How Much Money Do Community Managers Make? [INFOGRAPHIC]

by Jason Keath on Jan 10, 2011

Community Manager

Community managers are the quiet gatekeepers of social media marketing.

As the first line of contact for many companies investing in the social media space, community managers have some of the best insight into where a brand stands with it’s customers.

As more companies invest in Facebook pages and Twitter account and blogs, they need community managers to run these accounts. Sometimes even before they fully develop long term strategies.

The Wonder Years

Community management is a very new role in almost all companies. And because of that the roles and responsibilities that accompany the title range from that of an entry level position in charge of tweeting to a Director or VP level role encompassing high level strategy and brand input.

This is reflected clearly in our research. The age is 29 years old. The range of marketing experience is 15 years. And the most telling stat is likely salary range, from $30,000 to a surprising number of community managers that make 6 figures.

The roll of community manager has emerged from adolescence into the awkward teenage years. Not knowing what it wants to be or how to get there.

As the role evolves, we expect to see an increase in the number of positions that make up the community management hierarchy — from interns to assistants to Directors of Community. These roles, as a whole, will become more common, receive greater and greater responsibility and become more valued for their access to consumer honesty.

Stats On Being A Community Manager Infographic

cm-report-2011

Infographic Data Spelled Out

Average Salary

  • $49,700.00

Most Popular Community Manager Cities In Order

  1. NYC
  2. San Fransico
  3. Boston
  4. Denver
  5. Austin

Gender Breakdown of Community Managers

  • Female 68%
  • Male 32%

Job Type

  • Full Time 89%
  • Freelance/Contract 6%
  • Part Time 5%

Additional Data

  • Total Community Managers surveyed 143
  • Average Marketing Experience 5 years
  • Average Age 30 years

Community Managers by Region

  1. Northeast 37%
  2. West 21%
  3. Southeast 16%
  4. Southwest 14%
  5. Midwest 12%

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Post Author

CEO and founder of Social Fresh, the social media education company. Jason is a social media consultant, a social media speaker and industry analyst. He consults with corporations and agencies on social media strategy, building community, and influencer...

  • Anonymous

    Jason – Thank you for taking a leadership role and putting this survey together. This is incredibly helpful. The community manager job description, salary, qualifications and expectations are all things that need further definition and clarification and things like this are very helpful. I appreciate your taking the time to do this.

  • http://twitter.com/AJBritten Adam Joseph Britten

    I’ve been wondering about this for a while now; it’s great to see some data. As far as background, can you provide any insight beyond “marketing” as to what these people did before the Community Manager position became relevant?

  • http://twitter.com/AJBritten Adam Joseph Britten

    I’ve been wondering about this for a while now; it’s great to see some data. As far as background, can you provide any insight beyond “marketing” as to what these people did before the Community Manager position became relevant?

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    We did not ask that question in the survey so I cannot speak in absolutes. But anecdotally I am friends with many community managers and it spans a wide gamut. Some work in advertising, PR, traditional marketing roles inside of companies. Corporate communications is big. Some don’t work in traditional marketing at all and work in customer service. Most become passionate about social media and find ways to get the experience.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    We did not ask that question in the survey so I cannot speak in absolutes. But anecdotally I am friends with many community managers and it spans a wide gamut. Some work in advertising, PR, traditional marketing roles inside of companies. Corporate communications is big. Some don’t work in traditional marketing at all and work in customer service. Most become passionate about social media and find ways to get the experience.

  • http://www.iizLiz.com Liz Philips

    thank you Jason for this work!! Wonder which sectors (tech, consumer, etc) use CMs the most and if their reasons vary. Again, thank you for this research.

  • http://www.iizLiz.com Liz Philips

    thank you Jason for this work!! Wonder which sectors (tech, consumer, etc) use CMs the most and if their reasons vary. Again, thank you for this research.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    It is a good question. I think the biggest industries that I see are service and consumer brands. Banking, cable, telephone, etc. And many of the consumer brands are jumping on board. But also software as a service, which includes plenty of the tech sphere.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    well thank you for saying so Janet. Glad we could throw some value your way.

