We can’t talk about new jobs in the Communication and Internet departement without mentioning the Community Manager position. This job consists of hosting and developing communities, on the Internet, for a company, a Brand, a celebrity or even an Institution to name a few.
In a world where all our life and activities are digitized, the CM plays an important role because he is the middleman between brands and customers. He promotes the values of the brand, its offers, services, products, basically everything related to digital communication, so he can collect relevant information from the members of the communities he set up and pass them down to his employer.
From Cape Town to Cairo, Community managers or Digital managers are everywhere to be found, whether they are part of top companies or managing the images of celebrities. Famous artists or athletes and even Head of states happen to hire those “geeks”.
A job facing stereotypes
The Community Manager job initially came from the US and spread all over the world. In Africa, It first started in English speaking countries like Nigeria and South Africa then took over the French and Portuguese speaking countries.
If you go to classified advertisements websites or job search engines like Talent2Africa you will see Community Manager positions because you can manage companies without it. It is mostly due to the fact that the internet is on the rise and so are internet users.
However it is a job that is facing a lot of stereotypes because people tend to think that when you are a CM all you do is post stuff on Facebook or other social networks and that it far from the truth. Being a CM actually means being a professional in digital and communication marketing. When you hire a Community Manager you hire a professional who has the ability to make you company more visible, to secure a network of clients and get new clients. He must possess a large field of competences like being an expert in social networking, being a decent writer, have web and graphic designing skills especially in search engine optimisation, have a good knowledge of CMS like WordPress and most of all, he must have passion for what he does. It is a very time-consuming job that require unlimited working hours. Most of the time you take your work home because reactivity is necessary at all times.
There were no vocational training in that area
The Social Media Manager Idrissa Dioum started the Community Manager job in 2014. He has been passionate about social networking ever since he has had his initiation bonus in 2009. “I got in the CM business thanks to a company called QI that is a leader in that area in Senegal and they had me work for a Senegalese online news website named Senego, at the same time I was working with a communication Agency called Graphicool, after that I worked at the Communication leadership Agency where I ended up as a Community Manager for Hotels like Novotel and Ibis in Dakar, and for the Coal plant in Bargny. I then again went to work for the NGO Enda Energy”.
At the beginning of his CM career, there was no vocational training, some had to learn in praxis and other took online courses, luckily, nowadays, plenty of schools and institutions offer training and educational courses for anyone whose ambition is to be a future leader in the Community Manager business which is on the rise not only in Senegal but in Africa.
However a pay scale is yet to be officially established and because of that most of them work under service provider agreements.