A community may (and should) require both full-time employees and a percentage of other people’s time to succeed. This is a cost that needs to be included within the investment. This can be a difficult cost to identify. For example, it is difficult to know the salaries of staff involved, the % of time they spend on the community, and the total cost of the employee (benefits, hardware, etc.).
These costs will generally include full-time employees and support from existing members of staff. For example, this might be the full-time cost of a community manager and then a % of her manager’s cost to manage this staff member.
Staff costs will include:
- Community managers/management. An organization will typically retain the services of an online community manager (or devote a % of a staff member’s time) to grow and manage the development of the organization’s online community. This job requires proactively driving the level of growth and activity within the community.
- Moderator/moderation costs. Larger organizations will often employ the services of a moderator or moderation team to quickly remove material that may be harmful to the organization, other members, or create an unpleasant atmosphere, which would limit future contributions to the community. Specific moderation companies offer to moderate communities on behalf of their clients. This might range from $20 per hour to hundreds of thousands of dollars for more advanced software.