By Rachel Happe, Co-Founder and Principal at The Community Roundtable.
Online community management is far from new – it’s been around since the beginning of the Internet, and in more formal capacities at media companies since the 90s. Our aggregate understanding of the role, however, is still evolving. What we know from our work over the last five years with clients is that the role varies pretty dramatically based on the strategic importance of the community, experience and responsibility level of the community manager, community use case and the maturity of the community program.
The Community Roundtable, has invested in a new research platform – our Community Manager Salary Survey – to look at community manager profiles across these variables in order to develop a skill, responsibility and compensation matrix. This data will help both community professionals and hiring community managers evaluate and assess the worth of different roles within community management.
Some preliminary findings that were interesting to me:
- Of those respondents with ‘community’ in their title, 69% were Community Managers, 18% were Community Strategists and 13% were Directors of Community. We had no VPs of Community complete the survey (if you are one,please consider participating in the research).
- Data on how community professionals are hired suggests HR is still absent in recruiting. 22% of community professionals defined their own role before moving into it and 27% were found by hiring managers directly.
- External (customer and market-facing) community professionals still dominate. 63% of responses were from external community managers, 24% was from internal community managers and 13% worked in other types of community managers.
- Almost half of all community professionals in the survey have been in their role for one year or less.
- 37% of community professionals have been promoted – encouraging confirmation that there is a career path within the field of community management.
- 52% are evaluated by their ability to deliver business outcomes suggesting that organizations are figuring out how to value communities and community management.
While this preliminary data is great, we want to make sure we are capturing the entire range of community management roles and experiences. We are still looking for participation, particularly if you fit into any of the following categories:
- You own or manage an employee facing community
- You manage a community but it’s not your sole responsibility or title (i.e. you are a Director of Marketing that owns a community)
- You are a senior or experienced community professional
- You work in a traditional industry like manufacturing, energy, financial services, health care and professional services
We are closing the survey soon – please consider contributing today. It takes approximately 10-15 minutes.
By participating, you will help us develop the most robust and accurate information we can so you have the data you need to prove your worth or align your hiring and job descriptions with industry realities.
We take your privacy very seriously and the only individuals who have access to raw data are two members of TheCR team. We do not share any raw (individual) data points with the rest of TheCR team, partners or clients.
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