The State of Community Management 2016 survey is open until March 18. We need you, but we’re already seeing results that could fundamentally shift your community plans.
By Ted McEnroe, Director of Research and Training
We’re a little over halfway into the SOCM 2016 survey period, and have a little more than half of the survey total I really want to see for this year’s research. But even so, just going through the early data – there is so much here that I can’t wait to share.
So here’s a little taste – and a call to action. The data is awesome, but a bigger dataset will make a huge difference, and I guarantee, those who take the survey get 10x the value out of the report this spring.
So, who’s taken it so far?
About 40 percent of those who have taken the survey classify themselves as working in the high tech/telecom/software sector. That makes for a robust sector that we can really dig into in our results.
Everyone else – we need you. We need to double or triple the number of responses in the media/entertainment, nonprofit, business/legal/professional and health care sectors to get a big enough segment to dig into. And seeing into how these more “traditional” sectors handle communities is a fascinating window into how customer and worker relationships are changing.
And a note for community vendors. You have a great opportunity for a third-party view of communities on your platforms as a group. Don’t miss it. Right now, a hat tip to Jive for providing 25 percent of our respondents. Everyone else? Get the word out to your customers about the survey – and the opportunity for them to get their free community evaluation scores.
The divide among Top 10 community platform vendors at the moment is below.
Now, on to the data!
Three emerging engines of powerful communities
1. The power of documenting value.
We asked this year if people had defined the value of the community for the organization, the member and the “shared value” of the community – what matters to both sides.
The statements themselves were a mixed bag, but the results are remarkable. Defining value helps focus your efforts, and communities that have done it are more mature across the board than those who have not.
2. The power of the feedback loop.
A new question this year, inspired by members of our State of Community Management working group in TheCR Network, has asked about the ways communities receive member feedback. The data is incomplete, but the trend is that communities that provide a formal feedback process score more highly across the board than their peers.
3. The power of programs.
We talk often that community content and community programs are two sides of the same coin. Good content brings people into community, but programs create opportunities for “member collisions,” where they can share and interact. So far, the proof is in the engagement numbers. Communities with robust, integrated programming calendars have far better engagement than their peers.
Oh, and for the fourth straight year, we can again say the 90–9–1 rule of community is dead. Very very dead.
If you aren’t taken it, please do. For you and for us.
If you have taken it, get a friend or two to take it.
Oh, and one more thing.
Community professionals are charitably-minded
We decided this year it would be a nice thing to offer a $5 coffee gift card to folks in exchange for their time. The nice thing? The majority of respondents would rather give food to those in need than grab a latte and scone. 56% of respondents so far have chosen donations to No Kid Hungry/Save Our Strength over a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts gift card.
Your data can make that check bigger, too!