What they are and why you might want to consider them
In recent years, the role of the community manager has become increasingly important for businesses and organizations that want to build and maintain strong relationships with their customers and stakeholders. As communities grow in size and complexity, the need for dedicated community management expertise has become more critical. In response to this need, a new type of role has emerged: the Fractional Chief Community Officer (FCCO).
What is a Fractional Chief X Officer?
I didn’t know what a “Fractional CxO” was until February 2023. Before then, I was used to “one-person business,” “solopreneur,” “consultant,” and more. However, after being referred to Karina Mikhli via Anfernee Chansamooth, I knew I had stumbled upon something worth investigating further.
So I read her blog Fractionals United and joined her corresponding Slack community. I was blown away to see how many individuals identified with this title. But I also wasn’t surprised, because it was what I was doing in practice over the years since starting my own business(es).
There’s a great article called Fractional vs. Consultant, which highlights the key differences between the two (in case you were wondering). The below diagram describes the differences perfectly:
What is a Fractional Chief Community Officer?
A fractional chief community officer (FCCO) is a part-time or contract-based community manager who provides strategic guidance and oversight for a company’s community initiatives. Rather than hiring a full-time employee, organizations can engage an FCCO to provide expertise and support on an as-needed basis.
The FCCO is responsible for building and managing a company’s online and offline communities, developing engagement strategies, and analyzing community data to measure the success of community initiatives. They work closely with other departments within the company, such as marketing and customer support, to ensure that the community is aligned with the company’s overall goals and objectives.
Just to give you an idea of what these sorts of roles can command in today’s climate, see the following salary for just a “Head of Community” at Notion:
Couple this with someone who’s not only experienced, but technically proficient (i.e. can code), and you’ve got yourself a winner.
The Importance of Having a Chief Community Officer
Community management is a critical function for modern businesses and organizations, especially in emerging sectors like Web3 (AI/blockchain/NFTs/etc.). By engaging with customers and stakeholders, companies can build brand awareness, loyalty, and advocacy. A strong community can also provide valuable insights and feedback that can inform product development and business strategy.
Having a Chief Community Officer (CCO) can help ensure that community initiatives are aligned with the company’s overall goals and objectives. The CCO is responsible for developing and executing a community strategy that supports the company’s business objectives. They work closely with other departments, such as marketing and customer support, to ensure that the community is integrated into the overall customer experience.
However, for many organizations, hiring a full-time CCO may not be feasible or cost-effective. This is where the FCCO model comes in.
Benefits of Having a Fractional Chief Community Officer
There are several benefits to engaging an FCCO rather than hiring a full-time CCO:
1 — Cost-Effectiveness
Hiring a full-time CCO can be expensive, particularly for small or medium-sized businesses. Engaging an FCCO on a part-time or contract basis can be a more affordable option, allowing companies to access community management expertise without incurring the costs of a full-time employee.
2 — Access to Expertise
FCCOs are typically experienced community managers with a deep understanding of the best practices and strategies for building and managing online communities. By engaging an FCCO, businesses can access this expertise without having to hire a full-time employee.
3 — Flexibility
Engaging an FCCO on a part-time or contract basis provides businesses with the flexibility to scale their community initiatives up or down as needed. This can be particularly useful for businesses that experience seasonal fluctuations in demand or that are in the process of ramping up their community initiatives.
4 — Time Management
Managing a community can be a time-consuming task, particularly for businesses that are already stretched thin. By engaging an FCCO, businesses can free up their own time to focus on other critical business functions.
5 — Responsibilities of a Fractional Chief Community Officer
The responsibilities of an FCCO are similar to those of a full-time CCO. Some of the key responsibilities include:
6 — Building and Managing the Community
The FCCO is responsible for building and managing the company’s online and offline communities. This includes developing engagement strategies, moderating discussions, and ensuring that community guidelines are followed.
7 — Strengthening Community Engagement
The FCCO is responsible for developing initiatives to increase community engagement and participation. This can include hosting events, running contests, and developing community-driven content.
8 — Developing Community Strategy and Goals
The FCCO is responsible for developing and executing a community strategy that supports the company’s business objectives. This includes setting goals and metrics for community initiatives and measuring their success.
9 — Analyzing Community Data and Metrics
The FCCO is responsible for analyzing community data and metrics to measure the success of community initiatives. This includes tracking engagement metrics, such as likes, comments, and shares, as well as more qualitative metrics, such as sentiment and customer feedback.
How to Hire a Fractional Chief Community Officer
If you’re considering engaging an FCCO, there are several steps you can take to find the right candidate:
1 — Determine Community Needs
Before hiring an FCCO, it’s important to determine your community needs. What are your goals for the community? What kind of engagement are you looking for? What metrics will you use to measure success?
2 — Create a Job Description
Once you’ve determined your community needs, you can create a job description for the FCCO role. This should include the responsibilities of the role, as well as the skills and experience required.
3 — Find a Reputable Staffing Agency or Freelancer
There are many staffing agencies and freelancers that specialize in community management. Look for a reputable agency or freelancer with experience in your industry and with the skills and experience required for the role.
4 — Conduct Interviews and Hire the Best Candidate
Once you’ve identified potential candidates, you can conduct interviews to assess their skills and experience. Look for candidates with a deep understanding of community management best practices and strong communication and analytical skills. If you’re in the tech space and can find a candidate who’s also technically proficient, pay them more.
Engaging an FCCO can be a cost-effective and flexible way for businesses to access community management expertise. By building and managing a strong community, businesses can build brand awareness, loyalty, and advocacy, as well as gather valuable feedback and insights from their customers and stakeholders. If you’re considering hiring an FCCO, take the time to determine your community needs and find the right candidate for the role.
📲 Looking to hire an FCCO right away? Get in touch today.