Forrester Report: How to Staff for Social Computing; The Social Computing Strategist & the Community Manager

I’m talking to more and more clients who are starting to budget for social media programs, this also includes hiring the right kind of people.

As you know, I hail from Hitachi Data Systems (2003-2006) as the Online Community Manager, I know the role, and what it means to connect with customers using social media tools. While I don’t officially hold that title now, I have the rare pleasure to actually do some research on the role and what it means to customers and business.

In the last few months, I’ve interviewed nearly a dozen community managers at many companies, and compiled 16 specific job descriptions to create these 4 Tenets of Community Managers. We also had many internal discussions to whittle down what’s important and what’s not.

Companies assemble Social Media Teams
The report, entitled How to Hire for Social Computing actually outlines there are TWO roles needed for a successful social computing program. It’s available for all clients to download at will, for non-clients, you can purchase it online, and if not satisfied, benefit from the money back guarantee.

The Social Computing Strategist
The Social Media Strategist, whose job is to lead the internal charge, develops the program, gains resources, convinces management, and measures success. In the report, I reference Ed Terpening, VP of Social Media at Wells Fargo as a Social Computing Strategist,

The Community Manager
Secondly, the Community Manager, who’s job is to primarily be a community advocate Lionel Menchaca as Dell’s Community Manager as examples of best practice (big shoes to fill eh?). There are thousands of other community managers who are pushing the membrane of the corporation to reach to customers, the list grows longer every day.

What you’ll learn
This report (which is one of our products, like consulting) outlines who these people are, what do they do, where to find them, how to manage them, and how to compensate them. If you’re trying to convince your management about the validity of these roles, this report will help you.

Also, I strive to walk the talk, if you’re a client, you can leave feedback on my blog, but also leave it on the Forrester site after you login. I promise to respond to any of your questions about the report. (we allow clients to rate and leave comments on every report).

Lastly, If you’re seeking to hire or get hired as one of these social media folks, start here, and read all my On The Move posts.

26 Replies to “Forrester Report: How to Staff for Social Computing; The Social Computing Strategist & the Community Manager”

  1. You get some serious kudos for your work on this particular topic, Jeremiah.

    The Social Computing Strategist role perhaps most closely mirrors what I have been trying to capture in my buzz director musings.

    My question is… will orgs *really* embrace these evolving job roles (and what they stand for) into their networks, free of control, etc.

    Great stuff! See if I can get hold of the report…

  2. Very timely Jeremiah! I’m hiring folks right now and feel like I’m inventing the business model (social media agency, a bit different than social media in-house team), but who is the team was one of my first questions.

    I’m assembling programmers, SEO types, writers, PR, people, marketers… I’ve got to dig more into this! Thanks. Always like your stuff.


  3. Great to see you on your home turf tonight! Great digs and you’re a wonderful host. And Charlene was great! Cool event. Glad I got to come!

    Will 2008 be the year when all Websites become community sites? I see lots of people teaming up to create places where they can bring together multiple annual events (i.e. education related) on a Website where the non-Intel people play a key role — students, teachers, policy makers, executives. Seems like the right approach for other groups, too. What are we waiting for?

  4. P.S. One of the traits not often mentioned as necessary to this job that I admire about you Jeremiah is your sincere kindness to your audience. It really shines through to me, and the tubes could use more of it.

  5. Jeremiah, thank you and thank you again for your well thought out, timely and incredibly on-point posts about this topic. I will continue to keep an eye on you and your writing 🙂

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