State of Community Management - 2010             From Recognition to ExplorationThe Community Roundtable is a peer network...
Table of ContentsSPONSORS....................................................................................................
APPENDIX/RESOURCES..............................................................................................67BOOKS, B...
SponsorsWe would like to thank our sponsors – FuzeBox, Powered and Rosetta – who havemade it possible to broadly distribut...
Introduction               Welcome to The State of Community Management, an important               compilation of lessons...
Industry PerspectivesAt The Community Roundtable we rely on a network of experts in the social media,social software, and ...
In spite of recent articles and research pointing to the fact that many                  branded online communities have n...
I find a key takeaway from this report quite revealing: it contradicts the                  common belief that all communi...
The State of Community Management report mirrors and complements                 a lot of the findings from our yearly Tri...
Overview2009 was a pivotal year for online social media and communities. Externally used socialmedia tools have effectivel...
About Community Roundtable Members                          The Community Roundtable members are at the front edge of     ...
The Community Roundtable is a terrific resource for anyone who is                involved in community strategy, execution...
There is so much hype about social media: blogs, free webinars, self-               professed "gurus" or "experts"--the wh...
The Community Roundtable plays two key roles for the community                management discipline. First, it creates a r...
Member DemographicsOur members represent the following industries:Our members primarily hold manager and director level ti...
2009 Roundtable TopicsTopic-specific, facilitated roundtable calls are the core of The Community Roundtable’sprograms. The...
Community Maturity ModelAt The Community Roundtable, we structure our programs and content aroundthe Community Maturity Mo...
Additionally, the Community Maturity Model articulates four stages oforganizational maturity as organizations become more ...
Key Findings1. StrategyStrategy for community managers is all about balance. Balancing the need todrive revenue or cost sa...
can be observed depending on different environments, business models, andcustomer bases. For example, CPM advertising mode...
•   How to balance the needs of the community and the needs of the       sponsoring organization   •   When and how to use...
•   Marketing: increased share of voice, increased awareness, lower lead/       customer acquisition cost, reduced time-to...
to expose and force discussion about strategic gaps. It is important to       recognize and be prepared for the selected a...
•   Using social media and community as a defensive competitive approach is       extremely hard to pull off and it typica...
2. LeadershipNew communities are creating particular challenges in the area of leadership.The qualities best suited for co...
•   Triangulation – Triangulation is a technique to influence a person through       influencing their closest peers rathe...
Community managers often sit at the fulcrum of competing needs within theirorganizations and therefore see and feel the or...
•   Even with demonstrable community success, there will still be executive-       level detractors who are nervous about ...
3. CultureOrganizational culture can be one of the core determinants of whetherenterprise-wide social media and community ...
•   Defined vs. organic times to tell stories   •   Amount of literal descriptions vs. symbolic representation   •   Level...
While organizations that sponsor communities do not have to adopt the culture ofthe community, and are unlikely to unless ...
•   Welcoming individuals to a community is a critical piece of ensuring that       they acclimate and can easily assimila...
discussions or guest posting on blogs. Once the newcomer receives       feedback, they can ascertain how the community wil...
4. Community ManagementCommunity management is one of the newest (and least understood) roles thatis making its way into l...
•   The community gets lots of activity when marketing pushes are done but       then dies off quickly afterward because n...
Another common misconception is that community management is a positionbest suited for a younger employee because they nat...
•   Evangelism for the community, both internally and externally.   •   Development of workflow and processes to ensure ap...
For individuals in the community management role, there are important skill setsand personal attributes that impact succes...
•   Willingness to be firm – and even toughOther associated skills, include:   •   Familiarity with online content creatio...
In 2009 community management came into its own as a business managementrole, as well as, a tactical online functional appr...
•   As the person responsible for social media and/or community, your biggest       ally is a lot of patience.   •   Liste...
expectations for your community contributors and establish the goal of       their contributions upfront so that they do n...
•   Its important to understand the role of moderation within a community. It is       typically handled quite differently...
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
The 2010 State of Community Management
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  1. 1. State of Community Management - 2010 From Recognition to ExplorationThe Community Roundtable is a peer network of community managers andsocial media practitioners. Our programs and events are designed to encouragesharing of best practices, experiences, advice and challenges by our members.For more information, please visit us at: http://community-roundtable.comSponsored by:
  2. 2. Table of ContentsSPONSORS......................................................................................................................4INTRODUCTION..............................................................................................................5INDUSTRY PERSPECTIVES ...........................................................................................6OVERVIEW ......................................................................................................................10ABOUT COMMUNITY ROUNDTABLE MEMBERS ......................................................11MEMBER PERSPECTIVES ............................................................................................11MEMBER DEMOGRAPHICS.........................................................................................152009 ROUNDTABLE TOPICS........................................................................................16JUNE .................................................................................................................................16JULY .................................................................................................................................16AUGUST ............................................................................................................................16SEPTEMBER ......................................................................................................................16OCTOBER ..........................................................................................................................16NOVEMBER .......................................................................................................................16DECEMBER ........................................................................................................................16COMMUNITY MATURITY MODEL ................................................................................17KEY FINDINGS ...............................................................................................................191.    STRATEGY ..................................................................................................................19LESSONS LEARNED FROM MEMBERS...................................................................................222.    LEADERSHIP...............................................................................................................25LESSONS LEARNED FROM MEMBERS...................................................................................273.    CULTURE ....................................................................................................................29LESSONS LEARNED FROM MEMBERS...................................................................................314.    COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT ........................................................................................34LESSONS LEARNED FROM MEMBERS...................................................................................405.    CONTENT & PROGRAMMING........................................................................................46LESSONS LEARNED FROM MEMBERS...................................................................................486.    POLICIES & GOVERNANCE ...........................................................................................52LESSONS LEARNED FROM MEMBERS...................................................................................537.    METRICS & MEASUREMENT ........................................................................................56LESSONS LEARNED FROM MEMBERS...................................................................................588.    TOOLS........................................................................................................................61LESSONS LEARNED FROM MEMBERS...................................................................................63SUMMARY & NEXT STEPS ...........................................................................................65www.community-roundtable.com Page 2
