Community Management – a career for you?

According to an Adage article “Looking for a Second Career? Consider Being a Community Manager” it is dead easy to become one and they recommend online community management as a career for out of work copywriters, PR and other marketing services people.

It was interesting in that it reflects the lack of understanding of community management within the marketing services industry. A bit of a bug bear with me……

Community management and moderation services have been in existance since the late 80’s when online communities, online strategy games and bulletin boards went live. Since then professional community management and online moderation companies have evolved. These include Tempero Europes largest social media management company, and eModeration (UK and US offices) two of the leading online moderation companies. In addition, individuals brands have employed full time community management professionals to ensure the safety of children online (if their online community is focused on children and teens for example habbo hotel and the penguin club), to ensure the community is well run and guidelines are set and adhered to. There is a lot more to running a community than the meets the eye.

Professionals have come from many backgrounds into this area and it is growing however – their core skills sets are not facebook, twitter or linkedin…….

These social tools are lightweight tools which when used create more value for those networks than for the individual brands using them – these are merely other channels where conversations can take place and should not be confused with online communities which create valuable insight to brands about their customers, their employees and their competitors. Neither are they core places for conversations around brands to take place.

Moving into community management is not an easy move – there is more to it than managing a twitter and facebook account – dont be fooled – do your research and find out if it is a career you are interested in – most community managers I know are passionate about what they do and that is key to being successful.