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2012 State of Community Management


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In its third annual report The Community Roundtable examines the continued evolution of the social business industry and analyzes best practices and lessons learned from industry leaders and practitioners. Based on insights gleaned from over 100 roundtable calls with members of TheCR Network, a membership-based peer network of community professionals, the 60+ page comprehensive report highlights artifacts, patterns and initiatives likely to occur as organizations evolve and mature their social business competency.

Published in: Business, Technology
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2012 State of Community Management

  1. 1. State of CommunityManagement 2012 From Exploration to Evolution Principal sponsor
  2. 2. How do 40% of the FORTUNE 500 ®solve their critical business andtechnology problems?They ask Protiviti.Social technologies offer new ways to acquire and serve customers. Protiviti helps organizationscreate social business strategies to engage –not manage–their customers. We also help companiesbuild internal communities that improve business processes. Protiviti will benchmark yourcurrent state of social business to what others are offering and work with you to build a plan toget to the next level. Learn more at© 2012 Protiviti Inc. An Equal Opportunity Employer. Protiviti is not licensed or registered as a public accounting firm and does not issue opinions on financialstatements or offer attestation services. PRO-0212
  3. 3. The Community Roundtable is committed to advancing the business of community. We are dedicated to the success of community and social business leaders and offer a range of information and training services. We facilitate TheCR Network – a community of business leaders that provides access to experts, programs, curated content, relevant connections and a trusted environment in which to share. For more information, please visit us at | Join TheCR Network iii
  4. 4. 2012 State of Community Management Sponsors Endower Protiviti Protiviti helps organizations create social business strategies to engage – not manage – their customers. We also help companies build internal communities that improve business processes. We value our association with The Community Roundtable because we too are committed to uncovering objective measures of maturity to advance community management—and many other business processes. In fact, our 3,000 professionals have been formally evaluating the maturity of our clients’ business processes for as long as we have been in business. Because we are a risk consultancy, clients engage us to work with some of the most challenging communities, such as those where conversation is regulated by FINRA or other laws and regulations. Even in this setting, open, honest exchange still takes place. management maturity help us energize our clients to get to the next level, even when drawing from current practices we have cataloged by industry, by process. Protiviti KnowledgeLeader community and others to obtain valuable insights to better your operations goals, and build plans to advance your social business capability For more information, visit the Protiviti website at | Join TheCR Network iv
  5. 5. Supporting Sponsors Ektron Ektron Social Collaboration and Community helps organizations embrace customer relationships, enhance brand loyalty, and build and maintain vibrant social communities. Connect with your customers, foster new ideas and innovation, and allow community members to collaborate. Your members can and share across social networks. Monitor popular social communities and respond in real-time to changing sentiment. Combined with the Ektron Web Content Management platform, organizations can create and manage a seamless blend of corporate-, user- and community- generated content. For more information, please visit the Ektron website at Enterprise 2.0 Conference - ductivity. Attend Enterprise 2.0 Conference to learn how to leverage social business, focused on how real customers use the latest technologies in a comprehensive confer- ence. Visit leading companies showcasing the latest collaboration tools and services in the expo pavilion. Bring the power of Enterprise 2.0 to your organization. For more information please visit | Join TheCR Network v
  6. 6. built its reputation on creating integrated solutions that deliver what its clients value - culture founded on teamwork, integrity and personal commitment. Based in St. Louis, . IBM IBM helps you unlock the potential of communities to collaborate, innovate and drive set of capabilities that allow your business to become more social. From social soft- ware, content services, and social analytics – to process management, and risk and security solutions, IBM not only helps you encourage community involvement and contributions, but also ensures that you capture, grow and share the value of that engagement. For more information, visit | Join TheCR Network vi
