Community Management is still a relatively new profession, one that’s evolving month-after-month, year-after-year. More often than not, Community Managers learn their trade while either launching or growing their community within the corporate vision.
It’s not uncommon for a Community Manager to start their career as someone picked up from another department (often HR or Marketing) as a part-time hire or as someone given extra responsibility in parallel with their main role. And their purpose is often to prove the value of community.
You may be in one of these groups or you may be a full-time Community Manager. Either way, your time is precious, and can be wasted if you don’t know the most valuable tasks to focus on to grow your community.
Presenting a Case for More Time and Resources
We’ll assume you’ve successfully delivered valuable actions in the time that you have and moved the needle in the right direction thus far. Your community is growing, engagement is increasing and the company is seeing the benefits of your efforts.
Now’s the time to level up. Let’s talk about what’s next.
As a Part-Time Community Manager
If you’re not in the role as a full-time Community Manager, the argument is fairly clear. You’ve delivered success within the limitations of your time and expertise, but this is unsustainable in its current format.
Extrapolate from your success and present a simple roadmap showing how more time will equal significantly improved results. Present the organisation with a business case and be clear that results will remain steady but you do not have enough time, resources and training to accelerate significant growth.
Be sure to include examples of community success stories in the form of product feedback, member happiness levels, product purchases or simply valuable conversations and insights.
As a Full-Time Community Manager
If you are already full-time, the basis of your business case will be the same as the part-time role but with the obvious difference: you won’t ask for more time. You’ll ask for support to take your role to a more strategic level.
Much of the work a Community Manager does is “on the shop floor”. To grow a community you must do much of the leg work yourself – from a good onboarding process to ensuring posts are answered, to moderation, content creation and basic reporting.
You must show that with some support to take over day-to-day tasks, you can accelerate community growth and value by looking to higher-level returns.
These may include:
- A better moderation process
- Investment in the Founder Member group
- Producing a 1-3 year vision based on current trends and data
- More detailed reporting and deep dive examination of the community
- Building an external network of experts and influencers who’ll add value to the community
- Spending time with senior stakeholders to position the community at the heart of the organisation and learn how to solve challenges for other departments
- More time for training and personal development
- Establishing yourself as the community expert and someone who can promote the community through speaking events and media outreach