  3. 3. APPENDIX/RESOURCES..............................................................................................67BOOKS, BLOGS, & PODCASTS ............................................................................................67TOOLS ..............................................................................................................................68CONTENT CREATION & DISTRIBUTION TOOLS.......................................................................68SYNDICATION & AGGREGATION TOOLS ................................................................................68PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS ........................................................................................................69ANALYTICS & LISTENING TOOLS ..........................................................................................69CASE STUDIES ..................................................................................................................69INNOVATIVE MODELS & EXAMPLES.....................................................................................69FRAMEWORKS & MODELS ..................................................................................................70GUIDELINES ......................................................................................................................70ABOUT THE COMMUNITY ROUNDTABLE..................................................................71www.community-roundtable.com Page 3
  4. 4. SponsorsWe would like to thank our sponsors – FuzeBox, Powered and Rosetta – who havemade it possible to broadly distribute The State of Community Management. Weappreciate their support and thank them for helping us share what we learned fromCommunity Roundtable members over the last year. Fuze Box is obsessed with finding new ways to help you share and collaborate digitally. We believe all software should be mobile, social and global, and won’t stop until we’ve helped theworld work better together. We’ve got no shortage of products to help people connect –Fuze Meeting, TweetShare, Fuze Messenger for the iPhone and more. Be sure to signup for a beta TweetShare account today at www.TweetShare.com– we’re about tochange the world.For more information please visit www.fuzebox.com. Powered is a full-service social media agency that helps brands and their agencies establish a meaningful brand presence across the social media spectrum. Powered builds and executes social media programs utilizing a full suite of services and technologiesto address earned media, Facebook and mobile applications, content marketing, andbranded communities. Over 60 global brands rely on Powered for results-oriented socialmarketing programs that drive sales and build brand loyalty. Every day, millions ofconsumers connect with their favorite brands using Powered solutions. Powered and itsnew subsidiaries crayon, Drillteam, and StepChange maintain offices in Austin, NewYork, Portland and San Francisco.For more information please visit www.powered.com. Rosetta is the largest independent interactive agency in the US. AdAge ranks it amongst the top ten digital agencies and the fastest growing within the top 50. Using a patented approach to segmentation, calledPersonality® Segmentation, which provides deep insights into the drivers of consumerbehavior, Rosetta’s industry-focused marketers and creative teams translate theseinsights into relevant marketing solutions that use world-class technology, search andmedia to attract, retain and strengthen a brand’s most valuable customer relationships.Rosetta’s industry expertise includes Retail & Consumer Products; Healthcare; FinancialServices; Communications, Media & Technology; Travel & Leisure and B2B.For more information please visit www.rosetta.com.www.community-roundtable.com Page 4
  5. 5. Introduction Welcome to The State of Community Management, an important compilation of lessons learned from people actually practicing community management at both large and small companies. Community management is emerging as a powerful force as organizations adapt to the new information environment. Just as physical businesses have store managers and helpful staff, companies with online presences are finding they must be equipped with community managers.With an increase in use of online communities and social networks, its no surprise thatcompanies are running - although sometimes with caution - towards this socialphenomenon. Yet, over and over, they realize that while the power is in the hands of thecommunity members, having a thoughtful guide, beacon and evangelist is the keylynchpin role in building and maintaining a successful online presence.Despite the upside of communities, the community manager role doesnt come withoutchallenges. These evangelists often face significant hurdles in influencing a companythat doesnt truly understand them. They struggle with limited internal resources and theemotional baggage of being the first place customers go when they have problems.While weve seen adoption of this critical role in the technology industry, most otherindustries are just beginning to realize the importance of community management.To be successful, companies, and their internal cultures, need to empower communitymanagers to help customers and employees - just as they would in a physical store.They need to be able to connect with their constituents in real time, make the rightdecisions and engage in conversations that build trust - even if it makes internal groupscringe. Why take this risk? The community manager is ultimately responsible forbuilding trust, which leads to clear business results - community members spreading theword, fixing a problem, making a connection or identifying an opportunity.Although we celebrate Community Manager Appreciation Day once a year, this is atireless role that customers, and hopefully employers, appreciate all year long. Formany prospects and customers community managers are the face of the brand theyadore and become a lasting human element that spurs on brand loyalty, customerretention, positive feelings and the desire to connect with the company, over and overagain.The State of Community Management documents a comprehensive set of lessonslearned to help define this emerging role and give you the tools to be successful in yoursocial initiatives.Jeremiah OwyangPartnerAltimeter Groupwww.community-roundtable.com Page 5
  6. 6. Industry PerspectivesAt The Community Roundtable we rely on a network of experts in the social media,social software, and social business world to complete our understanding of how socialis influencing business practices. We invite a wide range of experts to help facilitate ourweekly roundtable calls and regularly make introductions between our members and thepeople in the industry whom we trust. We hope you also find their perspectives valuable. While software fashions and the hosting landscape can change with bewildering speed, the business needs that these tools serve are no less complex to plan for but are frequently underestimated. People and their processes are front and center to the whole reason for business computing, but all too often technology solutions are allowed to shapethe way people interact.This report provides valuable insight into the real world human dynamics and politics,which are instrumental to enduring success in community building. From my perspectiveand experiences, mapping behaviors to viable business goals and clearlycommunicating those goals to all participants is enormously helpful in giving people abaseline on how and why they should interact.Planning for business goals helps overcome the challenge of changing business andsoftware fashions and keeps focus. An irony of successful communities are how theycan transform into political playing fields as their status and scale in the businessbecomes foundational. Like all gatherings of humans, the interpersonal dynamicschange considerably depending on types of interactions, new factions and so on.I endorse The State of Community Management as a useful reference on the never-ending journey to build and keep online business collaboration networks healthy andproductive.Oliver MarksFounding PartnerSovos Groupwww.community-roundtable.com Page 6
  7. 7. In spite of recent articles and research pointing to the fact that many branded online communities have not evolved, Im bullish on the fact that we will see a blossoming of successful community examples in 2010. However, in order to succeed, there are four steps that companies must think through before enjoying success -- all of whichspeak to the need for strong community management:1. A well thought-out strategy. Who are the people a community is trying to attract? Becareful of being exclusionary. How do they plan to engage them? What value will theydeliver and what is the company’s value proposition?2. Great content. While consumer-generated content has its place, brand-contributedcontent that is educational and lifestyle-oriented is a key catalyst in helping to drivecommunity loyalty.3. Strong management. This can come in the form of moderation, but in many cases,requires someone to lead the charge. This someone nurtures and tends to thecommunity needs and ideally helps foster conversation.4. Integration with third-party social networks, blogs and other relevant Web 2.0properties.These concepts (and more) are captured in The State of Community Management, animportant and timely compilation of ideas and lessons learned from The CommunityRoundtable.Aaron StroutCMOPoweredwww.community-roundtable.com Page 7
  8. 8. I find a key takeaway from this report quite revealing: it contradicts the common belief that all communities develop into a 90-9-1 rule (90% lurkers, 9% contributors, 1% authors). Per the report: “As the community management discipline matures, there is increasing understanding of where certain rules of thumb like this apply and where they do not.” That is a distinguishing mark that elevates the level ofinsight that this report brings above others.What thrills me is that of the eight competency areas within, only one area focuses ontools. The majority of the focus lies in business principles: strategy, leadership, culture,policies, etc. The general media and blogosphere is fascinated with new tools and toys,but the real value is in understanding the almost unchanging business principles, manyof which are outlined in the list of competences. Each of the sections on thesecompetencies specifically identifies lessons learned directly from the real life experienceof Community Roundtable members.Within this report, there is a specific section on the role and issues of communitymanagement, which can help current organizations understand the heavy demands ofthis role. Perhaps, with this insight, more organizations will take to heart that communitymanagement is not a part time, or a junior role in the organization. It takes a lot of peopleand relationship skills that develop with experience, and in doing so creates the samequalities we ask of our business leaders.Rawn ShahSocial Software Practices Lead, IBMAuthor, Social Networking for Businesswww.community-roundtable.com Page 8