  7. 7. Table of Contents Introduction .....................................................................................................1 Perspectives....................................................................................................2 About The Community Roundtable ......................................................9 About this Report ........................................................................................10 Methodology .......................................................................................................10 Community Maturity Model .................................................................................11 2011 Roundtable Schedule & Topics ..................................................................13 Overview .........................................................................................................16 Social Media is Mainstream ................................................................................16 Community Management Is Continuing to Mature .............................................18 Internal Employee Communities Are On the Rise ...............................................18 It is No Longer About the Technology. It is Always About the Technology. .......20 ...............................................21 Patterns in Community Maturity ..........................................................23 .............................................................................................23 Artifacts ..........................................................................................................24 Organizational Patterns .................................................................................24 Initiatives ........................................................................................................27 Reading & Resources ....................................................................................28 Stage 2 – Emergent Community .........................................................................29 Artifacts ..........................................................................................................31 Organizational Patterns .................................................................................32 Initiatives ........................................................................................................36 Reading & Resources ....................................................................................37 Stage 3 – Community ..........................................................................................39 Artifacts ..........................................................................................................41 Organizational Patterns .................................................................................42 Initiatives ........................................................................................................46 Reading & Resources ....................................................................................47 Stage 4 – Network ...............................................................................................49 Artifacts ..........................................................................................................51 Organizational Patterns .................................................................................52 Initiatives ........................................................................................................53 Reading & Resources ....................................................................................54 | Join TheCR Network vii
  8. 8. Introduction Welcome to the 2012 State of Community Management, an all-new look at the interac- tions and insights we uncovered with members of TheCR Network. In past incarnations of this report we focused on highlighting best practices observed within the eight com- munity management competencies outlined in our Community Maturity Model. This year’s report takes a different path, exploring the insights by organizational maturity, uncovering “artifacts”, “patterns”, and “initiatives” to look for as you develop your community and social initiatives from one stage to the next. Since we started The Community Roundtable in 2009, we’ve seen community manag- ers go from working in relative obscurity to being the linchpin of so many social initia- tives. With that spotlight, comes added pressure to succeed. This report is intended to help all of you, both the veterans and relative newcomers alike, achieve success. The 2012 State of Community Management Report would be a shell of itself without our members. While some work at the largest brands in the world, others are with small companies you’ve never heard of, but all are doing amazing work. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with them to help shape the vision and future of community management as a discipline. On the following pages, you’ll hear several members perspectives on what they get out of being part of TheCR Network. We also depend on the generosity and expertise of experienced practitioners, who share their knowledge with us nearly every week. They challenge us to think differently and get us out of our comfort zone. We appreciate their willingness to contribute to the Appendix. Conference, we’d be hard pressed to pour so much energy into this report. We thank them for their generosity and support to help bring the 2012 State of Community Management Report to you. manager for ten years or are just getting started, this is your report. Whether you’ve been following what we do at The Community Roundtable since we started or just stumbled on this report by chance, we appreciate you giving it your time. We look forward to the continued growth and success you’ll bring to the community manage- Co-Founders The Community | Join TheCR Network 1
