There’s a major difference between being a community architect versus a community manager. Far too often, I see people looking for the latter but expecting them to build their entire online community for them.
It’s true, anyone with some basic knowledge can start an online community on Facebook.
However, Facebook may not be the best place to host every online community. If you’re starting an online community from scratch, you’ll want to bring in a community architect.
Here are the major differences between them:
A community architect is responsible for building an online community from the ground up. They take a more detailed and methodical approach to community building beyond just starting an online group.
They’ll help you decide between free and owned community platforms, develop your launch framework, identify what major roles your community needs to assign.
A community architect will also help you set the bone structures of your online community up, prepare and begin a soft launch, and promote it to reach your ideal prospects.
Community managers come into the picture after your community has been fully established. The role of a community manager is to:
- Gain feedback from the members of an active community through their ongoing conversations
- Provide support for community members
- Increase brand or product awareness within the community
- Learn more about the members of the community (what they continue to want, need, and expect)
- Build one-on-one relationships between your brand and individuals
Which One Do You Really Need?
Are you trying to build a community from the ground up? Or do you have a community that needs to keep moving forward?
If you’re in the beginning stages of starting a community and building your influence, you need to look for a community architect.
While community managers play an important role in the longevity of your community, they are not the right people to build your community.
Their role is to support and to keep the momentum going on an already established online community that a community architect has already built.
If you’re starting right at the very beginning, sit down and brainstorm about what and why you want to start your online community.
Need a little help? You can read all about the 51 Starter “Core Topics” for Your Online Community. Once you’ve gained some clarity, look for a community architect.
And when your group is up, running and growing daily, talk to a community manager about how it is they can help you serve your community.