  9. 9. The State of Community Management report mirrors and complements a lot of the findings from our yearly Tribalization of Business Study (co-sponsored by Beeline Labs, Deloitte, and the Society For New Communications Research), which looks at how companies leverage social media and communities as part of their business. As RachelHappe and Jim Storer rightfully point out, we can expect companies to increasinglydeploy large-scale social initiatives that will redraw their internal departmentalboundaries as well as redefine their edges.Companies that successfully deploy large scale social initiatives will make them part ofthe fabric of their business rather than set them up as bolt-on programs. They willdevelop cross-functional organizational structures to manage and fund these programs.Finally, they will realize that to successfully engage with employees, customers,prospects, and detractors, you need to go where they congregate and embrace afederated approach to community management that includes other companiesplatforms.Francois GossieauxPartner, Beeline LabsAuthor, The Hyper-Social Organizationwww.community-roundtable.com Page 9
  10. 10. Overview2009 was a pivotal year for online social media and communities. Externally used socialmedia tools have effectively reached widespread adoption as a key component of adigital marketing strategy. An UMass Dartmouth study showed that Fortune 500companies had adopted social tools quickly between 2007 and 2009, with 80% ofcompanies surveyed using social networks (up from 49% in 2008), 52% using Twitter,and 45% using blogs. Furthermore an overwhelming percent of the respondents acrossa variety of tool uses, reported that these efforts were successful. However, a differentstudy done by ComBlu reveals a startling result – 60% of communities showed no signof active community management resulting in confusing approaches to online socialinteractions or often to inactive, passive communities.On the internal, Enterprise 2.0, side of the house, Forrester’s Enterprise 2.0 BuyerProfile: 2009 by G. Oliver Young reports that almost half of all businesses used one ormore Enterprise 2.0 applications in 2009. An IDC report on the State of Social Businessreported that 57% of employees used social media tools at least once a week forbusiness purposes. While adoption in this area has grown steeply there are also signsthat internal social initiatives are not yet universally successful. The Internet GlobalSurvey done by Prescient Digital Media shows that only 23% of executives rate the toolsas good or very good.As expected, enterprise social initiatives have grown quickly in a short period, but notsurprisingly the scale, experiences, best practices, and satisfaction levels are unevenlydistributed. There is a wide gulf between those with years of experience and those juststarting to experiment. This means too that there are a limited number of professionalcommunity managers who have the seniority and experience to drive larger socialinitiatives. Because of this, executives in the marketing, communication, support,knowledge management, and HR areas are increasingly being asked to expand intosocial media and community management. The inclusion of more functional leaders ishelping to push toward the better definition of how social tools affect specific businessprocesses. The rise of ‘Social CRM’ is an example of this. However, these executivesare not typically fluent in the tools and techniques required to manage the new ‘social’dynamic created by social software and being asked to rapidly adopt new practices.In 2010 we expect to see larger projects emerge from pilots as well as more initiativesinitiated to reconcile and coordinate social efforts at the enterprise level. Many largercompanies have, to use Guy Kawasaki’s phrase, ‘Let 1,000 flowers bloom’ and are nowfinding that while the experimentation has driven interest and experience, it has createda lot of overlap and inconsistencies. Two operational challenges – coordinatedenterprise deployment and business process integration – will be the dominant themesof community management in 2010. On the tactical side, many more individuals willbecome responsible for the management of some aspect of social media or communitymanagement, putting demands on an existing but small cadre of experiencedpractitioners.www.community-roundtable.com Page 10
  11. 11. About Community Roundtable Members The Community Roundtable members are at the front edge of the community management field with experience at some of the organizations that have been leading the charge in developing online communities – SAP, EMC, eBay, SolarWinds, Radian6, Techrigy, TripAdvisor, and Dell. Other members come from more traditional organizations that are seeing opportunities to innovate and grow – companies like EDR, CHEP, Nationwide, Ciena, New England Journal of Medicine, NECN, Allstate, GHY International, and others. Our members have an average of 4.7 years of community management experience & are some of the more seasoned business professionals helpingto define what the discipline of community management means.This report includes perspectives and lessons shared by our members, all of whom areexperimenting and learning about what it means to be a ‘social’ organization. Throughoutthis report you hear the voices of these individuals and cumulatively it represents thestate of community management at the beginning of 2010.Member PerspectivesAt The Community Roundtable our members are professionals defining what it means todo community management in an organizational setting. We thank them for theirwillingness to share what they are working on and thinking about on a weekly basis. Therelationships that have formed within the Community Roundtable are rich and rewardingto us and continually inspire us – we hope what they have shared will inspire you too! The Community Roundtable serves a very important role in the "community" market segment, which is still relatively new and evolving very quickly. The Community Roundtable provides much needed thought leadership and strategic insights on developments in social media. It also serves an advisory role to professionals who develop and manage online communities, and allows these professionals to collaborate andleverage each others expertise to jointly solve problems. Its the combination of thestrategic component and the practical application that makes the Community Roundtableunique and extremely valuable.Claudine LagerholmSenior Product ManagerSAPwww.community-roundtable.com Page 11
  12. 12. The Community Roundtable is a terrific resource for anyone who is involved in community strategy, execution, or management. The ideas, data, and feedback I receive often help me evaluate opportunities, keep current with best practices, and resolve challenging situations. For most professionals in the community management space, time is of the essence and with all the noise in the marketplace and so called experts; Ineed a place to quickly get answers. The Community Roundtable does a great job fillingthat need.Mark WallaceVP of Social MediaEDR As a professional in the field of Community/Social Media, its important to interact with peers because this is an emerging area of business and peers have practical experience and can share real scenarios. The Community Roundtable enables me to interact and share with peers, many of which I didnt know before joining. It also provides relevant topics and speakers who help me to stay on top of a rapidly changingarea of business and understand whats working, not whats theoretical. It has beenreally nice to get to know other people who I can respect and trust in an area like SocialMedia where there are a lot of so called "experts" who have no substance or experiencewith large customer bases.The Community Roundtable helps to surface issues in business that many of us dealwith in community and social media roles. Many of us are the only person in ourcompanies responsible for this area. Because its an emerging field, it can bemisunderstood and can leave an employee feeling isolated. Having peers to talk to canbe very motivational and inspirational. Rachel and Jim have done a great job listening totheir members on whats important to them and have found great speakers to enhanceour knowledge and expertise. Im grateful for the opportunity to participate!Rachel MakoolIndependentwww.community-roundtable.com Page 12
  13. 13. There is so much hype about social media: blogs, free webinars, self- professed "gurus" or "experts"--the whole thing has a very Wild West feel to it. Anyone with a bunch of followers on Twitter and an e-book can put him or herself out there as a definitive source of knowledge about social media and community management. The reason I joined the Community Roundtable is because Rachel, Jim and the members of this groupactually ARE experts with years of experience managing social media and onlinecommunities. The resources and networking opportunities this group provides areinvaluable.Maggie McGaryOnline Community & Social Media ManagerAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association As a CIO with a marketing role, I share in the responsibility to create a vision of a 21st century sales and marketing organization. I am specifically charged with developing and leading creation of a social media strategy that encompasses a wide variety of best practices. I found The Community Roundtable as I searched for those willing to share knowledge on the topic of social media, communities, andbusiness development. Rachel and Jim were my first two connections, but then an evengreater depth of community individuals that have already travelled some of the journey Iam on, became evident. I joined TheCR not only to network with these folks, but as asounding board for ideas to ensure that our best foot is put forward with each initiative.When it comes to a 3600 view on a topic, I rely on The Community Roundtable as mycommunity and peer network for best practices on social business & communities. Oneof my first lessons in social media was to LISTEN and understand and The CommunityRoundtable provides events and community interaction in order to bring these ideas andmany more into clear focus for me.Nigel FortlageVP - Information TechnologyGHY Internationalwww.community-roundtable.com Page 13
