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An Online Community Manager’s Value

Here’s the thing about online community managers: Sometimes they get a bum rap. They’re seen as glorified customer service people or office assistants, and that’s not the case at all. Though the aforementioned positions have hard workers handling their respective tasks, what the community manager does goes far beyond assisting. A community manager can make or break a company.

In 2009, a community manager named Tom Humbarger created a bit of a stir when he posted an image on his blog showing that traffic to his former brand’s online community took a significant dive after he was asked to stop engaging with his community.

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Tom used newsletters, blog posts, webinars, and social networking to reach out to community members. With no one to keep the community apprised of company news, the community lost interest. By capturing the analytics showing the decline in traffic after he stopped using these tools to communicate, he was able to prove that he, as a community manager, added value to his brand.

A community manager’s role is more than a few tweets and answering some e-mails. You’re tasked with making sure that a large, online community shows continued interest, even if the brand isn’t actively promoting a product or service at the time.

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