Today is Community Manager Appreciation Day (#CMAD), and people across the world are celebrating the role these community leaders play in building brands, engaging customers and improving the overall customer experience.

“CMAD is a great opportunity for community practitioners to look up from their busy days and take some time to connect with peers,” Hillary Boucher, community manager at TheCR Network, told CMSWire. “Only 27 percent of community managers that we surveyed for the 2014 Community Manager Salary Survey found their position through traditional job listings. This means it's essential for community managers to invest in their professional networks."

Jeremiah Owyang, founder of Crowd Companies, initiated Community Manager Appreciation Day in 2010 to "recognize and celebrate" the efforts community managers worldwide play in respect to improving customer experiences.

What Do They Do?

Owyang defined community managers as:

  1. Community Advocates, whose primary role is to represent the customer by listening and engaging with their requests, needs and conversations.
  2. Brand Evangelists, who promote events, products and upgrades to customers through traditional marketing tactics and conversational discussions.
  3. Savvy Communicators, who shape editorial content and mediate disputes within the community.
  4. Collectors of Community Input who understands community wants and needs and shares it with the appropriate teams to drive the creation of better products and services.

Last year, he further noted that the roles of community managers are evolving — and that it is likely that they will play "key leading roles as large companies gravitate toward the Collaborative Economy."

To help both community managers and those who appreciate them take make the most out of CMAD 2015, we’ve compiled the following listing of CMAD happenings.

CMAD 24-Hour Live Hangouts

Beginning in 2012, My Community Manager partnered with Hootsuite to deliver 12 hours of live Google Hangout sessions around topics related to community management.

Since then, the Hangouts have expanded to 24 hours, and this year’s lineup includes presentations on topics such as building a community team, employee advocacy, building communities for B2B businesses, and building an advocate community for your brand.

Presenters include community experts from Yelp, Adobe, Hootsuite, FeverBee, Sprout Social, Inc. and many others.

Consult the full Hangouts schedule for details on all of the sessions.

The Community Roundtable Live Events

The Community Roundtable (TheCR) has teamed up with Higher Logic to hold CMAD events in Boston, Milwaukee, New York, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta.

Events feature Happy Hours or lunch gatherings celebrating what TheCR refers to as “Community Advancement Day.” TheCR will also be previewing their newest resource, The Community Manager Handbook, which discusses how community managers will be the catalyst for management changes across the organization.

More Local CMAD Events

The CMAD site includes a listing of local events hosted by companies such as Scoop.it, Lithium, We Support and Voces of Social, which will host a panel during its event to discuss how to engage the Hispanic social market.

Although many of the events listed will take place across the United States in cities like Chicago, Austin and Denver, the list includes social media posts from Paris, Finland, Dubai and Tokyo, where Social Company will hold its CMAD Tokyo Meetup 2015.

Celebrate Community, Impact Change

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As we celebrate community with food, drink and, well, community, it’s important to keep in mind the larger purpose.

Boucher shared her perspective on the potential impact of community management on the wider organization.

“We believe community management is the future of all management, and the maturity of the discipline will have profound impacts on organizations' ability to adapt and build resiliency in our rapidly changing world.”