  14. 14. The Community Roundtable plays two key roles for the community management discipline. First, it creates a repository of institutional knowledge and because the practice of community management is fairly new, that documentation of common practices is important. The Community Roundtable is where I see most of this knowledge change hands both in the sharing of documented best practices but also in the livebrainstorming and exchanges of expertise. I firmly believe that in a new field likecommunity management, this knowledge capture and exchange is critical to the overallgrowth and credibility of the profession. The Community Roundtable has been a greatrepository for those that are new to the field and it offers those of us with moreexperience the opportunity to mentor newcomers.Second, TheCR offers a great networking resource in that it enables me to get to knowothers who have had experience with higher-level strategies and provides me with inputto supplement internal feedback. For community managers like me who are smalldepartments - which is quite common - having access to others with deep experiencehelps me think through new ideas and brainstorm. In many cases, I have asked peoplethat I met through The Community Roundtable to listen to one of my crazy ideas andgive me input - their knowledge and experience offers insight that I dont have within myown company.Dawn LacalladeCommunity ManagerSolarWinds "The Community Roundtable has been helpful to Immaculate Baking because of its diverse membership. As a small business, we rely on community and social media, and sure, we can buy the books and attend the high-priced seminars, but the members of TheCR know my business and its challenges. I’ve been on calls with ten members who are looking at my website and responding to my concerns in real-time. It’s tough to getbetter learning, networking, and insight than that."Laurie NardoneThe Customer Cookie (i.e. Customer Relations)Immaculate Bakingwww.community-roundtable.com Page 14
  15. 15. Member DemographicsOur members represent the following industries:Our members primarily hold manager and director level titles:www.community-roundtable.com Page 15
  16. 16. 2009 Roundtable TopicsTopic-specific, facilitated roundtable calls are the core of The Community Roundtable’sprograms. These calls often include an independent expert that joins the discussion toshare their best practices and facilitate a member discussion. For members, we publishroundtable reports summarizing the discussion and highlighting the best practices,advice, and lessons learned. Below are the roundtable calls that were held in 2009 andused as source material for this report, with the featured expert and core communitymanagement competency listed.June6/3 - Introduction to The Community Roundtable: Jim Storer & Rachel Happe6/17 - The State of Community Management: Francois Gossieaux – community mgmtJuly7/9 - Building & Supporting Your Community w/ Twitter: Laura Fitton – tools7/22 - Exploring Content Creation & Re-use: Leslie Poston – content & programmingAugust8/5 - Driving Member Engagement – Led by CR members – community mgmt8/19 - Best Practices in Community Moderation: Mike Pascucci – community mgmt8/26 - A Journey in Socializing SAP: Mark Yolton – strategySeptember9/2 - Using Video in Social Media: Steve Garfield – content & programming9/9 - Creating a Culture That’s Not Afraid to Fail: Beth Kanter – culture9/16 - IP/Legal Issues for Community Managers: Cynthia Gilbert – policy/governance9/30 - Coaching Executives on Social Media: Janet Fouts – cultureOctober10/6 - Understanding Listening Tools & Techniques: Nathan Gilliatt - tools10/14 - Community Monetization Strategies: Led by CR Members - strategy10/21 - Newsletter Best Practices: Michael Katz – content/programming10/28 - Exploring the Use of Incentives: Gargi Patel – community managementNovember11/4 - Community Metrics & Measurement: KD Paine – metrics & measurement11/11 - Building Community at EMC: Len Devanna & Jamie Pappas – leadership11/18 - Understanding/Overcoming Cultural Barriers: Gia Lyons – cultureDecember12/2 - Using Facebook Effectively for Outreach: Cappy Popp – tools12/9 - Social Network Analysis: Patti Anklam – tools12/16 - Community Management Challenge: Led by CR members – community mgmtwww.community-roundtable.com Page 16
  17. 17. Community Maturity ModelAt The Community Roundtable, we structure our programs and content aroundthe Community Maturity Model, a management framework that incorporates eightcompetencies required to successfully ‘socialize’ an organization. It provides botha guidepost in thinking about community management maturity and a way tounderstand the various best practices and roles within the discipline ofcommunity management.The eight competencies in the model are: • Strategy • Leadership • Culture • Community Management • Content & Programming • Policies & Governance • Metrics & Measurement • Toolswww.community-roundtable.com Page 17
  18. 18. Additionally, the Community Maturity Model articulates four stages oforganizational maturity as organizations become more social and networked.These phases include: • Hierarchy – no use of social technology or community structures. • Emergent Community – ad hoc, experimental, or pilot use of social and community tools and/or processes. • Community – explicitly chartered, funded, and staffed social or community initiatives that are resulting in measurable business outcomes. • Network – a corporate strategy that is driven by a networked market perspective.While maturity stages are a continuum, there are behaviors that are becomingestablished best practices for particular stages. For example, EmergentCommunity suggests that there is some usage and experimentation of socialtools and techniques is going on – whether formally or informally. Having definedbudgets, community management resources, and policies are a hallmark ofhaving an established community. And having a networked approach suggeststhat there is integration between employee, customer, partner and evencompetitor constituencies and that the company operates its corporate strategywith a networked perspective.We segment community management content in this way for a few reasons. Byseparating and articulating the various competencies and stages, it providesgood expectation setting for both community managers and their organizations.Additionally, the Community Maturity Model serves as a model of its cross-functional nature and included competencies typically handled by a variety offunctional groups, all of which need to participate in order to have a maturecommunity management discipline. By providing a model for developing andexecuting a social initiative we hope to provide concrete examples and tools foreach part of the process and as the community management discipline matures,our guidance will become more specific and evidence-based.This report covers the competencies in the Community Maturity Model as ourmembers practice them. While this may not always align with the most currentdiscussions about each competency, it does represent the leading methodsbeing employed by practitioners today.www.community-roundtable.com Page 18
  19. 19. Key Findings1. StrategyStrategy for community managers is all about balance. Balancing the need todrive revenue or cost savings with the needs of community members; balancingthe need to see short term wins with the investment required to sustain deep andlasting community engagement; balancing the purpose of the community with thepropensity of its members to wander off topic. Very few community managementdecisions make any one constituency entirely happy, but in balancing the needsof everyone, community managers can often achieve a win-win-win dynamic.This balance – if carried out throughout the community strategy, execution, andmeasurement – requires a diplomatic corps otherwise known as communitymanagers.Over the course of 2009, social and community strategies emerged and becamebetter aligned with strategic business goals – either at the functional level or insome cases at the corporate level. While there are certainly plenty of Facebookpages, Twitter accounts, and LinkedIn groups being set up as placeholders orbecause that is where a large audience resides, it is common and expectedcurrent practice to have explicit goals for initiating social projects, even if thatgoal is to experiment and learn. Additionally, enough use cases and bestpractices have been circulated that some common and differentiated approacheswww.community-roundtable.com Page 19
  20. 20. can be observed depending on different environments, business models, andcustomer bases. For example, CPM advertising models are rarely used in B2Bniche communities and paid memberships are almost never considered in B2Cbrand environments. These emerging norms impact whether community activitiesare broad and shallow in their engagement approach or narrowly focused anddeep. Communities built for support and therefore focused on expertiseidentification, are built with different mechanisms, content, and managementtechniques than are those communities built to encourage brand advocacy andexploration. Drivers of strategy are: • Breadth of audience • Audience profile • Business goal • Complexity of product or service • Resources availableUnlike a commonly held belief, all communities do notdevelop a 90-9-1 pattern – i.e. 90% lurkers, 9% KEY TAKEAWAYcontributors, 1% authors and they should notnecessarily be built with that expectation. That profile Unlike a commonlyis a good benchmark for large consumer brand held belief, allcommunities and product support communities, but is communities donot such a good profile for market research, employee, not develop ainnovation, or customer advocacy communities. As 90-9-1 pattern –the community management discipline matures, there i.e. 90% lurkers,is increasing understanding of where certain rules of 9% contributors,thumb like this apply and where they do not. From a 1% authors andmanagement perspective, understanding these they should notemerging norms can save time and investment. necessarily be built with that expectation.While some areas of social media and communitystrategy have shaken out, other areas are still beingdiscussed for their efficacy in various situations, suchas: • If and when to use gated or premium contentwww.community-roundtable.com Page 20
