I’m not going to get into the debate about the definition of a “community manager”. For the sake of this post, lets consider it someone who’s job is to product content for an audience, interact with that audience, and take care of the internal community.
There’s a trend in who’s being hired as community managers. They’re usually young, they “omg love love love” social media, they’re already active in the company’s target market and they have already established a large network.
I’m going to talk about the last part.
Now I understand why having an established network can seem appealing to a company. Let me address some of the assumptions that I see pretty often.
“If they can build a strong network around their personal brand, they can do the same for our brand.”
“By hiring this person, we automatically get their network to become part of our community”
“But their network supports them so much now. They think the world of them!”
“They speak at a ton of events! Now they can go talk about our company at those events”
There are just a few of the common misconceptions about the value in hiring a community manager with a big network. Remember, you’re hiring for a position that requires as much business know-how as it does “social” know-how.
Having a large network is a good sign that the person knows how to connect with people, and that they’re committed to their career. If you hire a community manager strictly for their popularity however, you’re making a heavy investment for a very short-term gain.