Careers in Community Management

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Looking for an entry level job or internship in community management? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.

I’ve always been bad at generating ideas for presents. But with the help of Etsy’s gift recommender, which gives you gift ideas based on each of your Facebook friends’ interests, I found a Sarah Palin flask. As odd as that flask sounds, it was the perfect gift. Etsy is all about connecting people with great hand-crafted local art while simultaneously helping small businesses grow. Rather than just being a marketplace, it brands itself as a community of artists, creators, collectors, thinkers, and doers. As such they encourage people to meet up in person by attending workshops, connecting online for learning labs, and joining forum threads to discuss business, crafts, and more. The person in charge of fostering this sense of community between their millions of sellers and buyers is a Community Manager.

Community Management Entry Level Jobs and Internships

Photo Credit: Flickr user handmadecrafts2007

Community Management Career Guide Overview

  1. What a Community Manager Does
  2. A Typical Day in Community Management
  3. Salary and Career Progression for a Community Manager
  4. Best Locations for Community Management
  5. Pros and Cons: Being a Community Manager
  6. What You Need to Know for a Career in Community Management
  7. Community Management Resources
  8. Careers Related to Community Management
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships in Community Management

What a Community Manager Does

A Community Manager fosters a sense of community by building close relationships with, and between, a company or brand’s customers. Basically a Community Manager strives to create a virtual world that all the key players in an industry want to take part in. They do this by synthesizing conversations, facilitating discussion, curating and creating content, and pushing the community to evolve. Community Managers play an important role in involving a large number of people in innovation, collaboration, evangelism, and loyalty for a company or product.

A Typical Day in Community Management

While a typical day for a Community Manager varies, these are some of the tasks you might encounter:

  • Sifting through discussions in the community to make sure that people are getting answers to questions
  • Making sure the right people are being pulled into conversations
  • Creating new content like blog posts, discussion topics, tweets, and videos
  • Speaking publicly about the community to get more people interested
  • Planning for the future of the community by staying abreast of new conversations, people, and software
  • Pulling together data/analytics reports to show progress

Salary and Career Ladders for a Community Manager

The great news is that demand for this position is continuing to grow. Currently the average yearly salary for a Community Manager is $57,000. With this role you have the opportunity to work for an agency or for a brand. As you grow, you might take on a more senior role or switch between agencies or brands. You could also become a Social Media Manager ($25,000-$70,000), Program Manager (average $113,000), or even Community Director ($33,000-$94,000).

Best Locations for a Community Manager

  • New York, New York
  • San Francisco, California
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Los Angeles, California
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Austin, Texas
  • Washington DC
  • Miami, Florida

Pros and cons to being a Community Manager

Pros
  • You get to be creative in your writing and content production
  • Actively engaging with passionate and knowledgeable customers can be rewarding
  • The number of jobs in this field will continue to grow, so you’ll be in demand
Cons
  • The role isn’t clearly defined yet and this can cause some confusion about your duties
  • Can be very taxing trying to make many people happy and guide discussion

What You Need to Know for a Career in Community Management

To be a Community Manager you will probably need a bachelor’s degree in journalism, marketing, advertising, business or psychology. In addition you should have great written and verbal communication skills, an understanding of marketing and online culture and trends, and the ability to speak publicly. The cool thing about community management is that there are a few ways you can get experience even before your first gig:

  • Start a fan club or volunteer to foster a community for a company or person you care about
  • Start a blog
  • Build an online persona across social networks
  • Participate in existing communities & post regularly
  • Share your knowledge with podcasts or videos

Community Management Resources

If community management still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.

Required Reading

The Art of Community by Jono Bacon
The New Community Rules by Tamar Weinberg
Online Community Management for Dummies by Deborah Ng

Key Folks to Follow on Twitter

Blogs and Websites

Networking Opportunities

Careers Related to Community Management

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Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Community Management

Victorious Logo

Victorious - Victorious is a Santa Monica, CA based startup that is “motivated by the challenge of powering and uniting the world’s most creative communities.”

See the complete Victorious profile


Sprout Social Logo

Sprout Social - Sprout Social is a Chicago, IL based company that offers “a management and egnagement platform for social business.”

See the complete Sprout Social profile


Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition Logo

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition - Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition is a San Jose, CA based non-profit that is working to “to create a healthy community, environment, and economy through bicycling."

