Are Community Managers Becoming Obsolete?

Social media is now firmly rooted in the PR/marketing worlds of a majority of businesses. With that, the roles are beginning to evolve. The hard sell approach that the old-time social media consultants (By old time, I mean 2006-2009) used to get people on Facebook and Twitter is no longer relevant. Most people know they need to be on social media sites. Now, it’s about figuring out exactly what they need to be doing to develop their company’s brand online.

For a lot of companies, that means hiring a “community manager” internally or perhaps externally to manage the overall social media strategy and execution. A community manager is a catchy job title right now, but in reality it’s a very new job title. The job descriptions and salary range for community managers vary drastically.

As social media begins to enter the “awkward teenage years,” it will be interesting to see how the roles of community managers change with the times. Personally, I think the role will shift more heavily into the content curation side.

I recently read two blog posts that dealt with this topic. One is from Stephanie Schwab, over at Social Media Explorer, and the other is from Adam Vincenzini at his blog, The Comms Corner. While the posts approach it from different angles, Schwab and Vincenzini both sum it up by saying the future lies in content curation and counseling.

These two smarties have a great point. Content curators or counselors could be a more prominent job title in the coming years. These content curators would ideally serve as the front-line community managers for the brand as well as being the curators of valuable industry news, both internally and externally.

With the lifespan of a tweet being a matter of hours and a Facebook status update being less than a day, it can be hard to break through all the noise.

So, how do you break through all the marketing clutter?

The secret could very well lie in spreading valuable content that goes beyond your company’s press releases, blog posts and special offers. It’s all about spreading value. That could be stuff written at your company or agency, or it may be curated from around the Web. A content curator’s job would be deciphering valuable content and the “junk.”

What do you think? Do you think content curation will become the next big focus?