By Shannon Abram, Relationship Manager at The Community Roundtable.
Budgeting challenges are a big concern for a lot of community managers. One of the most common questions we get from community members is some variation on:
“Help! I don’t have budget to add new staff to my community team. Where should I prioritize my time to make sure my community continues to grow?”
The State of Community Management 2014 report showed that communities with community managers are more likely to be able to measure the value of the community. It’s important to remember that the work you are doing is important, even if you feel stretched too thin. You are making a difference!
While every role at every organization has it’s own nuances, we’ve pulled together four best practices from the State of Community Management 2014 research that will help you prioritize your time and help ensure that your community is growing and thriving, even as you remain a team of one.
1. Evaluate your time.
Track where you are spending your time for a week or two and then segment it into major categories – engagement, measurement, evangelism, etc. so you can see your current allocation.
2. Compare your priorities.
Look at how community managers in the most mature communities prioritize their responsibilities – and where that differs from average communities. These are a few of their priorities that differ from average communities:
– Advocating for the community internally
– Building a community roadmap
– Coaching executives
3. Create a schedule.
Reactive issue management can eat up all of your time if you let it. Make sure it doesn’t by blocking your calendar so you can dedicate time to what is important – and make sure to protect that time. Delegate what you can to community members and give the community space to take care of itself sometimes.
4. Empower members to impact engagement.
Community managers can scale themselves and improve engagement in their community by giving control to community members. Community leadership programs and working groups have high member participation rates that can signal a healthy, engaged community.
Other common responsibilities community members take on include new member recruitment, welcoming new members and facilitating introductions and connections – more than 50% of communities reported members taking on these tasks.
Do you struggle with a lack of budget for additional community staffers? We’d love to hear how you stretch your resources to make sure your community is thriving.
Want more insights like these? Download the free State of Community Management 2014 report!
Need help on a small budget? Learn how membership in TheCR Network can provide 24/7 365 training, professional development, and education.