See the complete Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition profile


BustedTees Logo

BustedTees - BustedTees is a New York, NY based t-shirt company that was started by the same team as CollegeHumor.

See the complete BustedTees profile


Vayable Logo

Vayable - Vayable is based in SF/NYC and offers “a home for anyone looking to experience honest, local culture through experiences created and hosted by passionate local Insiders.”

See the complete Vayable profile


AptDeco Logo

AptDeco - AptDeco is a New York, NY based startup that allows you “to buy or sell furniture without the scams, hassle, or creepy people going into your apartment.”

See the complete AptDeco profile


Krash Logo

Krash - Krash is based in Boston and offers a “way for founders, entrepreneurs and innovators to rapidly build the supportive personal and professional networks they need.”

See the complete Krash profile


Hostelling International USA Logo

Hostelling International USA - Hostelling International USA is a Silver Spring, MD based "non-profit membership organization that has been serving young travelers for 79 years strong.”

See the complete Hostelling International USA profile


RelayRides Logo

RelayRides - RelayRides is a San Francisco, CA based company that connects “vehicle owners whose cars would otherwise be idle with people who need a car.”

See the complete RelayRides profile


SheKnows Logo

SheKnows - SheKnows is a Scottsdale, AZ based “women’s lifestyle media platform” that “allows brands to distribute authentic content and integrated advertising at scale.”

See the complete SheKnows profile


Kinsa Logo

Kinsa - Kinsa is a New York, NY based company that is changing the way that people take their temperatures and monitor their health.

See the complete Kinsa profile


UpOut Logo

UpOut - UpOut is a San Francisco, CA based company that “is changing how locals discover unique events in their city.”

See the complete UpOut profile


Mason Zimbler Logo

Mason Zimbler - Mason Zimbler is an Austin, TX based “integrated agency rooted in the digital space” that combines “a love of creative” with a “desire for results.”

See the complete Mason Zimbler profile


Betaworks Logo

Betaworks - Betaworks is an NYC company that works "to create beneficial and transformative products for the socially connected world.”

See the complete Betaworks profile


Zepp Labs Logo

Zepp Labs - Zepp Labs is a Los Gatos, CA based company that “empowers athletes and coaches with meaningful performance information to help them immediately improve their game.”

See the complete Zepp Labs profile


Fullscreen Logo

Fullscreen - Fullscreen is a LA based agency aiming to build “the first media company for the connected generation—together, right at the intersection of tech and entertainment.”

See the complete Fullscreen profile


Houzz Logo

Houzz - Houzz is a Palo Alto, CA based company that offers “a collaborative platform for home remodeling and design."

See the complete Houzz profile


Groundspeak Logo

Groundspeak - Groundspeak is a Seattle, WA based company that aims “to make everyone an explorer and to put an adventure in every location.”

See the complete Groundspeak profile


RocksBox Logo

RocksBox - RocksBox is a San Francisco, CA based company that lets you “experiment with different looks, discover the latest designers, and only buy the jewelry that you truly love.”

See the complete RocksBox profile


Digital Promise Logo

Digital Promise - Digital Promise is a Washington, DC based organization that “supports comprehensive research and development to benefit lifelong learners."

See the complete Digital Promise profile


Targeted Victory Logo

Targeted Victory - Targeted Victory is an Alexandria, VA based agency that has “anchored digital campaigns on the local, state, and presidential level.”

See the complete Targeted Victory profile


Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Logo

Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association - Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is a Frederick, MD based non-profit that “is the largest, most influential general aviation association in the world.”

See the complete Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association profile


General Assembly Logo

General Assembly - General Assembly is based in NYC and is “offering full-time immersive programs, long-form courses, and classes and workshops on the most relevant skills of the 21st century.”

See the complete General Assembly profile


Vitamix Logo

Vitamix - Vitamix is an Olmsted, OH company that is “improving the vitality of people’s lives and liberating the world from conventional food and beverage preparation boundaries.”

See the complete Vitamix profile


Relias Learning Logo

Relias Learning - Relias Learning is based in Cary, NC and offers “online training to senior care, health and human services, corrections, and intellectual and developmental disabilities organizations.”

See the complete Relias Learning profile


AllTrails Logo

AllTrails - AllTrails is a San Francisco, CA based startup that provides outdoor enthusiast "with the information and tools to discover top destinations near them.”

See the complete AllTrails profile


Amicus Logo

Amicus - Amicus is a New York, NY based company that turns a “nonprofit’s supporters into fundraisers and advocates.”

