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May 21, 2014

Community Management from Afar

by massmarotta
Coin Operated Binoculars

I follow quite a few community managers and social media strategists from Europe, most notably in the U.K. In fact, Europeans account for over 30% of the traffic to this blog.   

Over the last couple months, I’ve noticed that my Twitter feed has been slowly [yet steadily] taken over by job postings for community manager roles in Europe. I don’t have the growth rates for community management roles in Europe compared to that of the United States, but it seems the demand for community managers in European countries is high, very high. It’s great to see actually. It means the community manager role is growing on a global scale and will be here for the long-term. Aaaahhh job security!

I have no plans to uproot, but it got me thinking; can you manage an online community from another country, or continent for that matter, and be successful? We work in a telecommuting world these days. Working remotely and not sitting in corporate headquarters or in a satellite office is not unheard of.  But separated by a body of water like the Atlantic Ocean, several time zones, a stranger to local customs, and very little [if at all] face time with customers and internal stakeholders seems like a near impossible feat.

So, my question to you is, do you think a community manager can live in another country and still deliver a successful experience to members? Who is doing this well today? Would you do it yourself?