I recently jumped in on a Twitter discussion between a few folks who were at odds about defining social media’s role in building and managing communities. Some felt that requiring social media as part of the job description for community managers was not right and might lead those interested in the role to overlook other skills important for the job. Others stated that they could not think of one community management role that could not benefit from the use of social media therefore it was a must have skill for those in the position. I tend to lean more towards the latter opinion. I posted a few messages from the Twitter exchange below.
A good example of a community offline would be an apartment complex. I have often thought about how much better my complex might be if our property managers leveraged a social platform that would allow them to not only communicate with tenants, but also enable tenants to communicate with each other on important community issues. How helpful could a service like Uservoice be for me to find out that 11 of my neighbors have already shared their disdain for the fact that our complex doesn’t have a community recycle bin like all the other properties in the area. How might these tools help property managers make residents happier and decrease turnover rates when leases come due for renewal?
This is just one example, but how could the same be said for a church group, the PTA, or your local chamber of commerce? However not required, I can’t think of one of these groups that could not greatly benefit by using social media to their advantage.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Are community management positions to heavily focused on social media skills or should social media be a requirement for any jobs that involve building and managing communities? Share your thoughts in the comments.