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What Does A Community Manager Do?


The role of a community manager has become quite buzzy in marketing spaces in recent years, but there’s still a lot of confusion about what the role is (or perhaps, more importantly, what it is not). So what does a community manager do? How much does a community manager make? What else do marketers need to know about this essential role? 

To answer those questions, we went to our own Community Manager at Hawke Media, Ashlyn Allen. She joined Hawke Media in July and has already made a huge impact on our team development. We asked her some of the most common questions about her role. 

Interview with Hawke Media’s Community Manager

Hawke: Let’s start broad. What exactly does a community manager do? 

Ashlyn: My goal is to build and maintain a community. I’m trying to foster relationships with our existing audience, and then expand it. 

At Hawke, when I reference community, I’m talking about the audience we already have. Hawke is working on a “Brand Club” Slack channel for all of our existing clients. This will be a place for all of our clients to hang out virtually, network, swap expertise, etc. I’m there to spark conversation and engagement, but as it picks up steam, I’ll just be there to moderate. 

How is a community manager different from a social media manager?

Social media managers exist to push out content and try to generate leads for a brand. I do these things, too, but my focus is to form relationships and start a dialogue. 

So what exactly is the role of social media for a community manager? 

We’re still in the aftermath of the pandemic and everything is virtual – or at least has a virtual component, so right now social media is a huge part of my job because it’s where people go for that community. It’s where people turn to get connected, get information, and so on. 

What should employers include in the job description when they’re hiring for a community manager to ensure they get the right candidates? 

You need a great multitasker. I’m constantly on different platforms; you don’t get to end one conversation just because you need to be active somewhere else. I often represent Hawke Media as a brand, but I’ve written on behalf of various departments and experts at the company, so you’ll need to balance various tones and styles. 

And what about the candidates? What should they look for to make sure they’re going to a good company? 

Look for a company where there is already a sense of community. If the teams seem like they have a bond and there’s good communication in the groups, then you have a stable foundation to reach out to the brand’s followers and ambassadors. 

What is a community manager’s salary? 

According to GlassDoor, the average salary is about $66,169. Remember, this is for a manager role, so a lot of the salary will depend on the size of your team, your own experience, and so on. Many places work on a commission structure, so the starting pay may be lower with the opportunity to earn much more. 

What tools are most helpful to a community manager? 

Any kind of social media management tool is going to be essential. Buffer, Khoros, or any type of platform like that. You also need something with social listening, so you can find organic conversations around your brand and expertise. I am using Sprout right now. 

What does a community manager contribute to his or her brand? 

A community manager speaks as more than just the brand – they are speaking as an individual. This creates a personality and establishes a more human connection. 

Talk about the role of user-generated content in your job. 

UGC is free and it gets you a share of a new followers. Here at Hawke, we specifically try to leverage UGC with our employees. We create content for our employees to share and promote on their own social media profiles. It’s not required, but it helps build brand identity and pride. 

What are the KPIs and other quantifiable metrics that a community manager uses to determine success? 

Followers, engagement rates, and lead conversions, including upgrades, are the most important. 

Why is a brand-based community important? 

Most people want to feel like they’re a part of a community. Many people are also already engaging with brands online anyway. Why not have a human being managing these interactions to ensure the best of both worlds? 

Interview with Hawke Media’s Community Manager

Functions like community engagement, user-generated content (like FAQs, reviews, etc.), and social listening have grown more critical to business operations every year. When your brand is ready to make the shift from social media management to community development, make sure you and your candidates understand these topics to you can hire with authority. 

For those looking for help getting their social media outreach off the ground, get a free audit from Hawke Media experts today. We’ll find the low-hanging fruit to help jump-start your social media marketing and community engagement.

Get a free consultation from Hawke Media

Special thanks to our friends at HawkeMedia for their insights on this topic.
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