  • http://twitter.com/KeenanDijon Keenan Dijon

    I’m with you on this one Janet. Jason you opened my eyes in a very insightful way also. I am an Online Community Manager as well; 28 years old with over 4 years of experience (specifically in internet marketing and social media) and I wasn’t really being conscious of just how valuable my role was to this industry – let alone my clients. I knew that I wasn’t just a #socialmediageek for naught, Lol. But seriously, it is good to see numbers it helps to put things in perspective.

  • http://www.DesignatedEditor.com Suzanne McDonald

    Thanks so much for a fun and informative infographic! Wonder how many people are doing community management as just a facet of their work. Would be interesting to see how many social media pros aren’t called community managers but are performing the functions?

    Thanks again!
    Suzanne

  • Anonymous

    Yes, thanks Jason for putting this together. Similar to @Suzanne McDonald’s question, I’m wondering how these figures change if one serves as a social media manager with community manager as one of many hats worn within the role.

    Maybe time will tell on that one.

    Thanks again,
    Jeff

  • http://www.scribnia.com/author/show/473/david-spinks/ David Spinks

    Very interesting results.

    Where can I apply for the community manager position paying 110k?!

    Also interesting is the 5 years experience average. You don’t see too many seasoned vets as community managers.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.com Grace Boyle

    Jason I LOVE what you’ve done. This is great information and really resourceful. Thanks for putting this together and taking the time :)

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    Good stuff. Nice job with this.

  • http://mobthink.com/ Rab

    This is a great start Jason. I’d love to see you break this down by Industry, discipline and audience (B2B, B2C, B2B2C) and add other expertise skill sets beyond Marketing. What were the next 5 geographies?

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    Dallas, LA, Chicago, Atlanta, DC (not in order)

    Yeah, there is a lot more we could try to breakout. This is obviously a small research project and we did not have tons of time to expand past this base level of data. The type of research you are mentioning takes much more time and analysis. Won’t be today but would love to do that.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    Thanks Jay. And thanks again for posing for the stick figure illustration. How do you think it turned out?

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    Thanks for saying so Grace. Glad it offered value. Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    haha. That was not even the highest. We dropped the highest and lowest. I think the higher salaries and higher experience are almost all internal brand people working on higher level strategy. As we said in the article, they would more likely be a Director/VP level in the Community Management Hierarchy.

  • http://www.convinceandconvert.com jaybaer

    That icon is not nearly round enough.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    I think there is a ton of overlap right now. Many social media managers are community managers and vice versa. And almost everyone working in social media under a VP role is doing some level of community management. Lot’s of messy grey area. Community Manager seems to be the clearest roll emerging from it all right now.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    Exactly. I think most of us do some level of community management. These specialist are the higher level of that task set.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    Glad we could help. = )

  • http://twitter.com/Nrrrdking Nick Hernandez

    Wow I am underpaid.

  • http://nothingbutsocnet.blogspot.com/ Zena Weist

    Great infographic and timely info – thank you!

  • http://lamiki.com/ Laura Kimball

    This is a great infographic, thanks for putting it out there, Jason. I appreciate how it really shows the gamut of experience and the fact that companies put community managers in all areas of the business–from first line of communication to the core of their brand strategy.

    I agree that CMs are in the teenage phase, but I don’t think or at least I hope CMs don’t turn into a standardized position across companies, brands, and industries. Like social media, it all depends on what your goals are and how core your community is in helping you achieve them.

  • http://www.jasonmkey.com Jason mKey

    *Applause*
    well done

  • http://www.jasonmkey.com Jason mKey

    *Applause*
    well done

  • Seth Grimes

    New York City is not in Delaware (as shown on your map).

  • http://twitter.com/mattamyers Matthew A Myers

    Were these survey responses verified?

  • http://twitter.com/011bojan Bojan Djordjevic

    These numbers are pretty vauge if you consider that you’ve interviewed only 143 people.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    The survey was not publicly available. The distribution process involved respondents being asked if their employment was as a ‘community manager’.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    wow Seth. really good point. thanks for the obvious catch. not sure how we missed that, especially since I live there. hmm. apologies for the big error there.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    how could we be more specific. please let us know and we will try to correct.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    thanks for saying so. glad it was of value

  • http://ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

    The gender gap surprises me. Any reason for that?

