I don’t think there is a simple Yes or No answer to this question.
I see the Community Management role as a sub-set of the Product Management and Marketing role in a company. Meaning, the Product Manager is the one the drives the road-map and makes decisions about what features will be in the product and works closely with all departments within the company. Similarly, the Marketing Manager looks closely at who the target customers are , how to communicate with them and generate quality interest in the product.
The Community Manager has more of an outward-facing role: interacting with potential customers, existing customers and growing the community. But at the same time the Community Manager needs to have intimate knowledge of changes happening in the products, services that you offer as well as who ideal members of the community are.
So can the Community Manager role be outsourced?
At a small company, it’s hard to imagine that you already have the person in-house so it’s understandable that you may need to look outside to fill this role. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you may already be wearing the Product Manager and Marketing hat but not quite sure if you are ready to tackle the role of Community Manager as well. And as a small business owner, you realize the importance of getting out there and interacting with your customers, but you can’t just outsource to anyone!
- It’s really important that you find someone that resonates and believes in your brand because they are going to be living and breathing it.
- You also need to have someone who will be able to work closely with your existing teams to be able to stay on top of the inner-workings of your brand and product.
- It’s also worth noting that Community doesn’t necessarily happen between 9-5 and you may need someone who is flexible and willing to be present at offline events as well as off-regular times.
These are just some of my observations and experiences. What do you think? Have you successfully outsourced this role?