Angela Connor – also known as @communitygirl on Twitter and the author of 18 Rules of Community Engagement – recently published a Community Manager Survey – available here for $39.99/$49.99 depending on format. In it, she covers questions about how the community management role is defined, how community management fits in to organizations, how community managers learn, and how community managers themselves feel about their role, including first person commentary which is really interesting to read.
Some of the results are not surprising given the current maturity of the role – for example only a 3rd of community managers have a clear job description with well defined goals and many are struggling with increasing engagement and finding an outlet for sharing and learning from peers (we need to do a better job reaching out to those community managers!). Other results I found surprising – while a vast majority of community managers are authorized to speak on behalf of their organization (which is great), over half of community managers surveyed are seeking new positions indicating that they are likely not getting the support and/or fulfillment they would like in their current positions. To me, this is a risk for organizations that are serious about their communities and infers they need to do a lot more to make sure community managers have reasonable and clear expectations, are given the support and resources to meet those expectations, and are able to enjoy and succeed in the work they do.
Overall, the report shines a light on some of the biggest issues community managers currently face and is a great resource for demonstrating to peers and executives the need for more training and resources in this area. We would like to thank Angela for undertaking the study and for allowing us to review it.