The Australian Community Managers’ Survey for 2018 was recently released. The only research in the Australasian region offering a snapshot of the industry, this is the second survey by this team. It comes three years after its predecessor – giving us enough time between to see some real changes in the community management industry.
And it had some big questions it wanted answered.
- What are the demographics of Australian community professionals?
- What is the average working life of community professionals (including compensation and conditions)?
- What kinds of communities do they run and in what contexts?
- How is the work of community management understood and valued by organisations? and;
- How are these things changing over time, if at all?
From 215 respondents, the survey collected some interesting, if sobering insights into how Australian Community Managers work, and are treated within the wider community.
An amazing 68% of Australian Community managers are female, making it one of the most female-focussed areas of IT employment within Australia. This reflects an increase of 15% on the 2015 results. Community management expert, Venessa Paech, who is a co-founder of Swarm Conference and Australian Community Managers (ACM) said, “This significant shift may reflect a rise in women seeking to build healthier online behaviours and cultures against abuse and misogyny.” Whatever the prompt, it is encouraging to see an area where positive female participation and growth are fundamental to the industry.
One other interesting statistic from the results is that 81% of Australian Community Mangers are millennials, suggesting it’s an area where quick learning and application cycles are of particular value to employers. However, this value is not reflected in the 30% of respondents earning below the national average of $71 – $130K per annum. This may be due to the fact that community management is still (incorrectly, according to this manager) viewed as an entry level role within many organisations.
The report takes a deep dive into the attitudes and feelings of Community Managers and how they feel their work is appreciated and understood by their organisations. Overall, there seems to be a disconnect between what a professional in the field knows they can provide, and what an organisations is willing to invest in or develop. Developments in AI and automation lead the cause for job security concerns, as well as general confusion over social media and community as being two sides of the same coin, able to achieve the same results.
That being said, the feeling is overall a positive one, with Community Managers still feeling there is meaning and a space for their skills and passion within organisations. this echoes concerns from the 2015 report, with Community Managers hopeful for the future, but concerned that their jobs may be at risk from lack of buy-in from C-suite and automated practices.
This report is a comprehensive look at Community Management and those who work in it. If you are a Community Manager, employ Community Managers, or are an organisation seeking to develop an in-house Community Management division, the insights from the report are invaluable to a positive and well-implemented team. Get your copy today from the Australian Community Managers website.