When it comes to online communities, the role of website’s community manager is often misunderstood and underestimated. After all, many people think that community can manage itself. When I chose not to replace the community manager that left the company, I felt vindicated at first since the traffic and number of visitors kept increasing for a short period of time. However, engagement levels started rapidly falling almost immediately, due to the lack of fresh discussions and updating of the old ones, and this was quickly followed by a continuous drop in activity levels. Hiring a new manager needs to happen quickly because the value your community has created can disappear quickly.
- Once a manager leaves you can check in once in a while and take any concerns that people may have.
- A business could continue to grow without management, but it would be a normal, and expected level of growth.
- The traffic increase will continue to happen whether there is a manager or not, for a couple of years.
“This means the community has unintentionally served as a fascinating natural experiment for what happens when you don’t replace (or don’t hire) a full-time community manager.”