By Ted McEnroe, Director of Research and Training, The Community Roundtable
“How we spend our days, of course, is how we spend our lives.”
Ask an overworked community manager what they wish they had more of – and you’re likely to get one of two answers: resources or time. How a community pro spends his or her time matters greatly to their communities, but how much? We asked our participants to share how they and their teams spent their time – and saw some interesting trends.
More advanced community managers emphasize content less, and strategic and business matters more, than their peers.
There was an interesting shift as we looked at communities across our community maturity scoring. Community managers in less mature communities said content skills were most important for them. But those in more mature communities highlighted strategic and business skills. (Everyone said engagement was at or near the top of their skill priority list.)
Despite that, engagement and content take up the majority of community professionals’ time.
Even in more advanced communities, community professionals still have content and engagement on their plates a majority of the time. The difference, though, is that more advanced communities typically put more emphasis on creating engagement – items like planning programs, asking questions and connecting members, rather than creating content for the community.
What goes on in the community platform is just half the job.
In the past, we’ve talked about the iceberg effect of community management – and the data this year drives that home. The average community manager in this year’s survey spent slightly over half their community time working within their community platform, and the rest connecting with the community on email, on the phone, and in person.
Of course, “in the platform” does not equate to “visible in the community”, either – a reminder again both that much of your important work can go unseen by members, and that “working out loud” is a great way to bring visibility to work (yours and others’) that makes a robust community possible.
One other note – community managers in best-in-class (The top 20% highest scoring) communities divided their time almost exactly the same ways as the average among platforms. It’s not where you spend your days that determines your community success. It’s strategically leveraging that time to meet your community goals.
We hope you’ll set aside some time for The State of Community Management 2016. It’s set to come out on May 18! Want to be notified when the SOCM 2016 is released? Sign up below!
(Are you a member of TheCR Network? As always the research will be available for direct download inside the Network immediately upon release – no need to sign up here!)