Community Management Resources

The good news: it seems like more and more associations are creating or enhancing existing online communities. Whether they’re using new, free tools like Facebook, building their own proprietary online communities—or even just using old-school platforms like listservs or discussion forums, it’s becoming harder to ignore the benefits of enabling your members to connect with each other—and your association—online.

The bad news: while there seems to be an upswing in online community creation in the association world,  there doesn’t seem to be a corresponding upswing in dedicating staff to manage the communities. Either associations don’t have the budget to hire someone in that role or they don’t think it’s necessary. Or maybe they do think it’s a good idea but aren’t even sure how to put together the job description, let alone hire the right person.

An Event Apart Chicago Sketchnotes: Org ChartsWhether you’re debating the merits of hiring a community manager, not even sure what a community manager is, or maybe have someone on staff who’s interested in assuming the role, here are a few really good resources to help you and/or them better understand the discipline of online community management:

  • The Community Roundtable’s State of Community Management 2010. Admittedly, I’m a member of the Community Roundtable and can’t say enough good things about them, but even from an objective point of view, this report is an incredible resource for anyone interested in learning about the state of community management—best practices, industry perspectives, tools, case studies, etc. The 60+ page report is free to download and well worth a read.
  • The Community Manager Survey is an in-depth look at the practice of community management. The report costs $39.99/$49.99 (depending on the format), but contains a lot of relevant and revealing information about the challenges community managers face. A few key insights from the report include the fact that only 1/3 of those surveyed report having a clear job description and more than half are seeking new community manager positions (related to the lack of clear job descriptions, I’m sure).
  • TheCR Quick Chat Podcasts (also available on iTunes) each feature a different community manager and offer great insights into what it’s like to manage online communities.
  • The Community Managers network on Brazen Careerist. A network of community managers from all types of companies. If you’re not familiar with Brazen Careerist, you should be—your future members may well be on there.
  • Still not convinced that this is a necessary role and think your online community will flourish on its own? You might want to take a look at Tom Humbarger’s blog post about the subject. The whole “if you build it they will come” thing really doesn’t work with online communities.

Does your association have an online community but no staff dedicated to managing it? Or are you considering building one but not sure who will manage it? Share your thoughts on community management: is it necessary or am I just justifying my job?

{ 35 comments }

SueOnTheWeb April 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm

RT @SocialFishFood Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/duCE4m

TheCR April 21, 2010 at 1:37 pm

RT @SueOnTheWeb: RT @SocialFishFood Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/duCE4m

Rachel Happe April 21, 2010 at 9:39 am

Maggie -

Thank you for linking to our report and podcast series! While we do a lot with our members, we are also trying to push the conversation and education level of the market in general around the topic of community management. I’m glad that you have gotten value from both and thank you for sharing!

maggielmcg April 21, 2010 at 1:44 pm

My blog posts always look so much fancier on Socialfishing! Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/duCE4m

ltwhite April 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm

RT @maggielmcg: My blog posts always look so much fancier on Socialfishing! Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/duCE4m

CommunityStorm April 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm

RT @maggielmcg: My blog posts always look so much fancier on Socialfishing! Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/duCE4m

Lauren Klein April 21, 2010 at 9:45 am

Excellent post -thank you for the pointers, the suggestions and the inspiration. Those looking to hire community managers may find a few of my blog posts of interest as well at: http://communitycomposers.wordpress.com/

thelaurenklein April 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm

RT @SocialFishFood Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/duCE4m

thegroupery April 21, 2010 at 1:46 pm

RT @SocialFishFood Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/duCE4m #npo#socialmedia

ZoeHeredia April 21, 2010 at 1:47 pm

My blog posts always look so much fancier on Socialfishing! Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/duCE4m http://dlvr.it/ZT8w

scav April 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm

RT @SocialFishFood Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/duCE4m

Jeff Korhan April 21, 2010 at 10:24 am

Maggie – You are right on target. I’ll be covering some of this during my Engage365 webinar today – please join us! To prepare for this I interviewed a number of association executives and their challenges did indeed relate to staffing, budgets, knowing what to do, how to do it, etc.