  21. 21. • How to balance the needs of the community and the needs of the sponsoring organization • When and how to use rewards and points programs • When and how to monetize, as well as, what is the right mix of products/ services • What people in different contexts need to engage in a community – technical resources, experts, and guests • What functional group should own community, if any • What it means to be transparent as an organization • When and how many private groups should be allowedOne of the biggest struggles for community managersis how to communicate and build support for their KEY TAKEAWAYstrategies - not in building the strategy itself. Stilllargely separate from executive strategy decisions and One of theprocesses, community managers typically report up biggest strugglesthrough a functional group that is responsible for a for communitybroad set of initiatives and goals. Driving interest and managers is howbuy-in from across the organization is seen as one of to communicatethe biggest priorities for community managers because and build supportregardless of the functional group that invests in for their strategiesbuilding a community, it often generates activity that - not in buildingneeds the attention of other groups. the strategy itself.Proving business results and understanding the cost/results of community initiatives is part and parcel ofbuilding internal support. This analysis has gotteneasier as more companies have shared their experiences,but it can still often be a chicken and egg exercise, particularly becausecommunities typically require a lot of investment before results start to accrue.Some of the more common benefits seen are: • Customer Support: call avoidance, reduced average support costs per customer, increased customer satisfaction, reduced investment in support documentation and training, reduction in customer attritionwww.community-roundtable.com Page 21
  22. 22. • Marketing: increased share of voice, increased awareness, lower lead/ customer acquisition cost, reduced time-to-close, reduced cost of market research, reduced percentage of negative brand sentiment, increased online brand advocacy, increased speed of information distribution (often associated with crisis management), and increase in total lifetime value of a customer • Product Development: reduced cost of market research, increased reach of customer feedback/input, real-time feedback on new product specifications, reduced cost of bug identification, increased new product quality, decreased cost of development, decreased time to new product adoption and time-to-profitability • Knowledge Management: decreased cost of documentation and knowledge capture, increased access to information and people, reduced speed-to-answer, and reduced time-to-ramp for new hires. KEY TAKEAWAY • Human Resources: reduced hiring/talent acquisition cost, reduced cost of training, Difficulties in improved training efficacy, better performance developing social assessment particularly for managers and media and executives, and better resource development community tracking. strategies often expose issues withWhile this is not a complete list, these are the most core businesscommon goals being addressed with social media and strategies,community management. As communities become particularly as theysuccessful they often accomplish many of these goals relate to cross-as well as providing the opportunity to create new functionalcommunity-based services. An example of this would approaches.be sponsorships, career centers, and access topremium tools, access to analytics, premium training,and in-person events.Lessons  Learned  from  Members • Difficulties in developing social media and community strategies often expose issues with core business strategies, particularly as they relate to cross-functional approaches. This challenge can be approached in two ways – use the social initiative to clarify strategic gaps or use social toolswww.community-roundtable.com Page 22
  23. 23. to expose and force discussion about strategic gaps. It is important to recognize and be prepared for the selected approach. • For new social and community initiatives one of the first and primary goals should be to just listen and learn. The online community model is typically new to most business processes and each community develops its own strengths and blind spots. Narrowly defined goals may turn out to be unrealistic or may not be the optimal value that comes out of the community so being flexible early on is important. • In one case study, the two most successful elements for the social strategy were to start KEY TAKEAWAY with a pilot project and develop the community internally before taking it externally. The initial It is critical to budget money came from marketing. They address listening, effectively showed management the dangers of information filtering, not participating in community, as well as the and response successes of those companies that do mechanisms within participate. a community strategies or the • It is critical to address listening, information community will act filtering, and response mechanisms within a more like an community strategy or the community will act outpost than more like an outpost than something that drives something that value back into the business. drives value back into the business. • Online communities require an orientation around behaviors, particularly group behaviors vs. by demographic characteristics. Understanding knowledge flows and pattern matching can help with this challenge. • Because online communities often affect so many functional disciplines, community management and social media groups are evolving into centers of excellence that sit outside of traditional functional silos in some large companies. This is often accompanied by functional resources dedicated to social initiatives that form a hub and spoke governance structure within the centers of excellence. • When creating social policies and strategies, invite HR and legal to participate from the beginning. It will decrease the potential for delays later and creates advocates rather than adversaries.www.community-roundtable.com Page 23
  24. 24. • Using social media and community as a defensive competitive approach is extremely hard to pull off and it typically backfires. Make competitive strategies content and topic rich, rather than direct attacks. • When working to build support for a social initiative, create a business value deck with a KEY TAKEAWAY maximum of six slides that show the problem and how social media strategies can help solve When creating it. This is much more likely to be read and social policies and absorbed by a larger group of people than if you strategies, invite present your entire strategy. HR and legal to participate from the • Once robust and active communities have been beginning. It will developed, they can support business models decrease the that are unique to the community. potential for later Sponsorships (content or event), subscriptions, delays and create tiered access to content or tools, classified advocates rather listings, market/community research, and than adversaries. premium content are some of the common community services. • Selling advertising in a community is a different sale than the norm. Advertising is tricky because it must be well targeted in order to be well received by members – much more so in B2B settings than B2C. Ensure advertisers abide by the rules. • Premium and subscription models can work well in that members are more invested in their participation, which drives higher regular activity. • When considering any type of payment fee within a community (whether it is for a course, a webinar, membership, etc.), community management teams must be cognizant of international pricing, as well as individual vs. corporate pricing. This is particularly problematic for pricing in the developing world because in the disparity of costs between it and the U.S.www.community-roundtable.com Page 24
  25. 25. 2. LeadershipNew communities are creating particular challenges in the area of leadership.The qualities best suited for community leadership and those qualities best suitedfor corporate executive management are not always the same and often inconflict. Community management requires a flexible, open, and nuancedapproach that is often seen by more traditional managers as indecisive andwishy-washy. Traditional business environments reward decisive opinions andstrong guidance in a polished package – that same behavior can torpedo activityin a community setting. The difference in leadership approach can be a risk togaining needed support for community initiatives and maintaining internalcredibility for community managers. While community managers do, in fact,need to be firm and decisive on certain things like rules of engagement, theirapproach to driving desired behaviors requires flexibility, patience, and tolerance.There are some leadership techniques emerging as best practices withincommunity environments, including:www.community-roundtable.com Page 25
  26. 26. • Triangulation – Triangulation is a technique to influence a person through influencing their closest peers rather than directly. Typically more effective at creating lasting change than a more direct approach and also useful in situations where passions are running high. • Back-channeling – Back-channeling privately to encourage others with a similar perspective to offer a peer reaction rather than to act publicly as an authority figure is a very effective tool of influence. • Setting and enforcing boundary conditions – Consistently and regularly reinforcing what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior is critical to ensuring communities remain productive. • Encouraging emergence – Staying out of the conversation and discussions until necessary creates the conditions and environment in which people feel comfortable and compelled to contribute. • Persuasive Influence – The ability to build support for an initiative without using authority KEY TAKEAWAY to do so is critical in opt-in communities. Learning to • Multi-modal Communication – The ability to translate between create, translate and consume information in different interests, different formats and environments ensures different cultures, wider community engagement. and different expectations is one • Diplomatic negotiating – Community leaders of the core skill sets are not without a business agenda but they exhibited by must forward their agenda in a way that works experienced for the rest of the community. community managers. • Practicing Zen Skin – Absorbing ideas and criticism without being reactive or defensive.Learning to translate between different interests, different cultures, and differentexpectations is one of the core skill sets exhibited by experienced communitymanagers. It is absolutely essential in maintaining internal support and therespect of the community. Similarly to strategy, leadership within communities isall about balancing a handful of different needs and wishes so that any one nevergains too much power or influence because that is when communities veer offcourse.www.community-roundtable.com Page 26
