Community Managers notoriously work on a team of one (shout out to all you solo CMs!). We wear many hats – engagement, strategy, operations, content, programming, reporting – and it can be hard to scale a community successfully with this smorgasbord of responsibility. As such, more and more organizations are beginning to specialize the roles within the community team. One of those specializations is the operations role.
The Community Operations role is responsible for the work behind the scenes that makes a community run smoothly. Tiffany says, “it’s like the general manager of a restaurant. They know all the kitchen people they’re talking to, they’re working in the line, and then at the same time, they go out front of the restaurant and talk with the customers to see how their meals are going.”
Here are a few key elements of a Community Operations role:
Goals are the Key
The goals of the operations manager are unique. They establish goals that verify the efficiency of the community and its processes – onboarding, tracking, reporting, etc. A Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) is a great tool to track these metrics, as they provide a high level view.
Structuring a community road map
The community operations road map contains both the external and internal goals of the community. External goals include the updates you plan to share with your community like programs your members requested or new initiatives that require member buy-in. This is an opportunity to show your organization’s commitment to listening to members and acting on the feedback. Internal goals include the backend processes that assist in maintaining a smooth workflow, like vendor reviews, streamlining dashboards and reporting, program approval, and leadership support.
All tasks should include a timeline that accurately aligns with the team’s overall vision. The road map should clearly identify the team’s intentions. Road maps depend heavily on the current status of your community. New communities will be focused on growth, user adoption, and launching new programs. Seasoned communities might be more focused on scaling their areas of success and restructuring programs that aren’t as impactful.
Tracking Business Impact
Metrics are where the magic happens. A community operations manager is responsible for measuring the data of your overall business impact. A helpful way to develop this information is through the use of User Groups. These groups can be segmented by locations such as on social media, forums and posts. By learning where these groups are being organized you will feel more comfortable presenting your customer success efforts to other team members.
The future of community operations managers is exciting as the overall industry receives more exposure. Platforms such as Tiffany’s Community Opservations are clear indicators of this growth!
Check out the full conversation on the Masters of Community Podcast with Tiffany Oda, longtime CMX’er and Community Operations Manager extraordinaire.
Want to talk about Community Operations? Join the Community Operations channel on CMX Slack Community!