Submitted by Holly Ross, publisher of NTEN
If you're implementing social media smartly at your organization, you already know it raises more issues for nonprofits than it solves. Chief among them: who does it? If social media is about individuals conversing authentically with a community, who's in charge of the conversation?
You'll find most people responsible for social media in marketing departments. But shouldn't program staff be involved, as well? How about leadership?
I'm fascinated by the ways social media is changing how organizations structure themselves -- and in particular, how social media is redefining job titles in our sector. To whit: the second coming of the online community manager.
ReadWriteWeb has a new report out, "The Read Write Web Guide to Community Management", that marks the ascension of the online community manager (2.0). They do a great job summarizing exactly why the role is so challenging:
Yeah, what they said.
We used to organize our jobs by who we were talking at: people with problems (customer service), the population we want to engage (marketing), the media (pr). Now, we don't have the luxury of simply talking AT people. Those same people are talking to us, and each other.
We all need someone to be part of that conversation.
But how are you supposed to write a job description for that? Doesn't it sort of sound like you're hiring someone to goof off online all day? The ReadWriteWeb report has a price tag, but it's well worth it if you're really considering these issues.
I'll summarize some of my favorite bits for the rest of you:
Are communities any more engaged when there's an official community manager?
- Well, yes. There's a great case study from Tom Humbarger. Watch the engagement levels drop as soon as he's laid off.
Is the ROI all about the web metrics?
- Not so much. The report points out ways community managers contribute to innovation, recruitment, and other key areas of an organization.
How to Frak it all up
- I love the list of ways to screw up online community management. My favorite? Be afraid. Sound familiar?
Oh, and there's a plethora of case studies. I loved the report so much I twisted MarshallK's arm -- OK, I just asked -- and he gave us three copies to give away free to NTEN members!
Here's the deal members: Leave a comment below telling us how social media is changing your job description, and we'll pick three at random to get the prize!
This article was originally posted on NTEN at http://nten.org/blog/2009/05/13/second-coming-online-community-manger by Holly Ross:
Holly has spent more than five years at NTEN, combing through all the technology fads and listening to the NTEN community to line up the webinars, conferences, and research that will help members use technology to make the world a better place.