  9. 9. Industry Perspectives tangible skills like accounting, inventory management and lead generation – and there are intangibles like leadership, vision and core values. The discipline of community management blends the tangible and intangible – discrete activities, platforms and tools right alongside the values, beliefs, and business goals native to every community. In 2012, community management isn’t new and it’s no longer an option – managing communities is a business imperative to succeed. Community managers are all about creating and fostering an environment ripe for meaningful interaction where the art of digital communication fuses with real world relationships, is what the community manager measurement. The Community Roundtable brings that together by providing members 101; it’s 501. It’s a resource for people who practice the discipline daily and want to succeed. The 2012 State of Community Management Report is a resource that captures the essence of The Community Roundtable. In its third year, the SOCM is hitting its stride - the rise. Like that album, this is arguably the best effort to date from TheCR. This is a powerful resource to help practitioners learn from others in the discipline and become masters of the tangible and intangible, a treasure trove of conversations, guides, how-to’s, and thought leadership. Forget the rhetoric, roll down your windows and put the volume on 10. Adam Cohen Partner, SVP Social and Digital | Join TheCR Network 2
  10. 10. What I enjoy the most about consulting is sharing with executives what everyone in their organization is thinking, but no one is saying. As we continue to consult with clients, though, we will eventually need to do less of that. Communities will mature to a level of openness and honesty where all members come to realize that Bad News is Good News. Management will have more time to respond, not just react, to what they are learning in their communities. “Transparency” is of course a critical element of success in even the least mature com- munity. Communicating without fear, though, is something more than transparency. An unvarnished, open, honest exchange of ideas that is reinforced over time with positive Generating relationship-based engagement in a community is challenge enough. The research in this report challenges us further. It suggests we advance the maturity of - blocker. I most enjoy helping companies explore breakthroughs in business process advance- ment by introducing communities into otherwise linear business processes. Marketing and Customer Service, Product and Service Development, Supply Chain, Operations, - vative answers. When we suggest an approach like this that seems to make objective business sense, it prove our value at the expense of the people we are trying to serve. So how might communities overcome political barriers that stunt their maturity? Con- we fall short. change. Managing Director | Join TheCR Network 3
  11. 11. TheCR Network Member Perspectives As a Social Business and Community Strategist at a Fortune 200 global consulting offers excellent programming, access to industry leading experts, value added con- cierge services and research and conference programming that adds to our collective knowledge in community management. I am so excited to see the launch of TheCR, WOMMA, ComBlu community management training program this year. It will address a tier of digital literacy training that I need to deliver to my organization. It’s been easy to make the case for not only my own personal membership in TheCR, but also to make the business case for several other CSC Community Managers as part of our corporate membership in TheCR Network for the second year in a row. I have been grateful for the relationships, and yes friendships, I’ve formed through this network. If you’re a Community Manager, and you’re not a member, you need to will, too. Claire Flanagan CSC Director, Social Business and Community Strategy And TheCR Network member, fan and friend For me, valuable programming, content creation and curation by dedicated, experi- enced and professional community leaders is a key differentiator of The Community Roundtable. I can meet and network with community professionals many places these days, both in person and online, but TheCR Network provides the best service and leadership that I’ve encountered. Ted Hopton Global Community | Join TheCR Network 4
  12. 12. I’ve long believed that the best source of information about building healthy and valu- able online communities is the community of community practitioners. The Community Roundtable has assembled some of the best and brightest practitioners in the industry, The value of The Community Roundtable ranges from the regular member calls, to research and reports, to the actual online community of community practitioners. Jim and Rachel do an excellent job of industry analysis, content programming and member engagement. I believe one trend we will see in 2012 is a resurgence of interest and investment in building on-domain communities, as brands begin to feel stretched by extended social engagement and realize the value of hosting their customer conversations. The im- portance and value of building online communities is only now beginning to be fully realized. It stands that The Community Roundtable and their TheCR Network will only become a more valuable and necessary resource for community managers and strategists. Bill Johnston Director of Global Online Community Dell resource for myself and our community management team. Rachel and Jim ensure cov- erage of a broad range of relevant and timely topics, so we are able to arm ourselves with information related to our current hot-button topics such as governance, advocacy, funding and analytics. TheCR Network is an active, social network of community and social practitioners across industries all with the shared goal of improving and furthering - ing and looking for ways to increase our knowledge through active participation. JJ Lovett Director Community Management CA | Join TheCR Network 5
