Who Are the Community Managers Exactly?

The latest of the new “web businesses,” the CM—or community manager—manages a brand’s presence on the Internet. Is this future real work for “digital natives” or a scam?

Old profession, new context

Its mission is ultimately not the most recent: to ensure a company’s communications over a well-defined medium. With the explosion of the Internet, this area is now brand new: it is a question of building and monitoring a brand’s image on the web. With new trends forcing companies to turn to social networks, CM has a role to play in uniting communities of internet users around the brand he or she defends. He’s the “social media manager” then.

So what does a Community Manager do?

A community manager works for a website, an advertiser or a company. New communities of Internet users force him to create and animate online exchanges, conversations. He also communicates the messages of the firm he represents, conveys its image and values. Finally, the CM directs the comments of his interlocutors to the requested services, and ensures a form of protection (protection of personal data, moderation, etc.). From a practical point of view, he will create content (publish articles, photos, videos, etc.), offer promotions, organize contests, etc. He must know how to take into account the positioning of the brand, the code of the target target by mastering all areas of sharing (social networks, blogs, forums).

Where did this new profession come from?

Certainly from community forces emanating from social networks; From racing to referencing, to be able to stay competitive; And the strong masculinity emerging from these same Facebook, Twitter etc. But, more than just managing this new “e-reputation,” an important concept is tied to it all: buzz, even if not all brands are looking for it. extraordinary trend of Information on the Internet therefore also carries the CM “Create Buzz”, or manage “Bad Buzz” (ie a discussion created involuntarily for negative reasons). Thus, Findus did not seek such a flurry of parodies and scoffed at the resurrection in the equestrian affair; While Numericable has been intentionally sexist with its latest campaign Download “The sooner your wife changes her mind”, There are two situations where the role of the community manager is particularly important.

Future or scam job?

These different reasons make it a particularly fashionable job for “digital natives”, i.e. the new generation who have grown up with the use of digital technology. But given the youth of the profession, it is difficult to find community managers with more than 2 years of experience; And their consequences are as difficult to measure as their actions are immaterial, and aimed at long-term objectives. Then two questions arise: is this a permanent job? Are companies interested in hiring CMs? Although the profession is not yet fully recognized, various studies lead to it: commercial management, commercial management, training in information-communication professions, training in online communication, and training in communication/marketing/PR and journalism. major school. So the criteria and skills are still unclear, even though several branches are starting to stand out in which a CM can specialize: e-commerce, social-media management, communication, advertising. The result is that there is no typical community manager profile (do you need a human resources, a communications specialist, a salesperson?), which is not in service to the profession.

After all everyone can become CM?

This is still a profession that is not very internal and very fashionable among the younger generations, which gives a positive answer to this question. While yes, many companies with an audience and/or customers on the net are interested in having CMs in their ranks. Today, community management is essential for web marketing, which is essential for marketing in general, especially among SMEs. Only, not everyone can deal with it under the pretext of mastering social networks and knowing the codes and trends of communities. Given the many constraints a “university” level of experience and learning is recommended. A CM directly represents the brand, and speaks directly to the customers. While on the net everything happens within seconds and the responses are more lively, the CM must act in a highly responsive as well as thoughtful manner. “Everything can be held against her” because she represents the opinion and integrity of the company that employs her. So his responsibilities are as great as his work. There is no time or place for exchanges on the Internet, which forces our man to become omniscient and omnipresent.

Community management is still a young activity, not yet useful to all, and whose productivity is difficult to measure. But when we observe the virtual obligation for a company to have a presence on the Internet (an identity for many, a breeding ground for others), it is certain that it is a profession that can only grow. . Unlike other “fixed” positions, the chief minister must constantly renew himself and prove his usefulness within the company, being a profession in constant growth. It is fundamentally innovative and up-and-coming as it depends on the self-development of the web and perhaps must be associated with other works to earn its nobility and its letters of independence.

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