In Australia there are hundreds of working community managers and very little is known about them. That changes now.

For every social media crisis, successful campaign, community launch or seeding of an online movement, there’s a community manager in the mix, who is usually a cypher. That’s by design. It’s not about the community manager, it’s about the community – the goal, the outcome, the purpose.

Community managers and social media managers consistently perform health checks and status reports on their own networks and communities. But we rarely look inward.

When you’re invisible, you’re denied power and agency. You can’t be your best self and you’re likely to miss opportunities because you’re working without context or alliance.

Along with friends at Quiip and Dialogue Consulting, I’ve been working for a while on a project to help unearth the career of community management in Australia.

The goal has been to get the profession out of the shadows and produce meaningful benchmarking. To offer useful insights to anyone looking to join, or move through the field, and expose common needs (such as training gaps) so we can better address them.

Giving shape and form to our industry will also help the many organisations community managers inhabit find the best people, get the best out of them, and build communities that meet their objectives.

Australian Community Managers Survey 2015

This first career survey of Australian Community Managers was conducted earlier this year, and I’m very excited to share the results in full here:

Click the link above or the image below to download a free PDF of the full report.

It paints the clearest picture yet of the demographics of Australian community managers:

  • how much they’re paid
  • the size of their teams
  • how many hours  they’re working
  • whether they have strategies in place,
  • what kinds of support and resourcing is available to them
  • what their biggest challenges are;

… and more.

Australian Community Managers Survey 2015

Key findings

The survey found the average full time salary for a professional Community Manager ranged from $65,759 – $88,270, meaning around 40% of respondents are making less than the national average.

This is despite the fact that community managers are commonly tasked with maintaining the public perception of a brand or organisation, are asked to manage a variety of risks and may experience harassment as part of their work.

Social media doesn’t have an off switch, and many organisations are globally facing. Community managers are expected to keep up, with 43% working more than five days a week and nearly 80% working over eight hours a day.

Community managers are well educated – 76% have a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Recognising the rapidly moving nature of their professional landscape, re-skilling and up-skilling is embedded in workflow.

One in three respondents said they had experienced personally targeted criticism in their work, and for some this had become full blown harassment.

As for their employers? The data suggests they’re either unaware or underprepared to support their people.

Australian Community Managers Survey 2015 Infographic

Thanks to all the community & social professionals that participated!

If you’d like more information, including how to support the 2016 ACM Survey, drop me a line.


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