  13. 13. be invaluable and enjoy participating in the group discussions. It is exciting to see the profession mature and programs like The Community Roundtable, WOMMA and Com- to the role of community manager. Sarah Mahoney Innovation Community Manager As the sole community and social media practitioner in a small company, The Com- in this role two years ago, I wasn’t even sure what I did had a name. TheCR Network provided a professional framework that legitimized the work I was doing both internally and externally. As our company grows, TheCR continues to be a source of information - cial strategy. The roundtable calls give members access to the country’s leading social business experts, and the knowledge base of Rachel, Jim and TheCR Network commu- nity of practitioners is second to none. Cindy Meltzer Director of Community & Social Media Isis | Join TheCR Network 6
  14. 14. The actions of community managers, both personal and professional, are exposed for internal and external communities to observe. We choose the role of community man- ager knowingly because we are driven by a passion to serve, connect, educate and learn from others. The battle scars of lessons learned are numerous, but we still show and exclusive haven for community managers to learn from each other and experiment with new ideas. As this role evolves and becomes a more prominent and integrated, strategic position within the enterprise, I know I can count on The Community Round- table to keep my growing team informed and educated. Lauren Vargas Community Management Strategist Aetna I joined The Community Roundtable in 2011 after following their publications for a while. The Community Roundtable helps me to connect to other community and Social their companies. What I really like about TheCR Network is that we cover topics from - velopment, Governance and Training as well as Support. Their publications help me to stay up to date on the discussions in case I can’t join the live calls. In 2012 I am looking forward to expand our membership to my whole team to make even better use of the Lasse Wasserman Social Media/Community Program Manager | Join TheCR Network 7
  15. 15. About The Community Roundtable The Community Roundtable is dedicated to advancing the business of community. We offer information, education, and professional development services for community and TheCR Network - Our annual membership-based peer network of community, social media, and social business practitioners. We run strategic, tactical, and professional development programs and curate content and interactions in a private online community for our members. Our members are leading the discipline of community management at organi- zations big and small – from Fortune 500 organizations like SAP, Aetna, CSC, - - typically social business owners, social strategists or community managers. TheCR Focus - Our monthly report subscription is perfect for busy community leaders and people interested in staying on top of what’s happening in commu- nity management. TheCR Focus is designed to keep subscribers in tune with the tools, tricks and topics we’re talking about in TheCR Network. TheCR Advisory - Our advisory services and workshops are custom designed strategies, priorities and plans based on our own experience managing online communities and our experience working with a wide variety of companies on their social media and community initiatives. Community Management Training - We partnered with WOMMA and Com- management is both an art and science. While the roles in community man- agement are growing and evolving rapidly there are established best practices Specialist, Community Manager, and Community | Join TheCR Network 8
  16. 16. About This Report We publish this State of Community Management report annually and it compiles and curates the lessons we learned with members from the previous year. This report extends and adds to both our 2011 report and 2010 report. our members and visiting speakers by competency, this year we organized and curated what we’ve learned over the past three years by maturity level. The report covers what we’ve seen applied most commonly by members of TheCR Network. If you are relatively new to community management, this report will provide great insight but we also suggest you look through many of the free resources we publish and curate. The perspectives provided in this report represent those of various experts and practi- tioners and may not necessarily be the best practice for every context. Because of that, - practitioners with whom we work. Methodology This report lays out a collection of artifacts, patterns and practices, initiatives, and resources we have found to be practiced at different stages of enterprise community maturity. We use the maturity stages of the Community Maturity Model, a framework we developed to help organizations plan for and develop their social business and com- munity competency. each of which is transcribed into a detailed report. associated with each stage of maturity. - out this report who have shared their expertise and wisdom with our members and we encourage you to familiarize yourself with their work. We hope this report gives you a valuable reference tool in your own social business initiatives and we hope you will consider joining TheCR Network or subscribing to TheCR | Join TheCR Network 9
