2013 State of Community Management Report

Every year, the Community Roundtable does some amazing legwork and pulls together a comprehensive report on the State of Community Management.


This year's report will be broken out into a series of content, with the first release focused the value of community management. If you're in the process of making a business case for hiring a community manager, you need to read this report.  (Data for the study was gathered from members of The Community Roundtable, other practitioners, and a Research Advisory Board.)


I recommend reading the full report for its actionable insights, but here are my key takeaways:


  • The most successful community managers are mid-career professionals with experience in a cross section of roles/departments, rather than entry-level employees.
  • Engagement, people-skills, and content creation capability rank far higher than technical ability when it comes to hiring a good community manager.
  • Effective community management requires someone who can break down barriers among internal departments, and between internal and customer-facing projects. Bonus points if the community manager creates ties to the finance function, and keeps an open line of communication regarding the value of community efforts.
  • Investing in structured community programming (such as events, recurring content, surveys) can make it easier to define and track the rewards of having a community.
  • Great community managers plan for scaling with growth by documenting community processes so they are repeatable and measurable.
  • It's important to select specific metrics that tie to business outcomes if yours is a business community. The report offers a nice breakdown of different metrics that are commonly tracked and reported.
  • Proactively managed communities can expect much better engagement than the old 90-90-10 rule. Good management leads to good engagement, most often.

"Community management resources are a critical factor in successful online communities."


If you are already a community manager, this report will let you know you're not alone. Although most of us are stretched thin, we are making progress toward best practices. And there are a lot of us out there!


If you're in the process of building a community, this report will set you on the right path to creating a successful team. Everything from salaries, to responsibilities, to reporting are covered in the study.


Did you read the report? What are your thoughts about the value of community management?


I'd love to hear your thoughts here in the comments, or connect with me on Twitter.

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