By Ted McEnroe, Director of Research and Training
Organizations are changing. We’re on the move. We work remotely. We rely more and more on smaller devices.
And our communities aren’t keeping up.
In the State of Community Management 2016 survey, we introduced two new questions for community managers. The first was pretty straightforward: What percentage of your members regularly access your community from mobile devices?
Not surprisingly, while the numbers ranged basically from 0 to 100, but the average was just a shade under 30%.
The second question, however, raised a few research eyebrows. How do you rate your mobile experience? The graphic below sort of speaks for itself.
It wasn’t the low percentages on their own that got our attention. Some of the biggest community platforms offer a mobile experience that is something akin to torture. Text you can’t read. Margins that break. Pinching. Zooming. Fields you can’t fill.
Want to learn more? You can download the State of Community Management 2016 at the bottom of this post.
What is surprising is sometimes how willing we are to accept it. Thinking about Stage 2, where the majority of communities in our survey ended up. On average, 3-in-10 of your members access your community with mobile, and 78% of them aren’t doing it on a very good platform. That’s a massive problem for engagement, since members suffering through a less than optimal experience are a lot less likely to comment, post or answer questions – the exact behaviors that give community its greatest value.
Think mobile doesn’t matter? Communities that said more than 60% of members used mobile regularly had nearly 1.5x the active engagement of their peers.
But where there is failure, there is also opportunity. Our best-in-class communities were more than 50% more likely to say their users were having a very good or excellent mobile experience. But here’s the real reason to invest in mobile. Communities that said more than 60% of their members used mobile regularly in their communities had nearly 1.5 times the active engagement as their peers.
We like to remind people that strategy trumps platform when it comes to community success. Having a great mobile platform alone won’t drive community success. But communities that think mobile as part of their strategy and make it a prime platform consideration are reaping benefits now, and are ahead of the curve for an increasingly mobile future.
We can’t wait to hear what you think – tag your thoughts with #SOCM2016 to join the conversation!
Are you a member of TheCR Network? Download the research inside the Network here.