  27. 27. Community managers often sit at the fulcrum of competing needs within theirorganizations and therefore see and feel the organizational friction more acutelythan many of their colleagues. This stress is both a leadership risk and evidenceof the need to ensure feedback coming through the community has a leadershipchannel through which it can be addressed and resolved. If that is lacking,community initiatives tend to act more as band-aids to organizational issuesrather than a different way to serve and energize a group of constituents.Lessons  Learned  from  Members • In open social media and online community environments, a leaders authority and influence KEY TAKEAWAY will be dependent on their ability to be authentic, transparent, persuasive and trustworthy as well In online as their ability to be a subject matter expert and community resource. environments, a leaders authority • The best way to think about community and influence will leadership is to adopt the posture of an be dependent on advocate – for all the various constituent their ability to be groups. authentic, transparent, • Community leadership is emerging out of a persuasive and variety of disciplines – there is no one common trustworthy. path. Many develop through customer service or marketing, while others come to it from more technical positions. • Even those who see value in open collaboration get defensive with negative conversations. Don’t let leaders shut down negative conversations. Relationships can be saved if constituents are complaining. When they don’t complaint, it’s far more risky. • The expansion into new communities requires quite a sales job internally. The best scenario is to have a senior executive champion that has the resources to protect the community in the early days from too many demands since communities require time to mature. • Communities often benefit more than one functional group within the organization. By communicating those benefits clearly and often – and showing results – a wide array of internal advocates can be developed and turned into promoters and evangelists.www.community-roundtable.com Page 27
  28. 28. • Even with demonstrable community success, there will still be executive- level detractors who are nervous about this concept and require constant assurances. • To the extent you have the time and attention of organizational leaders to do so, one-on-one coaching sessions on everything from the tone of participation to how to use Twitter/Blogs/etc. is the most effective way to acclimate executives who may not want to expose their lack of understanding/ experience/ familiarity in a group setting. • In executive coaching sessions, watch for two potential challenges: 1.) Executives that have a real fear about getting out there with employees and customers and/or 2.) Executives that do not have the proper filters in place, are enthusiastic, and say/do too much. Executives do have legal KEY TAKEAWAY and moral responsibilities to uphold and should be concerned about their approach and fully Instead of using understanding their own boundaries before they ghost writers, start. That should not keep them from executives can and participating, but participating without thinking should have through implications can be risky. assistants prepare research, analysis, • Help executives to become more comfortable and context through war-gaming, i.e. worst case scenarios regarding online and how to handle them. Create guidelines communities and around the outcomes of these scenarios. social networks. • To gain buy-in for new initiatives, create 2-3 months of content that can be reviewed by various departments so they can see the scope, tone, and specifics around the initiatives. A blank slate results in a lot more objections. • Bringing a discussion thread to an executive’s attention to diffuse a potentially damaging situation is worth its weight in gold. • Executives can, and should, have assistants prepare research, analysis, and context regarding online communities and social networks. However, it is generally a poor idea to have others blog, tweet, or participate on someone elses behalf as executives are likely to get asked about online comments in face-to-face situations, which has the potential to really backfire and embarrass them.www.community-roundtable.com Page 28
  29. 29. 3. CultureOrganizational culture can be one of the core determinants of whetherenterprise-wide social media and community approaches will work. Without aculture that can accept unstructured and emergent conversations andrelationships, any widespread use of social approaches will be hampered. Inparallel, online communities can develop different cultures than that of thehosting organization and that can be another source of tension if it is notaccepted and if appropriate translation mechanisms and processes do not exist.Cultures of organizations, families, regions, and communities are based on how,why, when, and who tells its stories. Characteristics of storytelling are what definethe cultural norms and accepted truths. Cultural patterns are determined by: • Rigidity of who can tell stories to which other members of the group in various settings • Level of accepted humor, self-depreciation, sarcasm, and hyperbolewww.community-roundtable.com Page 29
  30. 30. • Defined vs. organic times to tell stories • Amount of literal descriptions vs. symbolic representation • Level of formal structure to stories vs. free-flowing form • How unknown factors in the environment are explained and addressed • Language, terms, and mechanisms usedUnderstanding the characteristics of organizationalstorytelling will help to understand, articulate, and KEY TAKEAWAYdescribe the culture that, in turn, will help create arealistic scope and approach for an organizationally The goal is not tosponsored community. When current cultural norms replicate the cultureand accepted practices are not incorporated into the of the organizationscope and tone of the community, it is easy to create a within thecommunity that operates so differently than the community but toorganization that it cannot effectively be harnessed to understand wheredrive business outcomes acceptable to organizational the boundaries ofleadership. The goal is not to replicate the culture of tone andthe organization within the community, but to acceptable topicsunderstand where the boundaries of tone and are – and howacceptable topics are – and how much flexibility will be much flexibility willaccepted in that regard. be accepted in that regard.However, an artifact of a strong community is that it willhave some unique cultural elements that are differentfrom the environment outside of the community. Thiscommunity culture evolves over time and should becultivated as it binds the members to the community. While this means that theculture of a community and the culture of the sponsoring organization are likely tobe different, the community manager should always be conscious of settingboundaries that keep the community within the generally accepted cultural scopeof the organization. Because communities are opt-in environments and membersare motivated to contribute their time for reasons other than direct compensation,the cultural necessarily has to be more open and organic than the culture of theorganization as a whole. Balancing the needs of both the community to evolveand for the organization to keep the community within constraints has beencalled the ‘dance’ of community management. This cross-cultural dynamic is oneof the biggest challenges facing organizations as they step in to the world ofsocial media and community.www.community-roundtable.com Page 30
  31. 31. While organizations that sponsor communities do not have to adopt the culture ofthe community, and are unlikely to unless the community is an employeecommunity, those within the organization that interact with the community need todevelop cross-cultural understanding and communication skills. This skill set issimilar to that of an expatriate living in a foreign country – learning to understandand communicate with a set of people in a way that they can better understandbut is different than they might naturally communicate. Itis the skill of translation and no one needs this skillmore than those that manage the community directly, KEY TAKEAWAYas they are primarily responsible for ensuring that theinterests and needs of both the organization and its Experiencedcommunity are met. community managers spend aExperienced mid- and senior-level community great deal of theirmanagers spend a great deal of their time helping time in helpingindividuals in their organizations better understand the individuals in theirculture, mechanisms, and acceptable scope of organizations betterinteractions in the community. Like any cultural understand thechange, this work involves both structural adjustments culture,like changing role responsibilities, incentives, and mechanisms, andpolicies as well as tactical training, coaching, and acceptable scopeencouragement. As communities grow beyond single of interactions infunction initiatives, the issue of cultural acceptance the community.and change will grow requiring the money andresources to ensure enterprise-wide adoption.Lessons  Learned  from  Members • As with other cultural education, the best place to start is learning how to recognize, understand, and appreciate the subtle cultural and lingual cues in communities. One approach to this is to use a method called Describe- Interpret-Evaluate developed by Milton and Jane Bennett, which is an analytical approach to evaluate how others interact. • Cross-cultural communication is most successful when participants listen, reiterate in their own words to confirm what they think they heard, and ask clarifying questions before responding. This requires slowing down and suspending assumptions, which can be challenging in real-time social environments.www.community-roundtable.com Page 31
  32. 32. • Welcoming individuals to a community is a critical piece of ensuring that they acclimate and can easily assimilate – this is even more powerful when done by peers. • Community managers must be experienced facilitators and translators, continually encouraging empathetic and balanced perspectives as long as participants are within the communitys guidelines. • Using metaphors is an excellent way to communicate training, guidelines, and models KEY TAKEAWAY to individuals newly exposed to social technology and new modes of communication. Community managers must be • Community initiatives are a very effective experienced means of breaking down the culture barriers facilitators and that are inevitable when companies are translators, acquired. continually encouraging • Schedule regular but informal learning sessions empathetic and for all participants that cover the language, balanced technology, content, and dynamics of the perspectives as community. long as participants are within the • For new initiatives, start with topics that are communitys non-threatening; invite learners to guest post on guidelines. established blogs before starting their own; create private training areas for people to get comfortable with the environment before joining the main community. • Setting up a community for interested and socially-engaged employees around the use of external social tools can help mitigate risk and encourage positive online interactions with those who are active on Twitter or blogs. It also provides them with a space to ask about specific situations before they communicate something out of turn. • Hold monthly meetings or internal forums with an executive to answer questions about the company’s use of social media and community tools. Be on hand to filter their responses. By getting leaders involved, it helps others to overcome their fear of participation. • Create “scaffolding” to participation that allows people to start small with reading, rating, and comments and then work their way up to startingwww.community-roundtable.com Page 32
