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Announcing the 2012 State of Community Management Report

We are very pleased to announce our third annual State of Community Management report.

We started our annual report as a means to achieve our mission of advancing the business of community – making what we know collectively about community building more visible and accessible to everyone. The biggest compliment we receive is when people say they have a dog-eared, highlighted copy on their desk that they refer to regularly.

We have learned a lot in three years and the market has changed quite a bit as well. Three years ago there was growing interest in social media and enterprise 2.0, a little interest in community management but no concept of social business. Looking back at our 2010 report, its primary focus was on defining community management and presenting the Community Maturity Model. It is still a great read, especially for those just starting to dig in to what community management means.

The 2011 report really extended the practices and patterns of experienced community leaders as well as offering some survey results. Key findings from last year’s report were the following:

  • Social business becomes a strategic imperative
  • Interest in community management increased
  • The community management discipline was evolving
  • A lot of confusion remained

This year the primary difference that we see is in scale of initiatives and the impact of online conversations. It is no longer just about what one community leader can do but about how we can teach our organizations to operate with a community-centric perspective. We have also seen online collective action that has helped topple governments in Tunisia and Egypt, change the policies of major institutions like Bank of America and the Susan G. Komen Foundation and change the decisions of the U.S. Congress. Online communities have become a way to mitigate the risk of groundswell surprises as well as providing an opportunity to innovate more quickly.

Working with members of TheCR Network and advisory clients we have  learned a lot about how organizations progress through the stages of community or social business maturity. Because of this we are very excited by the 2012 State of Community Management. We have organized the report by maturity stage, as defined in the Community Maturity Model and have described the common artifacts, patterns, and initiatives we observe in organizations at each stage. This provides a highly prescriptive map to help others understand where they are on their journey and how to get to the next milestone. We hope this year’s report sits alongside those of previous years’ reports – getting just at dog-eared.

We welcome your feedback and questions!

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