I think you are right, but it really depends on the kind of community they want to build.
I believe that community managers typically focus on a few key areas:
- Helping to align an organization with a set of community goals (processes, infrastructure, comms etc).
- Building growth in areas of agreed community management strategy.
From my experience, most community management best practice does indeed focus on (2), but getting (1) in place ca be tricky depending on the organization. For example, it might be straight-forward to build a community in a startup that has a young perspective and plenty of capital, but for a large corporation it can be much more complex.
I think the challenges that lay here are typically people though, not tools. Usually deploying technology that an organization can use in conjunction with a community isn’t too complex. The challenge is building an understanding of what community can bring (which is brave and new) while also reassuring people that their patch of land isn’t going to get bulldozed with a bunch of random community members.
Sadly, while I think there are some repeatable practices here, much of this is heavily dependent on the organization.
I think the key is:
- Be crisp in what community can bring.
- Help people to understand what you want to focus on in terms of tactical projects.
- Reassure people that you are additive to their departments, not subtractive.
- Provide regular status updates.
More than anything, I think the key is to start small and demonstrate success as opposed to try to convince people of it.
Just my $0.02c.