  33. 33. discussions or guest posting on blogs. Once the newcomer receives feedback, they can ascertain how the community will fit into his/her daily workflow and needs. • Observe an audiences learning style by watching them on their computers. By watching KEY TAKEAWAY how users navigate, you can gain a sense of whether people are visual learners, text learners Community or clickers/explorers and match training initiatives are a accordingly. These clues can help you develop very effective approaches to education and training that will means of breaking be easier for your audience to grasp. down the culture barriers that are • Discourage employees from over-committing inevitable when themselves in communities. If they do not know companies are an answer but want to respond, they should say acquired. so and offer to find someone who does. It’s damaging to corporate and personal reputations to not follow through or to respond authoritatively with incomplete or wrong information. • One of the biggest fears associated with social media is saying the wrong thing. The public nature of this act is a form of stage fright. When individuals are tentatively exploring social media tools, encouragement, reinforcement, and tolerance of imperfection is important. • Those in certain professions and industries (academia, medicine, legal are a few) have a harder time adapting to social tools and online social environments due to their structured approach to learning, the function of their workload, their personal work habits, and their learning styles and/or their personality. • Organizations are beginning to hire people specifically for their networking behaviors. Organizations are recognizing the value of connector behaviors.www.community-roundtable.com Page 33
  34. 34. 4. Community ManagementCommunity management is one of the newest (and least understood) roles thatis making its way into large organizations, but is critical to successful socialinitiatives. Many social initiatives – whether social marketing, supportcommunities, product innovation efforts, or internal E2.0 deployments – do notinitially recognize the need for community management until they falter. All socialinitiatives derive their value and benefit by enabling relationships betweenindividuals, but this does not happen at scale without human intervention.Relationships and people are too complex to be mediated through technologyalone.The value of good community management is that it ensures community activityand relationships support the business goals of the community. Withoutcommunity management there is a good deal of risk that one or more of thefollowing outcomes will result: • The community never achieves the activity levels needed to support the business goal.www.community-roundtable.com Page 34
  35. 35. • The community gets lots of activity when marketing pushes are done but then dies off quickly afterward because no relationships have been established. • A group of activists finds the community and uses it for their interests, which very often do not align with the mission of the community. New people that are appropriate targets for the community are often turned off because the perception or tone created by these members. • A crisis emerges in the community and becomes very disruptive and poorly managed creating an KEY TAKEAWAY intense negative perception internally that reduces support for further investment. Internal All social initiatives cynics will use this type of event to justify their derive their value position. At their worst, these situations become and benefit by public relations disasters if they become enabling widespread enough. relationships between • Appropriate expectations for business outcomes individuals, but this and activity are not set with the organization does not happen at and there is a lot of confusion about the scale without communitys role and value, which then makes human intervention. it hard to achieve recognized success. • Community activity and outcomes are not measured and tracked and the organization does not have a good idea of whether it is achieving its goals or not. • The community and its successes are not made visible to most of the organization and the community initiative becomes de-prioritized, especially if it is not living up to its expectations to deliver business value.While the value of community management is becoming more understood, thelack of appreciation for its value may lie in the opt-in dynamic of communities – itis often assumed that activity will emerge on its own or that there is no way tomanage it. Combine that dynamic, and the fact that the longest serving onlinecommunities emerged in the online gaming, technical support, and open sourceengineering communities and many assume it is not needed for other types ofsocial initiatives. However, at their core social initiatives are successful due to therelationships and behaviors they foster and which lead to business results. Inlarge part, social technologies in business settings require a form of changemanagement (i.e. community management) to blossom.www.community-roundtable.com Page 35
  36. 36. Another common misconception is that community management is a positionbest suited for a younger employee because they natively understand socialtools. While younger workers are often more facile in negotiating the technicalaspects of online communities, they often are unprepared or inexperienced inmanaging conflict and crisis and can often exacerbate rather than alleviateissues in their well-intended attempt to provide a quick response. Becausecommunity management is about developing, encouraging, and mediatingrelationships, community managers, above all else, must have very strong socialand relationship management skills.As the value of community models have become more established, communitymanagement has become a more recognized discipline, but it has alsodeveloped more permutations as it is used to advance different types of businesscases. In fact, many functional organizations now use a community managementapproach to accomplish all of their functional responsibilities – this is mostcommonly found in marketing or support organizations. As its core, however,community management skills include: • Community strategy, planning, and business case development. KEY TAKEAWAY • Primary management oversight for social tools A common and software, as well as, the management of misconception is what happens within them. that community management is a • Management of and integration with public position best suited discussions on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, for a younger blogs, and Twitter. employee because they natively • Moderation of discussions on organizationally understand social sponsored community sites. tools. • Development, oversight, and enforcement of terms of service and guidelines. • Content management and programming for the community, including newsletter and event management. • Maintenance and encouragement of member engagement. • Tracking and reporting of metrics. • Internal training regarding the community.www.community-roundtable.com Page 36
  37. 37. • Evangelism for the community, both internally and externally. • Development of workflow and processes to ensure appropriate cross- functional responsiveness to community input and questions.These common responsibilities can manifestthemselves very differently when applied in different KEY TAKEAWAYcontexts. There are a number of factors that determinehow community management is executed, including: Evangelism for the community, both • Target audience (B2B, B2C, age, etc) internally and externally, is a core • Size and scale of the community community management skill. • Primary business purpose – direct ad revenue, eCommerce, advocacy, support, market research, collaboration, innovation, etc. • Organizational culture and leadershipThe community management responsibilities that are most likely to vary basedon the above factors are type and volume of moderation, content andprogramming, type of measurement, tool sets, and the level of internal training/collaboration. For example, a large consumer media site that gets 200,000 pageviews a day and 2,000 comments will need resources just to moderate thecomments to ensure they comply with language and behavior terms. Formalcontent publishing volumes are likely to be high as well. The business model islikely advertising so that becomes a core operating element within or adjacent tocommunity management.In a mid-size B2B community used for customers, the tool set and businessmodel is very different – as is the type and depth of activities. Formal content islikely more infrequently published but richer and there are likely morecollaborative features to allow customers to explore complex problems. Theremay be little or no sponsorship and the business model covers a support costsavings or increased revenue per customer.In both examples the encouraged engagement behaviors must support a costsavings or a revenue generation mechanism so understanding customerbehaviors is critical in developing a community strategy and building acommunity infrastructure.www.community-roundtable.com Page 37
  38. 38. For individuals in the community management role, there are important skill setsand personal attributes that impact success. Chief among communitymanagement skills is the ability to understand human behaviors and how theycan be influenced. Understanding the chain of behaviors that trigger businessresults and how to encourage them is core to cultivating a successful community.Other skills and characteristics demonstrated by the most successful communitymanagers are: • Conflict management and facilitation KEY TAKEAWAY • Relationship and influencer management Chief among • Volunteer management community management skills • Content and event programming is the ability to understand human • Familiarity with social software behaviors and how they can be • Strong written and oral communication skills influenced. • Ability to present information in multiple formats to different audiences • Understanding of various different business functions and priorities • Customer/constituent-centric perspective • Social • Modest • Empathetic • Persuasive • Curious • Creative • Patient • Balanced and fairwww.community-roundtable.com Page 38
