The world of L&D is changing and not just because of Covid-19. As an industry, we’ve been undergoing a digital transformation for the last few years and with this came online learning communities, fuelling social learning in organisations worldwide. However, it became quickly apparent that these communities would burn out without careful attention. Enter: The Learning Community Manager.
What is a Learning Community Manager?
The Learning Community Manager (LCM) keeps the party alive in online learning communities, and is another role we’ve borrowed from our friends in marketing. Marketing defines a community manager as the ‘liaison between an organisation and its audience’, acting as the ‘voice, tone and moderator of the brand through support, content distribution and engagement’. The role of a community manager in a learning context is not dissimilar, but their focus must be on drumming up engagement on learning platforms, encouraging the creation of user generated content and driving learners to content such as eLearning courses, webinars and podcasts.
Simply put, it’s the job of the LCM to keep the momentum going on learning platforms, with the key objective of boosting learner engagement and creating a better learning experience.
What skills does an LCM need?
There is an abundance of really valuable skills when it comes to community management. But let’s start with the most obvious: communication. Almost everybody claims to have impeccable communication skills on their CV. But the communication skills of an LCM need to take things up a level. They need to be able to write a range of content, from blog posts to quick snappy messages. They need to be comfortable jumping on camera to create a quick piece of vlogging content. And of course, they need to possess the most important communication skill: listening.
Learning Community Managers must also have a deep understanding of their community. They need to be able to interpret posts and comments, knowing how to respond to them in the right way – and in alignment with your organisation’s tone-of-voice and values. This form of public communication is not always easy, so keeping calm under pressure is also a great skill of a learning community manager.
So, what does a day as a Learning Community Manager look like?
Unsurprisingly, a Learning Community Manager’s day can be pulled in any direction at any time – but the standard day-to-day tasks remain the same. A typical day in the life of a Learning Community Manager may look a little like this:
9am – Grab a coffee and check the platform(s)
Once sufficiently caffeinated, your first task is to check your learning platforms. If you work in a global organisation, or one that offers flexible working hours, there may have been comments overnight. Check each platform and respond to any posts, queries or questions.
10am – Curate content
The key role of an LCM is sharing content. But that doesn’t necessarily mean writing all the content yourself. Search relevant websites, blogs, magazines – and your own learning platform for content you think your community members might be interested in. Try to pick topics that will spark conversation and spread your content out across a few posts to be shared throughout the day.
Now’s also a good time to start the conversation in your community – ready for your members to engage with during their break.
12pm – Time to fuel up
It’s time for a break and to grab some lunch. Enjoy 😉
1pm – Data, data, data!
Analysing your current campaigns and activity is paramount when it comes to community management. What you find engaging, your learners might not. So, you need some data to back up your decisions.
Check the latest content you’ve shared and ask yourself these questions:
- Am I generating enough engagement?
- Are certain topics getting more comments and likes than others? Why might that be?
- Do the conversations, comments and user generated content fall in line with the message your organisation wants to share?
- Is the community driving the right business impact and meeting business goals?
Don’t rush, carefully analysing this data is likely to take a couple of hours, but it’s worth it in the long run.
3pm – Tweak your scheduled posts
Based on your analysis, tweak your scheduled posts. Does the tone of voice match your most successful posts? Are they covering the right content? Are they in the right format? Do you have enough variety in your post formats?
4pm – Catch up with the wider L&D team
Keeping on top of the upcoming learning content your L&D team are creating is paramount to building excitement. The Learning Community Manager plays a critical role in learning campaigns, in a variety of ways, for example:
- Giving the L&D team first-hand insights on learners (from their comments, questions and queries on the community)
- Helping identify the appropriate channel for certain cohorts
- Executing the learning campaign and spreading the message of the new content
So, you can see why catching up with the L&D team regularly is super important, to make sure you’re ahead of the curve and ready for the upcoming trends in your community.
5pm – Brainstorm campaign ideas
The key to being a successful learning community manager is thinking outside the box. You’re now armed with the analytics from your previous content, curated content from your morning reading and an idea of upcoming learning content that will be rolled out in the coming weeks or months. It’s your responsibility to devise a strategy for the learning community, ensuring there is a common thread or theme, and your learners are informed and engaged.
6pm – Home time!
It’s time to rest and relax before you do it all again tomorrow. But, if you’re like any community manager I’ve met, you’ll be spending all evening resisting the urge to check in on your community, see how your content is performing and sharing that relevant article you just read.
There you have it, an insight into a day in the life of a Learning Community Manager. It’s clear to see how this fairly new role plays such a critical part in creating an engaging learning experience. So it’s no surprise we saw a 375% increase in demand for this role between Q1 and Q2 this year. If you think you have what it takes to be a Learning Community Manager, create your free Jam Pan profile today (and get exposure to global businesses who are searching for your skills).