An online community manager plays five roles. Friend, recruiter, editor, enforcer and entrepreneur.
- The friend: engages people individually. He participates in an online community, he messages lots of people to get them involved, he takes the time to cultivate loosely interested members into regulars.
- The recruiter: persuades people to join the online community. He finds people that have something to contribute and builds relationships with them to join and invite others to do the same. He ensures steady supply of members to replace those that leave.
- The enforcer: The enforcer keeps things clean. He removes the naughty posts, scolds the bad members and ensures nothing gets in the way of members participating in the online community.
- The editor: Implements much of the community strategy. He solicits content, decides who/what matters. He has the power to shine a spotlight on members of the community and reward positive actions. Whenever you want the community to do something, he motivates them to do it.
- The entrepreneur: is to an online community what a business development manager is to a business. He looks for opportunities to add value to the community. Creates alliances, advocates on behalf of the community and generates the income.
If you’re community is growing and you need to recruit more people, it makes sense to split these roles. Let the editors focus on content, the entrepreneurs focus on business development and the recruiter recruit.