That’s right – by a narrow margin, organizations with dedicated community budgets said they spent slightly more on community management salaries and resources than they did on their platforms. The difference – 0.1%, is well within any margin of error, but the statement itself is remarkable. It means that a profession that not that long ago suffered from a “build first, staff it later (maybe)” mentality in some organizations is seeing that approach fade.
It doesn’t entirely vanish. Our set of communities that are under 3 years old spends more on platforms and technology than on people, but at every other age group, investments in the human side of community top those on technology.
That spending question is just one of a number of encouraging side for those of us who understand the critical importance of moderation, strategy and community management in running successful online communities.
The research also finds that 73% of communities (and 92% of our best-in-class group) had full-time community management – and 96% of communities had at least part-time community management resources.
Not only that, but organizations are investing more in training and development of their community managers. Just 4% of those communities with full-time managers say they didn’t offer professional development opportunities to them. For the other 96%, conferences, member networks, coaching and online courses help keep their community team members learning and growing.
For years, the research has indicated that community management matters. It’s great to see this year that the advice is being heeded more than ever.
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