A Worldwide Salute to Community Managers

It’s the third annual Community Manager Appreciation Day (every fourth Monday of Jan) and I’d like to salute the folks working on the front lines at companies big and small leading the charge.

These folks are critical in the change as companies have moved from the static website to the dynamic human focused social business we’re seeing across every agency.

Charged with the following four key responsibilities: a community advocate, brand evangelist, savvy online communicator, and involved in shaping future products and services they’ve got their hands full. This exciting new role is common at many companies within the social media team, see composition of a social media team, and how community managers fit in.

Yet despite the sexyness of the modern day community manager job, these roles aren’t just “playing on Facebook all day”. They’re plagued with dealing with customer issues after hours (the “burnout”) , and on weekends, learning to manage undesirable community members, and trying to balance the needs of customers and sometimes conservative corporations unwilling to lean towards social.

Despite the upsides, and challenges, there’s a bright future for this role, as they learn to measure based on business goals, tap into the emerging outsourcing service providers, and extend beyond marketing and support to helping define future products based on real-time customer feedback.

A salute to you, Community Managers!

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  • http://twitter.com/JeromePineau Jerome Pineau


    there’s a bright future for this role ” I thought you’d written the role off as waning into the sun and/or morphing into a more formal, wider-cast social media net…You think the CM role will evolve independently then? Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=543880023 Gem Webb

    What a nice way to start the morning of a workweek.  Made me feel nice to know that others understand the amount of work it is to manage a brand online.  As a Community Manager for Bruce County Tourism “@explorethebruce:twitter ”  Ontario Travel & Tourism DMO, I have around 10 brands to manage and nurture daily.   This is sometimes a very heavy job.  I really connected with your article “trying to balance the needs of customers and sometimes conservative corporations unwilling to lean towards social.”.   It has been a long road when after 2yrs of Social Media growing in popularity and beginning to be a no brainer to invest in that the beginning was a lonely push.  Yet, like the turtle and the hare we all can success and show returns on our efforts to people in charge above that fund our marketing efforts.  Thanks for recognizing our efforts.  @gemwebb:twitter

  • http://web-strategist.com/blog Jeremiah Owyang

    Gem hats off to you.  Congrats on your success of the 10 brands to manage, and look forward to hearing your next steps.

  • http://web-strategist.com/blog Jeremiah Owyang

    As alluded to above, the CMs that can learn to manage lower-cost outsourced services will thrive –those that do not will be threatened.  There are higher-order CM skills that (like the Face of a company, or strategy) that is difficult to outsource correctly, yet the more common skill-sets like Community Admin, baseline metrics, can certainly be outsourced as we see India and Philippines offer these services to brands.  Hope that clarifies.

    Here’s my post on that topic, I’m glad you raised it Jerome.

    http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/2011/08/25/trend-some-community-management-activities-to-be-outsourced/

  • http://twitter.com/MikeGRad6 MikeGRad6

    Great post Jeremiah. I echo Gem’s sentiment about a great way to start a weekday and if you live in Canada a great way to warm your heart mid-winter LOL. This is a great day to take a moment and reflect on all that you do. As a community manager you tend to be focused on the good of your company and usually you put yourself last on the list of priorities in the run of day and as you point out the evening and weekend. Such a positive event to be a part of.

    Michael Girard
    Community Engagement, Radian6

  • http://twitter.com/MikeGRad6 MikeGRad6

    Great post Jeremiah. I echo Gem’s sentiment about a great way to start a weekday and if you live in Canada a great way to warm your heart mid-winter LOL. This is a great day to take a moment and reflect on all that you do. As a community manager you tend to be focused on the good of your company and usually you put yourself last on the list of priorities in the run of day and as you point out the evening and weekend. Such a positive event to be a part of.

    Michael Girard
    Community Engagement, Radian6

  • http://twitter.com/gpraysman Gerry Praysman

    Retweet

  • http://twitter.com/cbensen Connie Bensen

    Thanks Jeremiah for your support of the Community Management profession! We’ve been talking about this for a few years and it’s so awesome to see how it has evolved! It’s exciting to see the role becoming mainstream as org’s of all sizes realize the need to connect with their online communities. 

    Your readers are invited to join our Google+ Hangout at 1 pm est (10 am pst) today. A group of us are going to talk about the challenges and future of this role.
    More info can be found here & you can join the Hangout here:  (use the ‘Expand Post’ to see the speaker list)
    https://plus.google.com/117161668189080869053/posts

    Also, the Community Manager, Advocate, & Evangelist Facebook group is a vibrant group to share ideas http://www.facebook.com/groups/3553055120/

    Happy #CMAD everyone!

