Jenn Pedde’s Helpful Tips on Social Media and Community Strategy

Jenn Pedde is 2U’s social media and community strategist and a co-founder behind #CmgrChat on Twitter and TheCommunityManager.com (both serve as resources for professional community managers).

Below, Jenn offers insights on community managers’ initial earnings,

From your experience, how much do community managers typically earn in their first year of work? Do community managers’ incomes increase significantly over time?

Jenn PeddeA first year entry level Social Media Manager/Community Coordinator/Community Manager will probably make anywhere from $40-$60k depending on the organization.

What tips would you offer to an aspiring social media and community manager who would like to find a job, but has little or no experience?

When it comes to your first community job, it always helps to have prior experience. Either start a community or become an ambassador of one where you can prove you understand the principles of what it takes to build one. Have prior social media experience on your resume too with either roles in activities or internships, if possible.

Which social media channels have had the most impact on your professional career? Are there any platforms on which you think an aspiring community manager must have a presence?

Twitter has been the most important tool in my career. The ability to meet people, have great discussions, and then network offline and create friendships has been invaluable.

That being said, I don’t believe a community manager *must* be on any social network. It helps for personal branding and knowing how to use the tools well, but plenty of community builders have more experience in event planning, customer service, and relationship building instead of social media knowledge.

Could you tell us more about #CmgrChat, which you co-founded, as well as TheCommunityManager.com? In what ways might a busy community manager best utilize those resources?

#CmgrChat started in September 2010 when Kelly Lux and I decided we needed to know more about this profession. It immediately took off and for the past few years it’s been a great resource not only for us, but for hundreds of other community managers. TheCommunityManager.com quickly followed a few months later to serve as a home for the chat and a community for community managers.

We urge people to take advantage of the forums, comment on posts (or write one themselves), and networking opportunities. It’s best when interacted with on a consistent basis!

The position of “community manager” has evolved quite a bit over the past decade and is still changing today. In what form do you see the pursuit finally settling? Will the position be boosted to executive levels or branded as a modern form of entry level customer support? Will it pay well or poorly? Will community management jobs mostly settle in marketing, R&D, or customer service departments?

I constantly see the mistake of making a “community manager” focus solely on social media marketing. Growth of social media audiences isn’t a focus for a community manager when their main goal is to make sure the community is healthy. That being said, I do see more and more people moving into Director of Community roles or even getting a seat at the executive level, which leaves them equipped to enact quality strategies.

I believe that social media marketing will shake out into the world of marketing and fall into inbound nicely as more people realize the potential of SEO & Social. I think community building will and should focus more on customer service & events and retention. Only time will tell!

What are the most important metrics you use to determine the ROI of a community manager’s work? What tips can you provide to community managers who don’t know how to show how their work is impacting a business’ bottom line?

There are quite a few ways to determine the impact of a community manager’s work. Event metrics, forum metrics, Net Promoter scores, how well content is received & shared, ambassador programs, referrals, etc. The community manager title is so broad right now it’s up to the organization to clearly define goals and results to help make the community manager successful.