  17. 17. Community Maturity Model We developed the Community Maturity Model as a way of organizing and making sense of the issues, associated competencies, and information relevant to community man- agement as the discipline matures and extends across an enterprise. It aligns on two Community Maturity Model TM Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Hierarchy Emergent Community Network Community Strategy Familiarize & Listen Participate Build Integrate Leadership Command & Control Consensus Collaborative Distributed Culture Reactive Contributive Emergent Activist Community Defined roles & Integrated roles None Informal Management processes & processes Content & Some user Community created Integrated formal & Formal & Structured Programming generated content content user generated Policies & No Guidelines Restrictive Flexible Inclusive Governance Consumer tools Consumer & Mix of consumer ‘Social’ functionality Tools used by individuals self-service tools & enterprise tools is integrated throughout Metrics & Anecdotal Activity Tracking Activities & Content Behaviors & Outcomes Measurement The eight competencies in the Community Maturity Model are those that must be addressed in order to build either a successful community or a social | Join TheCR Network 10
  18. 18. Stage 1: Hierarchy – ad hoc use of social technology or community structures. Stage 2: Emergent Community – experimental or pilot use of social and community tools and/or processes, along with considerable investment in creating structure to better evaluate and manage social opportunities. Stage 3: Community – explicitly chartered, funded, and staffed social or community initiatives resulting in measurable business outcomes. Stage 4: Network – a corporate strategy driven by a networked market perspective. These stages refer primarily to the information and relationship environment of an orga- - zation with Emergent Community, pockets of individuals are starting to experiment with many-to-many communications. In a Community, there are successful many-to-many communications environments existing for a variety of different constituent groups. In the Network stage, an organization views its markets as a set of relationships, and is linked to the majority of market participants regardless of whether they do or do not While these maturity stages are a continuum, certain behaviors are emerging as estab- lished patterns of particular stages. For example, Emergent Community suggests that - gets, community management resources, and policies are hallmarks of an established Community. Finally, being in the Network stage suggests integration between employ- ee, customer, partner, and even competitor constituencies – and that the company fo- cuses on the strength of these relationships as the foundation of its corporate strategy. These segments inform the way we organize community management content. The - ers across an organization. This report addresses the stages in the Community Maturity Model as our members experience them. While this may not always align with the most current discussions about each stage, we feel it represents the leading methods employed by practitioners | Join TheCR Network 11
  19. 19. 2011 Roundtable Schedule & Topics - ming. These calls often include an independent expert that joins the discussion to share their best practices and facilitate a member discussion. For members, we publish roundtable reports summarizing the discussion and highlighting the best practices, ad- vice, and lessons learned. Below are the roundtable calls that were held in 2011 and are used as source material for this report, with the featured expert and core Community Maturity Model competency listed. January Valeria Maltoni – PR/community management Allen Bonde Jacob Morgan February Jeremiah Owyang leadership/community management Thomas Vander Wal Sara Roberts March Alexa Scordato – strategy/culture Lee Odden Andrea Weckerle Ken | Join TheCR Network 12
  20. 20. April Reality, and Storytelling – Paula Thornton – community management Erin Traudt – metrics & measurement Neela Sakaria & Kim Gaskins – strategy May community management strategy CV Harquail – culture Sean O’Driscoll June Jeff Schick – leadership Paul Greenberg – strategy Jane Hiscock July Cindy Meltzer – metrics & measurement John Smith, Etienne Wenger & Nancy White - tools/community management August Josh | Join TheCR Network 13
  21. 21. September management Bill Johnston leadership October Chuck Hemann support Ryan Garcia Lauren Vargas management November Maddie Grant & Jamie Notter – culture December Lasse Wasserman & Adrienne Bernakevitch Ludwick Jeremiah Owyang community | Join TheCR Network 14
  22. 22. Overview We are in the midst of a perfect storm of market and social upheaval that is driving profound changes in how organizations operate. The power of communities has never been greater and it is driving organizations and governments to undergo leadership changes at the highest levels. Those who ignore their communities do so at their own peril. We’ve seen this in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. We’ve also seen this happen with Occupy Wall Street and the protest over SOPA/PIPA. And we’ve seen this in response successes, this trend is likely to increase. The best way for organizations to hedge against community revolts is to be an active participant and supporter of the community itself. That can take many forms – from listening to general online conversations, to participating in any of the many online conversations related to the organization or its markets, to hosting the community itself. Regardless of the approach, communities need to be integrated into the leader- ship, culture, and operations of your organization so that decisions – whether they are tactical or strategic– are informed by the perspective of an organization’s communities. Crisis may be the best way to understand the need for community management, but many organizations are seeing dramatic reduction in operational costs and increases in align large groups of individuals – whether internal or external to organizations. Most companies now understand this at a conceptual level, but are still struggling to - cal changes needed to foster better alignment with their communities. Because of this, 2011 was a year of growth in the community and social business space. There were more case studies, more community managers, and more discussions about how com- munities are being effectively used to deliver business results. Social Media is Mainstream - cial technologies or organizations that do not have a social networking presence. This is both good and bad news for those of us working to bring an understanding of online communications to our organizations. We no longer have to explain social networks can also heavily skew and limit individuals’ perceptions of how social tools can be used effectively for business. One of the challenges that we see is that the word community is used indiscriminately and often applied to any group of people online. We believe online communities | Join TheCR Network 15
  23. 23. A group of people with unique shared values, behaviors, and artifacts Communities are not just a social audience of people that converse with an organiza- relationship density much higher than you would see for a general group of people using a common social network. These shared characteristics, common goals, and general network of people. This sense of community is what encourages more complex business outcome will help organizations decide what type of online network to foster. It’s one of the most critical and basic things to understand before creating a social business plan. Communities are morphing however, and we see three common community structures, Exclusive - retention groups Discrete participation | Join TheCR Network 16
  24. 24. - munity managers and/or content curators. As online communities become more mainstream, they are colliding with corporate cul- tures that reward perfection, completeness, planning, and control. The cultural hurdles that this creates will greatly limit the success of communities and social business at many organizations. In large complex, opt-in environments, perfection is rare and com- munities become sustainable only when members feel they – not the organizations that sponsor them – have a say in the future of the communities. This is perhaps the biggest challenge that organizations face as they try to adopt a more holistic social approach. Community Management Is Continuing to Mature in a handful of areas – online gaming, open source engineering, online media platforms, and specialized technical support – and while a wealth of expertise developed, it was not generally well understood or needed in broader markets. That has changed as everything digital is also becoming social and most organizations are looking to under- stand what community management means for them. The need has developed to help - ciently shared with more individuals. In the past year a number of new community management education initiatives have sprung up – Twitter chats, Facebook groups, conferences, unconferences and formal training programs, including one we’ve developed in conjunction with WOMMA and these resources are helping individuals at all levels of responsibility understand com- community management means. We encourage you to explore all the resources avail- able, learn the patterns of community management applied in different contexts and use your own organizational needs to assess the patterns that will work in your environ- ment. There is a considerable portion of community management that will always there are also many things we have been able to learn together, document, and share. The great news is that there are more sources than ever from which to learn. Internal Employee Communities Are On the Rise One of the most active areas of community growth is in internal communities for em- ployees. Many organizations moved from a relatively small internal social software pilot to enterprise-wise roll outs in 2011, bringing with it a high demand for internal commu- internal community managers come from IT collaboration groups, internal | Join TheCR Network 17
  25. 25. While internal and external community management initiatives share many similar of these complicating factors, adoption patterns and the needs of the participants are much different than in external communities for marketing or customer support. Employees need better ways to work, not only so that they can manage information become comfortable with new approaches. One of the concerns organizations have the most trouble articulating is how communities can be used to make any of the following internal process elements Process Type of Community Metric Element Research & Market Network, Communities of Quality Discovery practice, Customer communities, - Better inputs Partner communities - Better alignment with markets Productivity - Faster time to answer/insight Status Updates Team networks, Functional Productivity communities - Reduced meetings - Micro-mentoring - Alignment - Focus on issue resolution Data Analysis Team networks, Functional communi- Productivity ties, Communities of practice, - Shared ownership of Customer communities, analysis Partner communities - Broad buy-in of issues & framing - Faster awareness and buy-in for analysis Content Team networks Productivity Development - Ongoing alignment as content is development - Less wasted work Stakeholder Review Team networks, Communities of Productivity peers/practices - Transparent decision- making process - Better sensing of potential responses (crisis manage- ment) - Shared ownership of decision Communication of Functional communities, Communities Productivity Information & of practice, Customer communities, - Alignment and shared Decisions Partner communities, organization- situational awareness wide networks - Better understanding of reactions (crisis manage- ment) | Join TheCR Network 18
