It takes a village to raise a child, and it’s a team effort to manage and sustain a successful online community. Everyone on the team has an important role to play, from moderators and community managers to PR managers and executive sponsors.
Moderators ensure that content and comments submitted by members meet the policy and guidelines of the site. Moderators can reject or approve posts, articles, and comments. In addition, moderators often play an active role in the community by responding to questions, flagging questions for follow-up action, and resolving issues with community members.
Community managers are responsible for the overall health and well-being of the online community management solution. They play an active role in publishing posts and responding to comments. In addition, they track metrics about online community health and report on progress to their peers and managers. They also play a role in the selection of the online community software platform.
While some online communities are private and closed, communities that are open to the public often need outreach and Public Relations (PR) managers. They seek to generate awareness of the community, both with prospective members and with influencers and media whom prospective members follow. The goal of outreach and PR managers is to grow the membership of the online community.
The executive sponsor sets the business objectives for online community management and is responsible for measuring and reporting on its progress to the organization’s leadership. The executive sponsor often provides the funding for technology investment and for the staffing of the community management team.