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    I think it is a few things. Studies have shown women are simply more active online. I think overall women are better listening and less likely to argue with customers. And in general, there are more women on the account/agency side of the world, especially in PR. And those industries are producing many community managers.

  • http://www.meganconley.tumblr.com Megan Conley

    Thanks for putting this together Jason! I’ve been looking for an article like this for a while now, it’s great to see it broken down here.

  • http://www.meganconley.tumblr.com Megan Conley

    Thanks for putting this together Jason! I’ve been looking for an article like this for a while now, it’s great to see it broken down here.

  • http://www.meganconley.tumblr.com Megan Conley

    Thanks for putting this together Jason! I’ve been looking for an article like this for a while now, it’s great to see it broken down here.

  • http://www.meganconley.tumblr.com Megan Conley

    Thanks for putting this together Jason! I’ve been looking for an article like this for a while now, it’s great to see it broken down here.

  • http://twitter.com/Xero Xero.com

    Before I got the job title Community Manager I was not working in marketing or PR and am not working in that field now either! I have been a project manager/business analyst/writer of product documentation for many years and at my current company Xero (@Xero) I wrote the online Help Center before starting to help our customers with their questions on our blog and Twitter … hence the move into the Community Manager position. It’s definitely self taught and there’s probably so much more I could be doing but having been at Xero since the company started I’m armed with brand and product knowledge allowing me to primarily provide an alternate customer support channel (we have free email support) – seems to be working for now. ^OG

  • Susanna

    Vital info, Jason. Thank you for compiling. Cross posting –along with suggestions– on my blog http://www.susannaspeier.com/blog

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  • http://kristeclectic.com kristeclectic

    I’d love to see the incomes broken down by location. Someone working in Denver or Austin doesn’t need to make as much as someone in NYC or SF. This might make them feel underpaid and under appreciated.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=12113724 Kirsta McPherson

    Ugh. Same here.

  • Fernando Santi

    that period is this perception of income? obtained by year, month, or contract, I would like to know, I live outside the U.S. and that is why we do not know which is the correct estimate, it bothers me that other websites use this graphics without giving the credit to you for example that Url

    http://alfredovela.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/¿cuanto-dinero-gana-un-community-manager-infografia-infographic-socialmedia/

    Thanks

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  • http://www.dailydoseofdo.com Amy Do

    ~heavy sigh~ Underpaid and overworked. 

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  • http://www.tomorrow-people.com/blog Sookie Shuen

    Hi Amy, totally agree with you. Underpaid and overworked. Sometimes I wonder if all community managers out there have similar job roles. Is it normal to be managing dozens of client’s social media profiles? :P

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  • http://www.Nimble.com Garick Chan

    It’s two years later, I’d love to see an update of this survey. 

  • http://socialfreshacademy.com/ Jason Keath

    Thanks for your interest Garick. This data is actually just over a year old. We collected it in December 2010, published in Jan 2011. 

    Here is this year’s updated report, published last week http://socialfresh.com/community-manager-report-2012/

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  • Ahzia Word

    Well I’m in 6th grade and I’m working on my Career Day project and I would Love to be a Marketing Manager and own my own Performing Arts company called “Dance to Live” considering the fact that dancing would be the most advertised opprortunity for young girls and boys.

  • Mbonavita11

    How many accounts does the average community manager manage? 

  • http://www.mennlay.com/ Someone Else

    What are we going to do about this though. ((shrug))

  • http://www.mennlay.com/ Someone Else

    Great to know. Thanks for the insight and maybe a little of a confidence boost!

  • jmort253

    Is the average $49.7k or is it $62k? It seems there’s a discrepancy in the results, as you list two separate avarage salaries. In the bottom portion of the SocialFresh image, the salary average is listed as $62k, but elsewhere you list it as $49.7k. Am I just missing something? Which one is the actual average salary?

    Thanks!

  • http://socialfresh.com/blog Jason Keath

    49 is the average from this survey.

  • http://odenyolistbuilder.wix.com/socialmedia Graham Odenyo

    Awesome, article. Very insightful. This has deepened my understanding on social media even more. Can anyone tell me what the best places are to get social media consultant jobs. please email them to me at odenyolistbuilder at gmail dot com

  • josh

    hi