Community
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5-min read
December 23, 2021

Community Manager Wishlist: 7 Things CMs Dream of Having in 2022

If Community Managers could make one wish for 2022, what would they ask for?

We put this question to several CMs, and improved support from leadership, tools, and time were (unsurprisingly) high on the list.

Some of them, however, had some wilder requests...

The perfect community platform

Jocelyn Hsu, Senior Manager of Creator Communities at Picsart, says the perfect community platform is at the top of her wishlist. 

“One with great search, tagging, threading functionalities, longevity and organization,” she says. “It should also include a great chat function for regular, casual chatting.” 

Does the perfect community platform exist? In Jocelyn’s mind, it has three main features:

  1. Language options: “Members around the globe often ask for localized community platforms, so I'd love for more platforms to come with localized buttons and such, where if you change your language from English to Spanish (or whatever), the entire platform is now in that language (outside of UGC, which stays in whatever language it was originally posted in).”
  1. Chat functionalities:  “A lot of members I interact with want the opportunity to make friends and casually chat with other members. This is hard to do on a forum because they may or may not have "direct messages" or "personal messages" and those are more like emails than chat.”
  1. Forum functionalities: “Chats are pretty crazy to keep up with. All the folks in too many, Discord servers can attest to this. Forums are nice because many come with subject line detection to offer similar threads, tagging, moderation, etc. All the things that help us manage a really large group of people talking about a lot of things at once.”

We know choosing the right platform is a fundamental step in community-building. TLDR: choosing one with features that meet most of the needs of your community is a great place to start. 

More time

Community moderation, content creation, strategy, research, and support... what doesn’t a Community Manager do?

So it won’t come as a surprise that more time to get it all done — and, you know, have a life — is top of Gabrielle Leith, Community Manager at Bramble’s, list.

“There are so many books, events, podcasts, and articles in the community management space that have exploded this year,” she says. “Balancing my job, professional development, and life outside of being a CM is a real challenge and I wish there was more time in a day to get through all the amazing resources I have lined up.” 

A healthy work-life balance is not always easy to achieve but it’s notoriously tough for CMs. We’ve got some tips for preventing burnout here. 

Leaders who understand the need for community 

Working with company execs who understand the role of a CM — and how valuable a supported community can be when it comes to achieving business objectives — really is a gift.

“My second wish would be for a manager and leadership team who gets community for all community professionals,” Jocelyn says. “It's a game-changer to have a manager who believes in you and in community so that you're not fighting about the value of community day in and day out.”  

Analytics superpowers

“My first wish would be for an all-knowing knowledge of community data,” says Shana Sumers, Senior Manager of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging Communities at HubSpot. The dream, no?

Community Manager at Commsor Izzy Ortiz agrees. “I would wish to become a data scientist because metrics are super important — I would love to just be a whizz at all things data.”

Doing more things that *don’t* scale

When you’re out chasing growth and metrics, there’s often not a lot of time or resources for tactics that don’t impact the bottom line — but Gabrielle wishes for more opportunities to spend time nurturing in 2022. 

“I hope this sentiment becomes more and more commonplace to teams and executives outside of the community,” she says. “My biggest lesson this year has been trusting my gut on this statement. Keeping things personal, intimate, and experimental is how you grow an engaged community.”

Fair pay for CMs globally 

While there’s no doubt that the industry is growing, community roles are often still poorly defined and misunderstood.

Plenty of CMs will have felt that in recent years when it comes to compensation — especially considering the amount of work and range of responsibilities that fall under the Community Manager umbrella. 

There’s also a fairly big gap in compensation for Community Managers around the world, according to our 2021 Community Job Survey

In North America, annual salaries ranged anywhere from $26,000 to over $176,000. But in Europe, the salary range is significantly lower, with figures spanning $25,000 to $75,000 annually.  

So Jocelyn’s next wish is no surprise: "I also wish for equitable pay for all community professionals.” 

Same, Jocelyn, same.

The good news, though, is appreciation for community and demand for experienced, qualified CMs is on the rise — watch this space for results from our 2021 Community-Led Survey. 

(Not taken the survey yet? We’d love to hear from you. Do it here.)

IRL meet-ups

There’s no doubt that the drive to form deeper human connections online has been great for the industry as a whole — but there’s just something special about meeting members in person. 

This is why Gabrielle, Izzy, and Community Consultant Nityesh Agarwal are putting in-person meet-ups high up on their wishlist. 

Gabrielle would love to connect with the other CMs she’s met through The Community Club in person. “I've met so many incredible CMs online over the last 1.5 years. I wish there was an IRL conference/event easy for Canadians to get to (when it's safe of course!) to meet everyone,” she says. 

“Given what we've all been able to achieve with online events — I can't imagine how inspiring an in-person event would be.”

Nityesh is asking for three wishes in one. 

“My wishes are to organize an in-person community offsite for my community, go to an in-person offsite with my team, go to an in-person offsite with folks in The Community Club!”

Izzy shares their sentiments – although their festive wish is a little more out-there. They would also like the superpower of omnipresence.

“I would love to be in many places at the same time, in a virtual and in-person setting. I know we have bots and automation to help us with streamlining connections and support to all community members, but if I could be in multiple channels (or places) at once, I would be unstoppable.”

And why not? It is Xmas, after all. 

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What are your wishes for your community in 2022? Join the conversation on The Community Club.

Pam Magwaza
December 23, 2021

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