Are you increasingly hearing about online community management?
It seems that everywhere you turn online, at conferences, on podcasts, and in business meetings, community management is a main topic.
This correlates with the sizable uptick in adoption of online community platforms for customers, employees, and partners by companies and membership organizations (like user groups, associations, and universities).
At the beginning of the year, top technology research firm, IDC, forecast that building online communities was the #1 priority for businesses in 2013 and it seems to be coming true. Let's hear it for accurate technology predictions!
All of this focus accounts for the great research and advice being produced around the discipline of community management. Here are important 3 social business posts that you won't want to miss.
This is a big one! Every year, our friends at The Community Roundtable compile the most extensive research report of its kind on community management. The 2013 State of Community Management report was released this week.
This year's study focuses on the value of community management. Highlights include:
- Data on community management skill sets and salaries
- Examples of which community management practices and programs are becoming standardized (see the image above)
- The latest data on the 90-1-1 rule on community participation
This report contains important information for all social business processionals €“ enterprise, nonprofit, government, or academic.
Community managers put up with a lot. They are often confused with customer support staff, treated as catch-all grunts, and lumped in with other digital marketing pros. However, running even a small online community can easily fill up a 50-hour work week. There is a little time for double-duty.
Serious online communities demand dedicated community management. One of the best ways to educate people on what community management is, is to explain what it is not (this applies to explaining many things in life).
This article by Jenn Pedde at The Community Manager is one of the most thorough explanations that I have seen. Get ready to click the share buttons to spread these ideas across your organization!
Creating active online communities that are both meaningful to their members and the sponsoring organizations is not about being social. Sorry, it's just not. That is an activity that occurs in an active community, but busy people don't join and participate in online customer and member communities to be social online. Being social is a symptom of an active online community.
Online communities are about value. Active online communities help people solve problems - personal problems, job problems, reputation problems, societal problems, emotional problems, connection problems, etc.
This short post from Rich Millington at FeverBee is a good reminder of the different reasons that people join, and return to, your online customer or member community.
Online Community Management Takeaway
With the rise on online communities as a central customer relationship management strategy for companies of all sizes comes a fair share of frustration. As more people hear about online community management, the more disparate and muddied the definition becomes. This is a common stage of many breakthrough technologies.
To help push through this phase, the team at Socious and other people dedicated to the online community movement continue to produce useful online community guidance and deep research about what is working and what is not in the areas of strategy, online community software, and community management.