebook groups from the back end in my Facebook Community Manager Workshop. If you’ve never managed a group, this will give you a peek behind the curtains and the confidence to jump in and help your very first clients. Sign up here!

Online forums and message boards, such as Reddit and Quora, provide dedicated spaces for in-depth discussions and knowledge sharing. These platforms often have built-in moderation features that make it easier for community managers to monitor and manage conversations. 

Community management platforms and tools, such as Discord and Slack, offer more advanced features for community organization, event planning, and member engagement. 

These tools often include analytics and reporting features to track community growth and engagement metrics. Community managers should carefully assess their community’s needs and choose the tools and platforms that best fit with their goals and objectives.

Metrics and Analytics to Measure Community Engagement

Measuring community engagement is essential for community managers to assess the success of their efforts and identify areas for improvement. 

There are several key metrics and analytics that community managers should track:

  • Active member count provides a snapshot of the community’s growth and overall engagement. This metric can help community managers identify trends and patterns in member participation. 
  • Engagement metrics such as likes, comments, and shares can indicate the level of interaction and interest within the community. 
  • Tracking the number of new posts, discussions, and replies can provide insights into the community’s overall activity and the effectiveness of community initiatives. 
  • Sentiment analysis can help community managers gauge member satisfaction and identify potential issues or concerns. 
  • Community managers can also track referral traffic and conversion rates to measure the impact of the community on brand awareness and customer acquisition.

By regularly monitoring these metrics, community managers can make data-driven decisions and continuously improve their community management strategies.

Challenges and Common Misconceptions about Community Management

One common challenge is managing conflicts and dealing with not-so-easy community members. Community managers must be prepared to handle disagreements and navigate sensitive topics while maintaining a respectful and inclusive space. 

Another challenge is managing the growth of the community. As the community expands, community managers have to make sure it doesn’t lose that close-knit feel. This may involve implementing new strategies, updating guidelines, and scaling as the membership gets bigger.

Some people think being a community manager is a breeze, like just sipping coffee and scrolling through chats. But it’s way more than that! It’s about being in the mix, always learning, and being quick on your feet. It’s not just watching the talks; it’s about proactively nurturing engagement and fostering meaningful connections.  Once you’ve got a handle on these challenges, that’s when the real magic happens—a community that’s not just surviving but totally thriving.

Best Practices for Successful Community Management

The most important part of being a community manager is to actively listen to group members. By understanding their needs, concerns, and aspirations, community managers can tweak their strategies to meet those needs. 

*Community managers should also encourage open and respectful communication. This means setting clear guidelines for behavior and moderating discussions to ensure a safe and inclusive space for everyone. 

*They should lead by example and actively participate in group discussions. This helps establish credibility and fosters a sense of community among members. 

*Community managers have to always be on the lookout for clues on how to make things even better. That means asking for feedback, seeing what initiatives are working, and fixing what’s not.

*Also, they should stay up-to-date with industry trends and new tech or tools to adapt their strategies and keep their community ahead of the curve.

If you have a growing community and want to get ahead with learning community manager best practices, check out Shana Lynn’s Cultivate course*. Her decade of research and boots on the ground experience led to the development of my Community Cultivated™ Framework. She’s curated her best and highest impact community strategies, systems, frameworks, and tactics into this program. Join here.

*For $200 off, use code: UNICORN

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The Takeaway

Community managers play a vital role in building connections and boosting engagement within online groups. From fostering a sense of belonging to facilitating meaningful interactions, community managers are the driving force behind creating thriving communities.

Remember to prioritize building connections, utilize engagement strategies, and leverage the right tools and platforms to maximize the impact of your community. Follow best practices and continue adapting to create an active community that brings value to the members and the brand. So, embrace the role of a community manager to create a real space that brings people together and makes a difference.

-Emily, Digital Marketing Consultant and Implementer

Emily Reagan is a mom of four, milspouse, freelance digital marketer and Virtual Assistant coach who has helped 400 go-getters, including military spouses, stay-at-home moms, and professional women learn in-demand skills and find flexible remote work as digital marketing assistants and specialists. She’s shared 2,000+ job leads with her freelance marketers & VA community.

Ask her any questions over on Insta @emilyreaganpr

“I help smart women learn the in-demand digital marketing strategies and profitable tech skills to get hired as a unicorn digital marketing assistant.“

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Further Reading: More UDMA School Reviews & Stories

Why a Facebook Community Manager is Your Perfect First Hire

What Should a Community Manager Do? 

Working as a Freelance Facebook Community Manager

Former Teacher Who Manages Online Communities

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Emily Reagan is a jill-of-all trades when it comes to digital marketing and techie skills. She’s worked as a behind-the-scenes digital marketing implementor and strategist for a decade for online biz owner clients.

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