Community Manager's Role in the Organization:

  1. The role of Community Manager is different in every company. Most attendees are part of the marketing team, some are on product teams, and the some are part of customer service.
  2. Reporting either to the CEO in smaller companies or to a product manager in slightly larger companies is typical.
  3. There is a feeling that community managers should be their own entity. While customer/user acquisition is related to marketing, customer/user retention and happiness is not.
  4. The scope of the Community Manager position can expand to a horizontal role as a gate keeper for communications and user interaction. For example, product teams should approach the Community Manager with what they want a communication to accomplish and who they want to reach. Community Manager will set it up and make it happen. This is also a good way to avoid getting banned from Mailchimp.
  5. Don't let the community manager role expand to unrelated tasks like QA and legal review, everyone appreciates “getting things done,” but it's just not relevant.
  6. It's still possible that a Community Manager will not have clear performance metrics. This can be scary, but is manageable with some type of success documentation.
  7. Sometimes the Community Manager position is created spontaneously when user growth accelerates, then it's time for fast learning.
  8. The Community Manager role at smaller companies can be very different than at larger ones. Only 3 of the Community Heroes at today's breakfast work at companies with over 100 employees.
  9. Executives assume that some users will always be unhappy. Prioritizing feature requests, for example, will only happen if a statistically significant number of users are complaining. Or if the CEO happens to respond to the support request. This is because executives almost always think that growth is more important than user happiness.
  10. Having every new employee respond to support requests for at least 2 weeks, as UserVoice does, helps pass on a responsibility for users success to engineers and designers.
  11. As the role of Community Manager and the company itself evolves, a higher level position of “Chief Happiness Officer ” could become normal.