Social Fresh 2013 Social Media Predictions: 8/10
The position of community manager has been on fire for the last couple years.
While community management has been around for 15 years in the gaming community, the position was little known until about 4 years ago when Jeremiah Owyang created the first Community Manager Appreciation Day back in 2010.
With the increase in use of social media in business, it is easy to see why community managers have been increasingly in demand. With all the growth in the community manager position in the last several years, what’s ahead for 2013? Could it actually be that we see a decline in the number of community manager positions?
For 2013, I’m predicting that community management will not be the most hired position.
This may sound crazy coming from a community manager, but I’m basing it on two factors:
First, there has been an influx of community manager job descriptions that are really describing a social media manager.
Secondly, as companies start empowering their employees to become more social, they will be performing many of the same duties community managers have done in the past. Don’t fear! The community manager position is not going away, it’s just transforming.
How does a community manager differ from a social media manager? First and primarily, a community manager is just as responsible for being the voice of the community to the brand as it is to be the voice of the brand to the company.
In order to achieve this, depending on the type of organization and community, community managers may or may not use and/or be responsible for the social media channels of the brand. We will start to see more companies, recruiters and HR professionals start to become more aware of this in 2013 and as such, job titles and descriptions will begin to change and reflect the positions more accurately. As a bonus prediction, we will see less community manager positions, but will see more social media manager positions.
“Socially Empowered Employees” will be the buzzword for 2013 (another bonus prediction). Companies are moving towards embracing their employees being more active on their own personal social networks for the benefit of the brand. Every employee will become an ambassador for the brand.
With more employees being active on social media, less community managers (as we know them today) will be needed. Since companies will need to make sure that employees are trained in how to use social media to achieve business goals for their job function. Community managers will still be needed to guide, measure and strategize how the workforce is using social, but departments of community managers will be reduced.
Will 2013 be the year that we start defining the role of a community manager more accurately?
With the move towards having socially engaged employees, will we see the need for less community managers?
I say yes.
What do you say?