Key Takeaways from ‘State of Community Management’2014’ report

Community Management continues to be the buzzword in the Digital era. Every brand, irrespective of their domain are geared towards one common objective of building a community around their brand. Social media has empowered brands to a great extent to attain this objective. In the race to build the largest community some brands take the vanilla paid approach and hence boost the topline of social media channels like Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn. While others, put sincere efforts and formalize a strategy that will help them build a valuable community.

CMM
Image Credit: The Community Roundtable

The Community Roundtable has been publishing reports since 2010 on ‘State of Community Management’, which is prepared after surveying a large number of community managers across the World. This year’s survey included 164 communities across industries. The Community Roundtable developed a Community Maturity Model (CMM) that could help organizations understand, plan and assess the performance of their social community and relevant social business initiatives.

Some of the key takeaways from the report, that could be of interest to business owners, CMOs and digital marketers are as follows:

  • 85% of respondents from the top 20% who managed mature communities, could measure the value of their communities and 48% of respondents from average communities could do so. So, gone are days when community building exercise was just looked upon as a branding activity. Now, its absolutely possible to measure value.
  • 58% of communities that are able to measure value include CMO / CIO / CEO participation. This clearly indicates that participation of top management is required in the community management activities.
  • 75% of community managers were empowered to promote, encourage and reward productive behaviors. Let’s accept that community managers are the first touchpoint of an organization and who else can be a better person to judge the efforts of community members. His/her empowerment can ensure quick decision making and better engagement.
  • Best-in-class communities are managed by twice the number of community managers of an average community. So, as an organization don’t put all pressure on one community manager. But, hire a couple more so that they effectiveness could be reached.
  • The most common activities of a community manager include – a) creating content, b) curating and sharing content, c) welcoming new members, d) new member recruitment, e) facilitating introductions and/or connections.
  • 91% of best-in-class communities have well-crafted community policies to promote ideal behavior, while 67% of average communities have the same. A policy in place provides a transparency of expectations from the community manager and the community members. It also leaves less scope for crisis situations.
  • Communities with CXO level participation have seen 74% usage of microblogging, 71% mobile usage, 74% video sharing and 79% image sharing. While for average communities, the numbers were 59%, 62%, 62% & 69% respectively. This clearly indicates that participation of CXO level executives leads to rich content sharing and hence better engagement between the community members.
  • The key metrics of community measurement are – volume of new content, volume of comments, questions answered, new member activity, resolution time, behavior flows and conversation.

As a community manager what efforts do you put in to ensure the engagement on community keeps flourishing?

Anandan

I am presently employed as Associate Director (Paid Media) at Performics.Resultrix, a Publicis Groupe company. Prior to this role I was employed with HCL Technologies as Senior Manger (Digital Marketing). My earlier digital marketing assignments were with ZenithOptimediaIndia (Publicis Groupe) and AdGlobal360. You can follow me on Twitter @anandan22 for all conversations on digital marketing.

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