Key Takeaways from the 2011 State of Community Management Report

The 2011 State of Community Management is an annual report that chronicles best practices and discussions related to the of field community management. The report is compiled by The Community Roundtable, a leading resource for community management practitioners, and is based off of conversations with representatives from over 60 different companies within the TheCR Network held over the span of the past year.

The 2011 State of Community Management

Community management comes of age
Interest in community management is growing and the discipline is becoming more defined. Spending on social business technologies is increasing year over year. Confusion still exists around the organization of social business, although more and more organizations are beginning to understand the importance of humanizing business to increase revenues and reduce costs.

The maturity of social business within organizations

31% of executive leaders are enthusiastic about social business
67% surveyed have community managers
48% are comfortable with user generated content, 25% are not.
63% have social media policies for employees in place, 22% do not
46% know what type of return on investment they are receiving, 12% have no idea

On strategy:

Budgets are increasing for strategy development
Goals and desired outcomes need to be defined
Understand the audience
Demonstrate the value of community
Communities take time to develop

On leadership:

Community management should come naturally
It’s important to have a framework with a current baseline, goals, and the spaces in between
Learn from others outside of your network
Risks are worth taking – push the envelope

On culture:

Invest in understanding your company culture
Always be communicating
Celebrate and share successes
Delegate responsibilities when appropriate

On community management:

Reward productive behavior, discourage nonproductive behaviors
Conflict within a community isn’t always a bad thing
Direct communication works
Manage and set boundaries for your community
Community managers should set an example
Personal connections are valuable

On content & programming:

Content should be aimed at the audience while coinciding with goals
Have a content plan
Define your blogging style
Ask great questions
Consider using video
Transparency is important

On policies and governance:

Know what legal concerns are present
Create employee guidelines

On metrics and measurement:

Understand expectations before building ROI models
Make conservative ROI assumptions
ROI doesn’t happen overnight

This summary only covers the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the valuable information in the report. It’s highly recommended that you invest the time to read it from top to bottom. Thanks to The Community Roundtable for spearheading the initiative and to all those who participated in the discussions.

Learn more about The Community Roundtable.
Read the 2010 edition.

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