Many people ask us if they need a dedicated community manager to run their forum. While it certainly helps to have buy-in from people within the organization, the answer to this question is almost always the same: No.
I can hear you now. You’re probably saying that some large companies that have someone (or a team of someones) in place to manage all their social media accounts. Why would a community forum be an exception to this rule?
Well, even in cases where companies have a person or team in place to manage Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, etc. we have found that after critical mass is achieved and community norms are established, forums become autonomous, self-propelling machines.
This is a welcome relief because content generation is demanding and unglamorous work. But it becomes easy and fun when you “outsource” it to your users. As long as there are mechanisms in place to deal with basic help requests from users, the need for a dedicated person to manage your forum drops significantly.