Today’s guest blog post is by TheCR Network member James LaCorte, Online Strategist for Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina. We are thrilled to have him help shape our research to better serve his organization and the marketplace. And if you are in the Raleigh-Durham area be sure to check out TheCRLive luncheon series he is starting up next month.
I didn’t know what to expect when volunteering for The Community Roundtable’s 2013 State of Community Management Advisory Board. Board members come from a variety of industries and have diverse skill sets. Though we all are different, what united us together is our passion for community management and desire to share our knowledge. These traits were beneficial as we determined the survey questions and report content. I am confident you will not only find the report informative, but very helpful, which is why I am eagerly anticipating its publication later this spring.
Here are some report highlights I found interesting:
Organizations have hosted a formal community management role for an average of 3 years
It’s amazing to think the first user generated content site (GeoCities) opened its doors in 1994. In 2006 Facebook opened its doors to the public and in less than a year had 100,000 business pages! We have come a long way, and most businesses are not asking if social media is only for the hipsters, but how can it be leveraged or how can they catch up!
So it surprises me that companies surveyed have only had formal community managers for an average of 3 years.
Top community management struggles
- Limited resources
- Lack of support and/or awareness internally
The top struggles were not a surprise; these are my top struggles and during TheCR Network meetings I hear many others mention these as well.
Executive level support
Fewer than 20% of respondents cited lack of executive level support as a major challenge for their community managers. This is great news, and I believe this number is decreasing quickly.
What does this mean?
Businesses are coming along; many will slowly evolve and find the right strategy for employees and their customers. The data points I highlight show that businesses want to be more social but do not fully understand the investment and dedication needed. Community Managers will continue to struggle for capacity, budgets, and recognition. But, this can change if we as Community Managers become comfortable challenging our leaders, consistently sharing results, and educating business areas on how to use the tools and successes.
I believe this report, past research reports, and other resources shared by The Community Roundtable are critical tools to use when building your case for internal or external social media and the resources or capital needed to help them grow.
I am looking forward to making this report part of my toolkit once it comes out, and I recommend you do, too.
TheCR Network is a membership network that provides strategic, tactical and professional development programming for community and social business leaders. The network enables members to connect and form lasting relationships with experts and peers as well as get access to vetted content.