At a time of the role of community manager is pretty much an important part of a company's social marketing team, it's vital to choose these individuals well and to remunerate them accordingly.
The role of community manager (CM) is relatively new and is continuously evolving as the social landscape changes. As it stands right now, this role entails managing online communities, steering conversations, creating talkability around products/services, listening in on the community and acting on this information.
More often than not, CMs are also responsible for communication strategy and implementation on these social platforms. This is not a junior role or, at least, it cannot be spearheaded by an inexperienced person. It bears huge responsibility as this person or the team essentially become the spokespeople of the company. As far as the person who comments on your latest Facebook update is concerned, the CM is the company. The CM clearly needs to have a deep understanding of the company's values, goals, share its passion and most importantly, has the maturity to deal with all kinds of people in all kinds of moods that are sure to be encountered on a daily basis. Crisis management is an especially crucial skill that is admittedly hard to master, moreso for a junior. Also needed is the ability to see trends and possibly link them to a context beyond that of that platform (this is where experience comes in handy).
With this much accountability and responsibility, this role does not keep work hours and as such requires remuneration to match its sometimes stressful demands. It cannot be a thankless job and agencies/companies need to fully understand this or there may be trouble ahead for them or at least, they won't get the best results possible.
I'm interested in your thoughts on this topic so if you'd care to share, please leave a comment.