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Are All Community Managers Created Equal?

08.13.2014
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Right now, there are 431 LinkedIn job listings for “community managers,” including the opening that I posted last week.

As I scoured through my hiring competition today, I felt my Irish rage starting to bubble up to the surface.  You see, I’m passionate about treating community management as a true profession; yet, it’s clear by the job descriptions online that many organizations still don’t “get it.”

The solution is simple. As a profession, we need to develop relevant terminology and career paths to explain the variety of community management positions in terms of experience level, salary, qualifications, and responsibilities.

Day-to-day, the responsibilities of community managers differ greatly based on their level.  Pulling from my inner video game nerd, I've created the following examples below:

1. Apprentice (entry-level): meet-and-greet new members, moderate conversations, approve membership requests, facilitate networking, manage SPAM, monitor site activity, enforce policies

2. Journeyman (specialist): create content, measure and report metrics, build relationships with advocates, reward positive behaviors, recruit members, research trends

3. Grandmaster (expert): optimize platforms, manage place owners, create internal trainings, host community events and programs, develop policies

4. Promethean (master): integrate community cross-functionally, provide strategic direction, manage resources and budget, represent the community internally, coach executives, determine road-map

The important thing is that all of these roles are working towards one common, visible, set of measurable objectives.

When I took on my first community manager role in 2006, I had one focus: to build quality relationships between the brand and its' advocates.  Now, community has touch points across the buyer journey, customer life-cycle, and employee career path.  It's key that we give this role and all social responsibilities the respect they deserve.

I’m curious to hear from you!  Share your take on the different roles and levels of community management in the comments below.

P.S. If you're interested in hiring a community manager, Libby Taylor wrote a post on How to write a Community Manager job description.

Published at DZone with permission of Jive Community, author and DZone MVB.

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