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socialfresh-cm-time-intensive.jpgContent creation (23%), is the most time consuming task for community managers, beating out Facebook engagement (19%) and customer service (13%), according to a survey released in January 2012 by Social Fresh. Another content-related task, managing an editorial calendar, came in fourth on the list, on par with comment moderation and Twitter engagement (all at 10%). Community engagement (5%) and analytics/reporting (3%) also appeared on the list, but were voted the most time consuming task by a much smaller proportion.

Overall, 63% of community managers spend more than 30 hours a week on their community, with a plurality spending 41-50 hours (26%).

Forums Deliver Better Results Than Blogs

Forums continue to be an important platform of the community role, cited by 10% of the community managers surveyed as providing the best results, ahead of blogs (7%). Facebook was far and away the leading platform, with 55% saying it delivered the most success. Twitter (24%) came in second, while LinkedIn (2%), email (1%), and internal community (1%) proved less popular.

More Women, Less Money

The community manager role is dominated by female professionals, by almost a 2 to 1 ratio (65% vs. 35%). However, the average male community manager makes over $4,000 more than his female counterpart ($54,880 vs. $50,400). Breaking down the results by age, more professional experience does equate to a larger average salary, although a ceiling is reached near $55,000: the average community manager salary for 31-40-year-olds is $56,236, while it is $55,648 for those over 40. By comparison, 18-24-year-olds report an average salary of $36,979 and 25-30-year-olds a salary of $50,183.

Average salary is highest for social media professionals that hold the title of “director of community management” ($77,302), followed by “social media strategies” ($55,806) and “community manager” ($51,647).

Engagement Top Success Metric

Data from “The Community Manager Report 2012” indicates that engagement (50%) is the top factor that determines success, followed by community growth (27%). Community managers are also measured by leads (8%), sales (7%), share of voice (3%), and cost savings (1%).

Other Findings:

  • The average age for a community manager this year is 30, although the age range of those surveyed is sizable, from 18 to 54.
  • 8% of community managers surveyed live outside large metropolitan areas, although New York City (18%) alone claims almost 1 in 5. Other top cities include San Francisco (10%), Boston (9%), LA (7%), and London (7%).
  • Community managers are more than 3 times as likely to be working for a B2C brand than a B2B brand (76% vs. 24%). They are also twice as likely to be working directly for the brand than for an agency on behalf of the brand (67% vs. 33%). According to a ComBlue study released in November 2011, only 48% of brands used a community manager in their online communities, down from 51% in 2010.

About the Data: The Social Fresh results are based on an online survey of 304 social media professionals conducted from January 5-20, 2012.

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