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  • patrickdh

    Well done goes without saying, way to go in leading the charge

  • http://flavors.me/40deuce 40deuce

    Thanks Jeremiah!!
    It’s always nice to get a little appreciation for all the hard work we do (despite the fact that it looks like we’re playing on Facebook and Twitter all day).

    Cheers,
    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    it’s not in my job title, but it’s certainly a big part of what I do and have been doing for some time now. I do it because I love it. To be able to help someone, solve a problem and contribute to the continued growth of our brand in a positive way. 

  • http://blog.hootsuite.com/ HootSuite.com

    Cheers to your Sheldon!

  • Anonymous

    With so many businesses still on the “outside looking in” when it comes to social, I find an “Appreciation Day” a bit premature. Especially considering the position’s responsibilities sound just like any other customer service, sales, PR, marketing and/or receptionist position in any company. Those positions, of course, go back more than a century…
    Just saying.

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  • http://flavors.me/40deuce 40deuce

    Sounds like a cool idea. I’ll try my best to join in

  • http://flavors.me/40deuce 40deuce

    Sounds like a cool idea. I’ll try my best to join in

  • http://web-strategist.com/blog Jeremiah Owyang

    Patrick

    I agree, these community managers are often change agents inside of their company and should be recognized. 

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  • http://web-strategist.com/blog Jeremiah Owyang

    Thanks Dan.  Some community managers have been doing this for over 10 years!  I agree however, that most companies are very immature in this space.

  • http://www.sasasoftwaretechnologies.com/ SASA Software Technologies

    Such a nice work Jeremiah for your activity of the Gathering Management occupation! It’s breathless to see the Part of becoming thought as of all sizes realize the Required to joint with their online area. 

  • http://www.blinkreaction.com/ Drupal Developers

    I appreciate and thankful for your salute to community managers. Not only you, but also I am salute to the Community Managers not because they are busy enough for their jobs but because they are all doing their jobs that results to an effective marketing and community building for the consumers.

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  • http://www.nedcon.ro/ Thomas Gamble

    I’ve learned a lot from your blog here! Keep on going, I will keep an eye on it.

  • http://www.nedcon.ro/ Thomas Gamble

    I’ve learned a lot from your blog here! Keep on going, I will keep an eye on it.

  • http://www.umbeehosting.co.uk/vps-hosting Oliver @ VPS Hosting

    Good work, Jeremiah! Those community managers should e recognized as
    soon as possible. 

  • http://www.digitaleyemedia.com/ Sasha Jones

    If we want this role to have a bright feature, the basic is to develop system of Business goals measurement. 

  • http://www.ukelectricalsupplies.com/ Electrical Supplies

    I think this for sure solves a problem which for many business employees has been a teething problem for quite some time in recent years!

  • Anonymous

    It’s been great to see the “Community Manager” role become so much more diversified in the skills and experience that goes into adding value to a company. We’re seeing more and more innovation in how community managers are adding to the bottom lines of their employers and its exciting to watch! 

  • http://107marshall.webs.com/apps/blog/show/8678670-get-full-industrial-servicing-solutions-underneath-one-roof DC drive repair

    Salute to all! I agree, this is so much more than “playing on facebook all day”…

  • http://www.mazero.com/ Google Analytcis

    I agree!. I’am glad to see community managers do a very great job. This post is very informative and helpful.

  • http://organicseoireland.com/ seo dublin

    I agree. It’s a tough role.

  • http://fashionblinds.ie/ roller blinds

    Thanks for this post and the others! You must be kept busy updating it all the time!

  • http://www.mazero.com/ Inbound Marking

    Yes I agree! (salute). Community Managers are very important in the field of business because without them your business will not be productive.

  • http://www.mazero.com/ Inbound Marking

    Yes I agree! (salute). Community Managers are very important in the field of business because without them your business will not be productive.

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  • http://www.mazero.com/ Optimisation

    I agree, it is a very serious task that only community managers can handle. I do appreciate them for their difficult work and they do this faithfully.

  • http://www.fashionblinds.ie/venetian-blinds.html venetian blinds

    Congrats to the community managers and to you Jeremiah for a first class blog!

  • http://www.fashionblinds.ie/venetian-blinds.html venetian blinds

    Congrats to the community managers and to you Jeremiah for a first class blog!

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  • http://charlesbenson.posterous.com/ Stephen Hogan

    There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made
    certain nice points in features also.

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  • http://www.evomantra.com/ AdamBrown

    Of course a salute deserves by a community managers. Specially that four key responsibilities are also very impressive.

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