Since 2010, with the input of practicing community professionals, the team at The Community Roundtable has put together the State of Community Management. Over the years, this research has documented the practice of community management, and more importantly, it has provided actionable, proven guidance for community professionals. The State of Community Management tracks the performance of communities and community management across the eight competencies of the Community Maturity Model. During our February 19th #CMGRHangout, The Community Roundtable’s Ted McEnroe and Hillary Boucher joined us on the air to discuss some of the issues that always seem to be top of mind. During our conversation, Ted and Hillary, along with Sherrie Rohde and Christin Kardos, discussed the importance of the study and how it can influence strategy.
The importance of research
Although we’ve come far as an industry, there are still many obstacles ahead for our profession. The challenges we face are significant. There’s also a lot that we can learn from each other, and this knowledge carries across different communities within varying industries. The community profession isn’t restricted to a specific industry or sector. With this research, The Community Roundtable gets at the key elements of community management. Although the research and survey has been changing and getting more sophisticated year by year, there are commonalities between successful communities. The State of Community Management is also a great tool for community managers who are advocating for their program. It helps create a scorecard for community managers to evaluate themselves, and help them understand where they fall in the larger community landscape.
Tip: Because this report is based on community management as a discipline versus focusing on individual tools, it’s great evergreen content for those new to the community space. If you or someone you know is starting their community journey, take a look at the past reports to get a feel for how the landscape and the profession has evolved.
Improving community strategies and operations
As community practitioners, we need to advocate for ourselves and our teams. Investing in your career and finding tools you need are important, as well as getting better at showing your value. A lot of companies are investing in platforms versus in people & systems. It’s our job as community professionals to educate them on what success means when it comes to community. As an organization, you can spend a lot of money on a platform, but if there are no policies, framework, and most important, people to use it properly, the tool will fall flat.
It’s also our job as community professionals to tie the community to the organization. Creative a powerful, personal narrative around the value of your community. Show the higher ups and other departments how community builds up to the overarching business goals, as well as the success of other departments.
With the State of Community Management, you can:
- Identify gaps within your community program and priorities for your strategy moving forward.
- Focus how you’re educating yourself to evolve as a community professional.
- Have a great starting point for looking at your community roadmap.
- Reflect on your practice.
- Create your own benchmarking materials for your community.
- Use it as a tool to train new community managers.
We mentioned that the survey evolves every year. This year, the focus is on the balance of organization and member content, as well as the ROI of community. How does your organization feel about the community? Is your organization structured to support the community?
Take the State of Community Management 2016 Survey (before March 18th!)
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