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Signs of strength in the community management space: An SOCM Sneak Peek

By Ted McEnroe, Director of Research

The State of Community Management 2017 survey is open until the end of this week (March 17th), but already, the research team is digging into the data for this year’s report.

We are seeing a lot of interesting trends – and one especially heartening one I couldn’t wait to share. Community professionals are seeing signs of strength.

With more than 200 surveys complete – this growth pattern can be seen in a series of questions we asked comparing community staffing, budget and engagement from last year to this one.

In staffing, about half of community programs in the survey saw staffing changes this year, and it was far more often in a positive direction. More than a third – 36% of respondents said their staffing increased a little or a lot in the past 12 months. Just 13% said their staffing had been cut.

As goes staffing, it makes sense, so goes budget.

Compared with the prior year, 43% of those who could answer the budget question said their budget had risen a little or a lot over the past year. Only 18% said their budget had declined. (The rest said their budget had stayed about the same.)

Nearly 70% of respondents so far say their community is generating more value this year than last, versus just 7% who say their community is generating less value.

But has the added investment in resources led to improvements in communities? We see a positive trend there as well.

  • Nearly four-fifths of communities in the survey saw an increase in members in the past year.
  • More than two-thirds say their communities are more active year-over-year.
  • 64% say the number of questions being answered in their communities has risen.
  • And perhaps most importantly – nearly 70% of respondents so far say their community is generating more value this year than last, versus just 7% who say their community is generating less value.

It’s an encouraging trend, but there’s still more data coming in – including yours. As the dataset grows, we’ll look for trends among subgroups and industries, and try to connect some of the best practices in community management with these indicators of success.

Please take the survey by March 17 at http://the.cr/socm2017survey – you’ll get a scorecard of your community based on TheCR’s Community Maturity Model, a free coffee on us, and your contribution will help advance the field. Not bad for a 25-minute effort.



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