As more and more organizations begin to embrace social business technologies, the role of community manager is rising in importance every day.

This “front lines” role interacts directly with customers and constituents, and is tasked with providing an open ear and a responsive voice over public channels — and with crisis communications, should a problem arise.

It takes a unique type of person to engage on behalf of an organization for better or for worse, which is why The Community Roundtable was founded: to offer support, resources, and (fittingly) a community for those who foster community elsewhere.

This week, “The CR” released a report based on data and feedback culled from their members over the past year: the 2011 State of Community Management:

“Last year social business came of age as organizations got serious about executing in a new, more interactive and collaborative way. These organizations understand that using social technologies successfully requires both business process adaptation and people that understand how to manage these new social environments – at both a tactical and a strategic level. The conversation is no longer primarily about technology but about doing business effectively in a new communications environment. Community management is a critical element of managing networked environments effectively.”

From best practices to recommended tools to key strategies, the report delivers the kind of down-to-earth, straightforward advice and ideas that anyone working in community management or social business need to do their jobs more effectively.

Congratulations to Rachel Happe and Jim Storer, founders of The Community Roundtable, on the release of this tremendously useful resource.

Here’s to another year of building community and trust — and supporting the folks who support others across social networks every day!

You can find the full report here.