We've reached the era of the professional community manager.
Those that run communities for organizations will be expected to know what they’re doing, not learn on the job.
I like Seth's definition here. Professionals have deep and broad knowledge of their sector. They know the theory behind their work. They know the case studies of success and failure. They test, measure and adapt. They work to understand what is/isn't working (and why).
In communities, professionals will be expected to excel in key skills. They will be expected to guide their organization through the community development process. They will be expected to prove their value numerically.
Successful amateurs will still thrive, but organizations will want the reliability of the proven professionals. As part of FeverBee’s Professional Community Management Course, we have developed our 10 principles of professional community management.
We’re happy to share them with Ning:
- Professional Community Managers build a strong sense of community amongst a specific group of individuals.
- Professional Community Managers work from proven templates to develop their community through the community development process (they are proactive, not reactive).
- Professional Community Managers excel at building relationships both with and between members.
- Professional Community Managers master their data and use their data to optimize every activity and stage of the membership life-cycle.
- Professional Community Managers have deep knowledge of technology, sociology, social-psychology, anthropology, network science, psychology, group dynamics and community development.
- Professional Community Managers build internal and external systems to scale their communities without incurring a large financial burden.
- Professional Community Managers integrate the community with the organization's systems.
- Professional Community Managers excel at stimulating and sustaining high levels of participation per member.
- Professional Community Managers excel at conflict resolution and work from proven techniques to resolve potentially detrimental disputes.
- Professional Community Managers deliver a clear ROI to their employers (not fuzzy statements concerning engagement).
These 10 principles might change over the next few years, but I think we've made a good start. If you're hiring a community manager, does this sound like the type of person you would like to hire?