See the complete Amicus profile


Fitocracy Logo

Fitocracy - Fitocracy is a New York, NY based company that aims “to make fitness a more fun, more addictive experience.”

See the complete Fitocracy profile


FaithStreet Logo

FaithStreet - FaithStreet is a New York, NY based company that helps people find a place to worship and helps religious communities find new members and gather donations.

See the complete FaithStreet profile


CafeMom Logo

CafeMom - CafeMom is an NYC based digital media company for moms that reaches more than 20 million users every month

See the complete CafeMom profile


Causes Logo

Causes - Causes is an SF based company that wants to be the place that people go to when they want to “discover, support and organize campaigns, fundraisers, and petitions."

See the complete Causes profile


GiveGab Logo

GiveGab - GiveGab is an Ithaca, NY based company that has built a “social network for volunteers and volunteer managers.”

See the complete GiveGab profile


TextLinkBrokers Logo

TextLinkBrokers - TextLinkBrokers is a Mesa, AZ based company that services the “needs of professional SEM agencies and individuals looking for high quality link development.”

See the complete TextLinkBrokers profile


newBrandAnalytics Logo

newBrandAnalytics - newBrandAnalytics, a D.C. based company, has developed “a social media monitoring and online reputation management tool" to deliver operational social intelligence.

See the complete newBrandAnalytics profile


The National Center on Time & Learning Logo

The National Center on Time & Learning - The National Center on Time & Learning is a Boston, MA non-profit that “is dedicated to expanding learning time to improve student achievement."

See the complete The National Center on Time & Learning profile


Black Diamond Equipment Logo

Black Diamond Equipment - Black Diamond Equipment is a Salt Lake City, UT based company that is “all about climbing and skiing.”

See the complete Black Diamond Equipment profile


Firecracker Logo

Firecracker - Firecracker is a Cambridge, MA based company that has built the “most advanced learning platform for the next generation of Physicians.”

See the complete Firecracker profile


Mirrorball Logo

Mirrorball - Mirrorball is a New York, NY based consumer engagement agency “that connects brands and people through a fusion of social media and live experience.”

See the complete Mirrorball profile


Social Media Beast Logo

Social Media Beast - Social Media Beast is a Chicago, IL based agency that is helping some of Chicago’s most notable brands do social right.

See the complete Social Media Beast profile


Brooklyn Museum Logo

Brooklyn Museum - At over half a million square feet, Brooklyn Museum is “one of the oldest and largest art museums in the country.”

See the complete Brooklyn Museum profile


Panthera Logo

Panthera - Panthera is a New York, NY based non-profit that “is the world’s leading conservation organization devoted exclusively to the protection of wild cats.”

See the complete Panthera profile


See.Me Logo

See.Me - See.Me is a New York, NY based company that offers a platform that allows artists of all kinds to share the best of what they do with an international community.

See the complete See.Me profile


Riskive Logo

Riskive - Riskive is a Baltimore, MD based company that provides " technology dedicated to identifying, monitoring and preventing risk across the socially connected enterprise.”

See the complete Riskive profile


Base CRM Logo

Base CRM - Base CRM offers is a Chicago, IL based company that “is paving the way by building the next generation of CRM software.”

See the complete Base CRM profile


Wedding Party Logo

Wedding Party - Wedding Party is a Palo Alto, CA based company that offers an app that allows you to “capture all the amazing photos from your wedding.”

See the complete Wedding Party profile


The North Face Logo

The North Face - The North Face is an Alameda, CA based company that pushes “the boundaries of innovation so that you can push the boundaries of exploration.”

See the complete The North Face profile


Lumi Logo

Lumi - Lumi is a Los Angeles, CA based company that has developed “a revolutionary photographic print process for textiles and natural materials.”

See the complete Lumi profile


HelloWallet Logo

HelloWallet - HelloWallet is a Washington, DC. based company that offers a “financial wellness” tool designed with the help of behavioral economists.

See the complete HelloWallet profile


Desmos Logo

Desmos - Desmos is a San Francisco, CA based startup that offers a free online graphing calculator for students, teachers, and anyone interested in math.

See the complete Desmos profile


LockerDome Logo

LockerDome - LockerDome is a St. Louis, MO based startup that offers a social media platform to help professional athletes, brands, and other sports properties” reach fans.

See the complete LockerDome profile



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