Online community manager – a real job?

Who manages your online presence? Things like your website, blog updates, podcasts, Facebook group, what others say about you out on the web, sends out Tweets on Twitter  and the list can go on and on. Do you have someone who has a full-time job doing this or is it a task included in  someones job description. Say within your marketing department or one of you web folks? Or are these tasks spread out within your organization with various people doing things online related to their particular area of the business? Within the last two years a new position has grown up which brings together all of these tasks and more. The online community manager is indeed a real job in some companies.

It may be hard for some bosses to believe that ‘playing’ on the internet all day can be called a real job. For some the perception for this position is similar to that of a beer taster in a brewery or mattress tester in a bed factory. The fantasy is far from the reality. An online community manager should be setting goals for your company in how you market and brand yourself online, taking your brand into areas where your customers or potential customers hang-out and then report on the success (or failure) of these activities when compared to your goals. Here’s the closest thing to a job description for this position.

For you to get the best from your online presence you should have a planned and organized but flexible approach. Having many people in your organization going their own separate ways won’t get you the best result but don’t abandon their individual approaches by assigning it all to just one person. After all, web 2.0 and online social community activities are a grass-roots initiative with many people making a contribution to an ultimate and greater goal. You just need to manage it and this is where the online community manager comes in.


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