There is no doubt that demand for skills in social and community management are on the rise. What exactly do companies want for their community teams? The honest answer is that many are not sure. But some more experienced in online communities, like those in TheCR Network, have more of an idea as outlined in our recent 2013 State of Community Management: The Value of Community Management report:
- Community Managers have more work experience (8 years) and less technical experience than is often portrayed
- Engagement and People skills are the most important for community managers to have, technical knowledge, least important
- The majority of experienced companies (approx. 80%) manage their social and community activities internally rather than using external vendors.
Our findings are not unique and echoed in a recent article on courses cropping up to school people in social media skills:
“But with social media evolving so quickly, a question is whether professionals need a degree or simply practical training.”
We agree, our TheCR Network members agree and WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) also agree. Together we have put together an online training course for Community Managers starting September 10: Community Management: Advanced Skills certificate program where practitioners will talk about real-life scenarios, problems and solutions. It is interactive with the ability for attendees to engage with not only those teaching the courses, but others taking them as well.
While schooling is important, we think that for this one, there is no substitute for learning with and from those who do the work daily and have experience doing it regularly.
What do you think?