Announcing the State of Community Management Toolkit

By Shannon DiGregorio, Relationship Manager at The Community Roundtable

The State of Community Management (SOCM) has been one of our core research platforms and we are excited to announce the availability of The State of Community Management Toolkit, which includes both newly released research from our 2013 SOCM as well as an archive of our past research that provides different lens on the leading practices required to create a successful community program. It also includes a document that adds more definition and details to the Community Maturity Model, allowing community program owners to better assess their progress across an enterprise.

The State of Community Management Toolkit includes:

  • The Community Maturity Model, TheCR’s framework for establishing a community program roadmap [Graphic]
  • The Community Maturity Model: Defining Enterprise Wide Maturity – a reference guide that defines how to use the CMM to assess and plan enterprise-wise social and community maturity [Reference Guide]
  • The 2013 State of Community Management: Moving Toward Maturity – newly published data and research about the value of community [Research]
  • The 2013 State of Community Management: Value of Community Management – research that looks at how community management contributes to the success of communities, including graphics to use in your presentations [Research]
  • The 2012 State of Community Management Report – research that profiles how organizations mature, the initiatives they typically go through at each stage and the milestones that signify a move to the next stage of maturity. [Research]
  • The 2011 State of Community Management Report – research that consolidates the best practices related to the competencies in the Community Maturity Model: Strategy, Leadership, Culture, Community Management, Content & Programming, Policies & Governance, Tools and Metrics & Measurement [Research]

The SOCM Toolkit is now available for $99

Preview: The State of Community Management Toolkit from The Community Roundtable

2013 State of Community Management: Proving the Value of Community

How many times have you wished you could respond, with data, to the following questions:

  • What is the value of implementing a community strategy?
  • What is the value of a community manager?
  • How long does it take to achieve a critical mass of activity such that the community is self-generative?
  • What do enterprise community programs look like in my industry?

Up until now, there has been a relative dearth of hard data in this space. There have been community management salary surveys, a lot of high level social business research looking at which companies are doing things and why, and some selective research around governance structures and polices but few comprehensive data-driven initiatives that look at *how* business communities function and what benefits they return – and over what time-frame.  This is critical data for both the community and social business markets to move forward and to fully capture the attention of senior executives.

After four years of working with some of the leading practitioners and publishing a wealth of qualitative research, we now know enough to ask the right questions and believe the market will stall unless this data is collected – and we have an experienced research advisory board of TheCR Network members that are making sure we are working on what matters to them and their organizations – companies like CSC, Walgreens, UBM, Vistaprint, and SAP. This year, our annual State of Community Management will evolve into a longitudinal, comprehensive look at business communities covering the following types of data:

Community metrics, community performance, community ROI

2013 SOCM Metrics

We are actively soliciting both participants and sponsors – please let us know below if you are interested in getting involved:

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Preliminary Results: Social & Community Maturity by Use Case

We recently opened a survey to better understand how the market is maturing in the use of social and community practices.  One of the big questions we wanted to understand is the adoption maturity of these methods for different business uses – i.e. were they researching, planning for, experimenting, or in production use of new social practices.  In this cut of the preliminary results, we looked at where different size organization were in their maturity across a number of business areas.

First some considerations when we look at the data:

  • Survey participants were recruited through our member network, our newsletter list, and our social networks rather than an impartially recruited panel of business professionals.  That will skew the data toward certain industries. However, it is also likely to have reached the people within organizations who are best qualified to answer questions about their social operations.
  • We are currently not reporting numerical data but will be in the final results which we will publish in our 2011 State of Community Management report.
  • We are still collecting data.

Currently the distribution of respondents is heavily biased toward technology and professional services organizations:

The participation profile confirms my perception that technology and professional services are two of the more engaged industries in deploying social technologies and approaches. The technology companies because they understand culturally how to use and leverage technology throughout their organizations and professional services firms because their human capital is their most valuable and important asset.

Within those firms, the use of social and community approaches is widespread with marketing (predictably) leading the way. What surprised me was the majority of organizations are also using social methods for support, innovation, and collaboration.  Midsize (100 – 1,000 employees) and large (1,000 – 50,000 employees) lag a bit which is also expected – they typically have the complex integration, process, and cultural challenges of very large organizations but without the same resources. The small organizations (>100 employees) rarely have a lot of resources but also have a much simpler environments to navigate, making it easier for them to incorporate new approaches.

Social Marketing

While roughly 80% of all types of organizations are using social marketing practices, it is the large and very large companies lagging behind and interestingly, this is the one area that medium size business are leading – perhaps because they see the opportunity for the most leverage per dollar spent.

Social Support

Using social techniques for customer support, while being used in many organizations, is interestingly lagging social innovation and social collaboration. My initial guess is that this may be were there is the most perceived risk to current revenue streams and that is why companies are taking more measured steps. The support function is also where regulatory and business dilemmas can crop up in terms of how conflict or issues are responded to and addressed. Most large organization also have an established infrastructure for support and for efficiency, prefer to consolidate that activity.

Social Innovation

It did not surprise me to see organizations at various stages of managing social innovation but what did surprise me was how many small organizations were investigating or participating in crowdsourcing. Many companies under 100 people have extremely loose processes (if any) for innovation management and often unclear ownership so to see so many working on how to collaboratively innovate is quite interesting. Also interesting to see how many very large organizations are using some type of social innovation – quite a bit more than any other size organization.

Social Collaboration

Social collaboration (or Enterprise 2.0) doesn’t get anywhere near the amount of press that social media and social marketing get (not hard to understand why) but in my mind it has been the silent success story of the social web. Fewer than 20% of companies represented in this survey are doing nothing and over half have some form of social collaboration in place. That’s good new to me because I believe that organizations can’t use social approaches on one side of the firewall alone.  Once information flow increases in one area of a business, the other areas will be forced to follow.

What do you see in these results? Are you surprised?

Please Participate!

We are still looking for more participation – particularly if you are in a more traditional industry like retail, non-profits, consumer packaged goods, durable goods, etc.  Please fill out and share the survey:

Our final results will be published in our 2011 report, The State of Community Management. Our 70+ page 2010 report can be downloaded here.

If you are interested in sponsoring the report, becoming a Community Roundtable member, or signing up for our newsletter – let us know.