The "Left The Box" blog has a post today on hiring a Community Manager...outlining the great reasons why a social media campaign needs a community manager at the helm.
Really, every organization that depends on community needs one...and what organization doesn't depend on community in some way? A few years back, the utility of the web had evolved to the point that the notion that you could get away with not having a website for your organization was considered foolish and short-sighted. The role of a community manager who can monitor your organization's on-line presence, respond appropriately to problems or challenges, and develop and execute a strategy around engaging that community (whether it's brand marketing, fundraising, sales, reputation management) is one that soon will be considered absolutely essential.
I think many organizations (thinking non-profits here) figure that with budget constraints and this economy, how could you possibly add staff at this time?
There are of course many studies done on the ROI of social media, that make a convincing argument for taking the plunge...but I also wonder if there might not be a "time-share" approach that could be used for budget sensitive organizations? Much like most orgs do not have accountants on staff, but hire one as needed, or for quarterly review, etc., perhaps a 3 or 4 organizations, maybe with similar local constituencies, could form a collective in a way to get some Community Management help. What if the local history museums of Astoria, Bend, Tillamook and Yakima, Wa., all "went in" on a Community Management strategy...crafted for each of course, but, as they are of similar structure, scope and audience, could share tools, strategies and implementation costs, with each supporting a quarter of the budget?
Of course, the next step is...who puts that collective together...more on that next!
Here's the whole article on Left The Box, well worth a read: