Typical community managers are mid-level professionals who are highly networked within their organization and valued most for their people skills, according to a recent report by The Community Roundtable.
They are also generally less technical and more seasoned than is often portrayed, with an average of eight years of work experience and three years of community management experience.
The 2013 State of Community Management Survey examined the role of community managers in businesses and how they integrate into organizations. Below, additional key findings.
How Much Do Community Managers Make?
The survey average salary for a community manager was $65,778. However, those in medium and large organizations, as well as those with more than 10 years of experience, earned an average salary of around $70K.
Most Valued Skills for Community Managers
Engagement and people skills ranked as the most important capabilities for a community manager, followed by content development and strategic and business skills. Technical skills were prioritized least.
How They Fit Into Organizations
Approximately 40% of organizations surveyed have only one community manager (or a partial full-time employee) on their community program team. However, 80% of organizations that could calculate the value of community management employed more than one community manager.
Community management is overwhelmingly staffed in-house. Only 22% of organizations surveyed are hiring contractors, vendors, or agencies for external community management services, and only 10% are hiring them for internal community management.
Most community managers surveyed report to Marketing, Customer Support, or Internal Communications. In large organizations, they often work in a complex and straining cross-functional environment. More than half of the community managers surveyed interact frequently with Marketing, Sales, PR/External Communications, Customer Support, Internal Communications, IT, and Human Resources.
Common Community Programming Tools
Although the community managers surveyed were working with different audiences and toward different goals, they did share some common member-facing programming.
Standard practices for community engagement include welcome emails, regular events (both online and offline), content programming, and newsletters.
Community playbooks in particular are fast becoming a critical community management tool, with 48% of organizations surveyed currently using them.
About the research: The report was based on a survey of 40 organizations conducted in March 2013. Many of the participants came from technology, telecom, and software companies.
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