Successful communities are generative, with success and impact leading to more success and impact. Community returns, by their nature, benefit more than one participant, thanks in part to the trust and transparency that they enable. This typically results in consolidated and transparent information, win-win scenarios, and high ROI.
The question for organizations embarking on community approaches or who are currently operating underperforming communities, is this – how can my community get there?
Across the data from the 2019 State of Community Management research, the factor that correlates to the most other success factors is having an advanced community strategy – one that is approved, operational, and measurable. Within the 24% of community programs with advanced strategies, we see a group that is able to achieve self-generating, emergent growth, resulting in compounding value. Advanced strategies can be measured but they also are more comprehensive generally,
and are much more likely to include roadmaps, shared purpose and shared value statements, ROI projections, and, most critically, budget requirements.
Interestingly, average communities and those with advanced strategies do not look very different in terms of engagement rates, suggesting that the quality of engagement matters as much as or more than the quantity. In many other ways, they are quite different. despite having almost twice as many members, communities with advanced strategies are far less fragmented by sub-groups, more of their engagement is consolidated on the primary platform, and less of that engagement is hidden in private sub-groups. All of these aspects make the information more transparent
and accessible, causing the communities themselves to be more valuable to everyone.
Download the 2019 State of Community Management Report for more community insights, including a list of common elements of community strategies.
Note: This post contains content originally published in the State of Community Management 2019 report. Download your free copy here.