The Community Roundtable has issued its annual compilation of research, and it’s filled to the brim with even more data and recommendations for online community professionals than any previous year. It’s a collaborative effort that Higher Logic was excited to be part of, joining members of TheCR Network and TheCR research team.
The State of Community Management 2015 Report includes analysis from over 200 communities, and this year’s research also features maturity stages for community management maturity markers—a great addition for community managers to help assess and benchmark where they are in their community’s engagement journey.
Here’s a quick summary of the report’s key findings:
1. Strategy: Invest in people and systems, not just platforms.
Communities should go beyond a technology-centric view. Make sure you integrate strategic planning, operational systems and government structures into your core organizational practices.
2. Operations: Advocacy programs are more than a checkbox.
Attempt to implement multi-tiered programs that will reward multiple levels of advocates and brand champions for your community.
3. Tactics: Quick wins exist to improve engagement.
Re-focus efforts on step-by-step accomplishments like defining value, improving new member programming and investing in quality training and coaching programs for your community staff. These goals are quick and inexpensive wins.
How you can become a "best-in-class" community
This report is truly a comprehensive look at what best-in-class communities are doing to ensure success. What resonates with us is the validation that these “BIC” communities integrate community and business goals into their overall strategies. Your community KPIs won’t be worth their weight if you haven’t measured against specific programs, content and objectives for your organization overall.
One of our favorite takeaways relates to balancing out your content with your engagement efforts: “Many community managers still have a lopsided focus on content instead of balancing good content with proactively planning community programs.” While we love when a good piece of content comes out, we also know that it’s really about the individuals forging relationships and sharing that content around to improve engagement and generate value.
Download the 2015 report to check out all of the new analyses and insights from The Community Roundtable team.