I’ll cover what I can in an hour. :)

Jeff

Andy @ FirstFound April 21, 2010 at 11:37 am

Ahh, I love informative podcasts. Thanks for the links! (I may not be looking at the 50 dollar information though…)

Jodi_Kiely April 21, 2010 at 4:05 pm

[Online] Community Management Resources http://ow.ly/1Bi7x #socialmedia

Angela Connor April 21, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Hey Maggie: Your frustrations are real. Believe me, I know. Yes, salaries are all over the place, value is misunderstood and people are increasingly frustrated. I’m glad that there are people who care about the craft enough to keep it top of mind. Thanks for sharing my survey with your readers. I hope if nothing else, it validates those feelings of loneliness and lack of support and shows hiring managers that change has to happen.

community_mngr April 21, 2010 at 10:42 pm

rt Maddie Grant: Community Management Resources http://j.mp/df5cua: http://bit.ly/9AhRec

kjonesphd April 21, 2010 at 11:27 pm

RT @maddiegrant: Community Management Resources http://j.mp/df5cua

community_mngr April 21, 2010 at 11:44 pm

rt kjonesphd: RT @maddiegrant: Community Management Resources http://j.mp/df5cua: http://bit.ly/azrUXg

SocialFishFood April 21, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/ciiBIq #socialfish

ltwhite April 21, 2010 at 11:57 pm

RT @maddiegrant: SocialFishing: Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/9iqsQI Good stuff from @maggielmcg

reedstockman April 22, 2010 at 12:40 am

RT @maddiegrant: SocialFishing: Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/9iqsQI

community_mngr April 22, 2010 at 12:46 am

rt Reed Stockman: RT @maddiegrant: SocialFishing: Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/9iqsQI: http://bit.ly/a37dDl

ZoeHeredia April 22, 2010 at 1:48 am

Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/ciiBIq #socialfish http://dlvr.it/ZqW6

ZoeHeredia April 22, 2010 at 1:48 am

SocialFishing: Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/9iqsQI http://dlvr.it/ZqW5

kirstenwagenaar April 22, 2010 at 8:49 am

RT @maddiegrant SocialFishing: Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/9iqsQI

TheCR April 22, 2010 at 12:15 pm

A list of community manager resources from @maggielmcg – http://bit.ly/cjySXk – thanks for including us!

mvacondios April 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm

RT @TheCR: A list of community manager resources from @maggielmcg – http://bit.ly/cjySXk – thanks for including us!

CM_BN April 22, 2010 at 12:57 pm

RT @TheCR: A list of community manager resources from @maggielmcg – http://bit.ly/cjySXk – thanks for including us!

kristirholmes April 22, 2010 at 12:37 pm

reading: #Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/cWtjIv #SM #HCSM

Mike P April 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

Maggie,

Nice post! I think that some are still in the early stages of trying to understand “social” and are still in the mind set of “if you build it they will come”, and do not understand that they may come, but they will not stay without proper commitment and management, dedicated resources.

I think that budgets are a big issue right now, and hope that if/when the economy turns around, that the times will get better and businesses will understand.

Mike P | @mikepascucci

TheRitterGroup April 22, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Community Management Resources http://j.mp/bL6wHU. #Nonprofits

Peggy Hoffman April 22, 2010 at 8:33 pm

Maggie, as the chpt office for PRSA MD, I totally get your question. So many of my members have found community mgr (or social media maven) added to their job description overnight – you know one more task. But the other side of the equation is that social media/on-line community is part of the larger picture and needs to be integrated. I’m wondering if the question for associations is should it be part of the membership dept, the chapters/components dept or communications? Hmmm … No matter where it lands, it needs to “land” for its now part of of who we are. Yes?

peggyhoffman April 23, 2010 at 12:34 am

Great thought piece from @maggielmcg on @SocialFishFood Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/duCE4m

ZoeHeredia April 23, 2010 at 1:52 am

Great thought piece from @maggielmcg on @SocialFishFood Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/duCE4m http://dlvr.it/bPy9

ZoeHeredia April 23, 2010 at 7:52 am

Great thought piece from @maggielmcg on @SocialFishFood Community Management Resources http://bit.ly/duCE4mhttp://dlvr.it/bYP8

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