Eight years. That’s like a century in community management, but that is how many years we have been pouring hundreds of hours of our time into creating The State of Community Management. This is my third year at the helm, and I’m excited. With new questions, new data analysis tools, and another year of comparative data, I can say without hyperbole that this will be the best, most informative State of Community Management ever.*
Why the asterisk? That’s you.
You see, our research – the carefully crafted questions, intensive data preparation and analysis, writing, graphics, design, and thought leadership – is only as valuable as you make it by taking part. Last year, 339 community professionals invested their time and entrusted their data to us. This year, we want even more participation, and so do you.
By filling out the survey – you are making the results more valuable for you.
Why? Well, because in data – more is better. The greater data set last year allowed us to compare communities across industries, use cases and sizes without fears of having a small sample size. That meant being able to share items in the report and blog posts that dug in on the issues facing subgroups of communities. Those subgroups? They’re customer support (or innovation) communities like yours. They’re in the nonprofit (or health care) space like you. They have a lone wolf community manager (or a team of community managers) like you. A big sample means we don’t just spot the big trends in community management – but the little ones as well.
In 30 minutes (or less), you’ll get a scorecard of where your community management stands, and maybe some things you haven’t thought about.
The survey data isn’t just for us, it’s a way for us to report back to you on where your community management strategies, practices and engagement patterns put you in our Community Maturity Model. We won’t publicly rank you – don’t worry – this is material for you to use to celebrate your successes, and maybe target some areas for improvement. We’ll also push your thinking about your community, your community engagement, and your community value.
In the past three years, we’ve built powerful cases on the need for community managers, the fallacy of the 90-9-1 rule, and the ROI of community. Knowledge is power.
It’s a survey developed with community professionals, for community professionals.
The State of Community Management is unlike any other survey, in that it’s both tech-neutral and developed in partnership with a team of experienced community managers from TheCR Network. Our working group spends hours discussing and reviewing questions to make them relevant to community practices across industries and use cases. We, too, live by the findings – we use what we learn in our own community for community professionals, TheCR Network.
We have a history of treating your data responsibly.
There’s a lot of important data in the survey. Budgets, staffing levels, other competitive information. That’s why each year we reiterate our pledge. We will not sell, use or otherwise share your individual survey response with anyone. Period. We won’t even report on groups that are too small to guarantee anonymity. The only time you’ll hear from us is if there is a question about your data, or to let you know the research report is available. Our business is built on the strength of our research.
Coffee. And a chance for much more.
OK – there’s one other reason we get in touch. In exchange for your time, we want to buy you a coffee – one of those fancy ones, even – with a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts gift card. (You can also donate your $5 to Save Our Strength and feed the hungry.) And when all is said and done, one person will win a gift card worth $1 for every completed survey.
So – what are you waiting for? If you have any questions, shoot me a DM on Twitter.
Take the survey (and share the link!) athttp://the.cr/socm2017survey