  39. 39. • Willingness to be firm – and even toughOther associated skills, include: • Familiarity with online content creation KEY TAKEAWAY (blogging, podcasting, video) Community • Experience with common social sites and tools management is increasingly a • Understanding of web analytics distinct and separate role that is • Understanding of SEO, RSS, and other online explicitly distribution mechanisms (if the community is responsible for public) interfacing across many functions to • Management experience (depending on the ensure continuity of role) care for community members. • Cross-cultural experience • Storytelling/presentation experienceAs community management groups grow, these skills are often distributedbetween multiple individuals – some more focused on the people andrelationship management while others focus on tools or content andprogramming. The biggest community groups have roles for new productdevelopment and product/service management to support premium products orservices sold through the community channel.While the community management role often resides in various differentfunctional groups, it is increasingly a distinct and separate role that is explicitlyresponsible for interfacing across many functions to ensure continuity of care forcommunity members. As communities grow in size and value the reportingstructure of the community management group is also often adjusted. Thereporting and management of community initiatives remain a key challengetoday, even within functional organizations, as communities often producebenefits across traditional budgeting boundaries. This results in concentratedinvestments due to budgeting processes, but the benefits are diffused. For thisreason some of the most experienced community groups often sit outside oftraditional silos and are treated as corporate consulting/support groups thatenable other aspects of the business.www.community-roundtable.com Page 39
  40. 40. In 2009 community management came into its own as a business managementrole, as well as, a tactical online functional approach. In 2010 expect to seefurther refinement of roles and more companies testing community managementapproaches.Lessons  Learned  from  Members • In order to achieve value, community initiatives must be recognized as more people-intensive KEY TAKEAWAY than other programs tend to be. The key to • Successful communities tend to have an managing executive owner, as well as at least one full-time successful resource overseeing the day-to-day communities is to management of the community. understand behavior • More important than any other factor in the economics and success of a community, is the hiring the right anthropology vs. candidate for the community manager’s focusing on the position. The technical experience can be latest tools and taught, but not the inherent people skills. The technology. personality characteristics are a blend of sociability and independence, relaxed nature, yet structured. People skills are more important than community or technical experience. • In one case study example, an outside, contract community manager was used but the community initiative did not really take hold until a full-time community manager was hired. • The key to managing successful communities is to understand behavior economics and anthropology vs. focusing on the latest tools and technology. • Focusing on community as a goal can be a mistake. Focus instead on the topics you want people to understand and promote and community will follow if the topics resonate. • Being able to build the community inside the organization before taking it externally has been a successful approach. Another contributor to success has been starting with a pilot project and building in small, incremental steps.www.community-roundtable.com Page 40
  41. 41. • As the person responsible for social media and/or community, your biggest ally is a lot of patience. • Listen for what people are saying about your company, as well as what people are not saying. • Don’t over-respond to issues. Handle issues in the medium in which the problem occurs and with the group that is involved or affected. Over- responding can bring more attention to the problem than necessary and pull more people into the discussion than necessary. Depending on the issue and the context, it may not be necessary to get involved at all. • A goal of 100% adoption should not be a community’s primary goal. Ensuring that those that are participating are getting value is a far more valuable goal. • To encourage engagement, get members used KEY TAKEAWAY to doing some of their daily tasks within this new medium, like posting a presentation vs. sending A goal of 100% it out by email. adoption should not be a community’s • In one case study, private groups were tested primary goal. but eventually done away with in order to stay in Ensuring that those tune with their goal to increase communication, that are increase collaboration and increase participating are proficiencies. getting value is a far more valuable • The primary activities within communities are goal. learning and experiencing – often in many different forms. Understanding how different people learn and subsequently apply their learning is critical to influencing behavior and desired business outcomes. • In new communities, it is critical to establish comfort and accessibility. Create a “water cooler” environment within the community where people can go to engage in light-hearted conversation with their peers in a non- threatening way, thereby creating a comfort level with each other. Running offline lunch and learn sessions is also a great way to let people know the community is not just for “experts” and that everyone is learning. • One of the best ways to drive engagement is to demonstrate to people that they have an audience. However, it is important to set realisticwww.community-roundtable.com Page 41
  42. 42. expectations for your community contributors and establish the goal of their contributions upfront so that they do not feel rejected if no one responds. • Contributors are likely to take lack of engagement personally. As well as, setting proper expectations, there are two ways to avoid this, make sure contributors end with well-crafted questions and, as the community manager, ask specific people to comment on the content. • Idle or off-topic chit-chat is a critical part of community and will take some creative influence to help executives understand that it is a crucial facet of the business case. Because communities are about relationships first, this is actually a positive indication of successfully enabling relationships. • Peer-to-peer sharing is far more powerful than sharing that comes from perceived authority. The community manager can encourage that by doing a lot of mentoring and back-channel work to spur contributions and responses. • Having too much activity from authority figures can dampen engagement because members will feel like there is an implicit decision and therefore no need to participate themselves. For this reason, closely monitor management or expert participation and tone in communities so that their comments do not inadvertently shut down discussion threads. KEY TAKEAWAY • Recognize that community participation is not for everyone and that that is okay. Others will Too much activity take a long time to become comfortable and from authority acclimated enough to participate. Encouraging figures can dampen can help but do not cajole or force participation engagement as it results in either poor content or an aversion because members to future participation. will feel like there is an implicit decision • Lurkers add value to the community but it is a and therefore no difficult value to communicate or for executives need to participate to understand, particularly if the community is themselves. not driven by an advertising model. Lurkers create an audience, imbue content with value, and often act on the information they absorb in other channels.www.community-roundtable.com Page 42
  43. 43. • Its important to understand the role of moderation within a community. It is typically handled quite differently in B2B and B2C environments and requires different levels of resources. Additionally understanding pre- and post-moderation is important to ensure alignment with the cultural comfort of the organization. • As a community manager, active participation in your online community means you do not KEY TAKEAWAY necessarily want to be the bad guy. Consider third party moderation, it can be a cost effective Let conflict brew if option and provides flexibility when activity the participants are waxes and wanes. maintaining a healthy and • Members can be effective moderators but they respectful dialog. do not like to enforce the guidelines. This is the Conflict community manager’s job. encourages engagement and • Recognize that negative feedback is actually often participants positive as it presents an opportunity to improve are able to resolve and/or right a wrong. Resist temptations to it on their own. respond decisively before you really understand. • Step in the minute a discussion becomes malicious in nature. If a person is hurting your business or the experience of others, it is up to the moderator and/or community manager to disable that interaction. • Let conflict brew if the participants are maintaining a healthy and respectful dialog. Conflict encourages engagement and often participants are able to resolve it on their own. Even when there is an official answer or policy that would resolve the conflict, it is often good to let participants work out the issue through dialog – and it will often end up supporting existing decisions. • Recognize when people have issues that prevent them from conforming to your guidelines. Know when to sever the relationship and be firm. Escalation to other management and/or legal is often needed and discourages emotional badgering of the community management team who typically has a relationship with the person in question. • Involving vocal dissenters of the community in decision-making can be a positive way to channel that energy, but it can backfire, too. Considerwww.community-roundtable.com Page 43

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