Origin and evolution of the Community Manager profession

Origin of the Community Manager

It is difficult to establish the exact moment when people began to talk about the figure of the community manager or to know who coined the term for the first time.

Since the popularization of social media, at the end of the 90s, the need begins to arise in large companies to analyze and measure what users comment on the Internet. However, when blogs became widespread at the beginning of the last decade and social networks such as Facebook (2004) and Twitter (2007) began to appear, in which millions of users can share opinions and make their tastes known, that is when counting With professionals who manage the image of the brands on these platforms it begins to be more important.

Origin of the figure of the Community Manager

Possibly, the turning point was marked by the moment in which the social network with the most users in the world, Facebook, launched the first specific services for companies, in November 2007.

After the creation of Facebook company pages, other social platforms also decided to make specific tools available to companies to manage real groups of users. This is when the need to have community managers who generate attractive content and monitor the activity of brands on social networks becomes stronger.

Taking this moment as a starting point, it can be stated that at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, especially starting in 2009, is when the functions of the community manager begin to professionalize and the concept of community manager as such gains strength. as social networks become scenarios where brands and users interact on a daily basis.

It is from then on that companies begin to seriously consider the need to have a figure who is in charge of identifying the needs of their clients on social networks and who develops, in a planned manner, the actions that the brand will carry out. on these channels to get the most out of them and generate communication with users.

It must be recognized that, as in most newly created professions, the beginnings were hesitant and dispersed. Even today there is a certain lack of knowledge about the figure of the community manager, but in the first years the confusion was enormous. Everyone seemed to talk about community managers but no one really knew what they did.

Community Manager vs. smoke sellers

The term became considerably distorted and some negative expressions arose around it. The most popular, possibly, is that He described community managers as “smoke sellers”. As it was a newly created profession and there was no regulated training that defined who could be a community manager or what their functions were, many people tried to take advantage of the situation and took advantage of both the lack of knowledge of the companies and those who wanted to practice this. new role.

Many companies were made to believe that by simply opening their profiles on social networks and paying a few euros to someone to manage them, they would see their bottom line increase at the end of the month. On the other hand, those who were trying to train to be community managers found themselves with offers of very banal or poorly founded courses in which, in addition, it was promised that with just a couple of months of training they would find a job.

These promises, which painted the community manager as the superhero who was going to solve the problems of both companies in trouble and unemployed people, are responsible for having fueled great expectations regarding the figure during the first years of this decade. of the community manager. When these magical results were not achieved, a certain feeling of discredit was generated towards the professional and popularized the belief that the social media boom was nothing more than a 2.0 bubble about to burst.

Professionalization and specialization of the Community Manager

Fortunately, the passage of time has been in favor of those dedicated to corporate social media management. The achievement of long-term results and the progressive professionalization of the skills of community managers has led to the consolidation of this new role in corporate environments. Their functions have even been diversified and new positions have emerged within the Social Media departments. There is still a long way to go, but there is also some progress and experience demonstrates the need for these professionals in companies.

Although there are still many bad habits to change, fewer and fewer companies entrust full responsibility for their social profiles to an intern without supervision from a trained manager, a very common practice in recent years. There may be students who collaborate with the community managerwho learn and are trained within the company, but they should not be the people on whom all the work falls.

Fortunately, brands are increasingly aware of the need to delegate such an important task to highly qualified professionals, specially trained to manage a company’s corporate identity on social networks.

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