  26. 26. A major caveat to understanding how communities contribute to internal business goals is that when communities are integrated into processes without good boundaries and process management, it can be much more – not less – chaotic. As an example, many organizations are intrigued by the idea of building an “idea exchange” community. - effort ineffective. When, however, the challenges promoted in the community align with the plans of the organization, they can provide valuable feedback on how to prioritize and execute, while creating early advocates and adopters. Internal communities have the potential to transform organizations in a vast number clear success can be documented before the initiative is broadened to a more complex set of objectives. It is No Longer About the Technology. It is Always About the Technology. Technology is the key enabler of online communities and yet it cannot alone ensure a successful community. Once software is selected the focus shifts to ensuring produc- programming, content, and support become much more pressing topics once the tech- nology decision is made. Do not wait until the platform is launched to focus on these issues. We continue to see the rise of new technologies and with them the need for community managers to experiment and explore to determine business applications. Communities – even exclusive private communities – are spilling out and interacting across the social - cial business initiatives grow, they need to be integrated with existing platforms, mobile delivery channels, and more powerful analytics tools. Community leaders need to partner with internal and external experts to ensure that focus remains on the business goal while continually evaluating the constantly shifting technical | Join TheCR Network 19
  27. 27. It is an exciting time to be a community leader. Articulating how communities are con- tributing value to an organization and understanding the opportunities that open up for the organization is rewarding and inspiring. We see community leaders as explorers, builders, and translators – charting new paths for their organizations in a complex new environment. Explorer The pace of change has become dramatically faster as networked communications on and relish the role of explorer – not only discovering emerging environmental factors, but also exploring the behaviors, interests, and goals of their community members. This curiosity is critical to helping communities and the organizations that sponsor them. Builder Community leaders must be builders. Communities and relationships will rarely, if ever, be perfect. Successful communities are built by those who have a predilection for action and who will experiment instead of waiting for perfect timing. While planning resources to support a community initiative, trying to predict what the community will do and be before it exists is impossible. Translator Finally, a community leader must be a translator – ensuring that different constituencies can understand each other and making sure stakeholders know how to evaluate the op- portunities and risks in a community approach. This is particularly critical because new technologies can often seem like fads to enterprise stakeholders. They need to have a discussion of realistic opportunities and risks in their own language in order to effec- tively understand and support investment in this space. Those leaders that can evangelize and bring the value of communities into organiza- tions are seeing their work rewarded with increased budgets, recognition, and new opportunities. This is the third annual State of Community Management and we’ve learned a lot in the with TheCR Network members about the eight critical competencies in community - viduals can use to build, grow, and maintain | Join TheCR Network 20
  28. 28. This year we felt like we’d learned enough to provide a more prescriptive view of the path organizations take and chose to structure the report by organizational maturity stage. We lay out the artifacts, organizational patterns, and initiatives we see organizations undertaking as they move from those wobbly early days to a structured the organization. Common patterns and approaches have emerged and we hope this report provides you and your organization with a valuable guide in executing your own community and social business initiatives. Finally, we would like to thank TheCR Network members and advisory clients of The Community Roundtable who have contributed to our collective understanding in a wide range of ways. Without our clients, members and sponsors we could not offer you this comprehensive insight that is so valuable to | Join TheCR Network 21
  29. 29. CMM1 Patterns in Community Maturity - atively un-touched by social technologies and methods to those with a chaotic jumble of different teams using different technologies with an inconsistent understanding of the opportunity, risks, challenges, needs or interests of the organization. - proaches might help them. Most individuals have no interest. Those that do attempt the plethora of tools and streams of data. In this stage, social can become a short-term productivity drain, as people learn and often reinvent the wheel using social approaches. - social initiative. The challenge is that they are often right – the use of social tools does cause distractions, but without investment, a thoughtful and consistent approach is hard to | Join TheCR Network 22
  30. 30. CMM1 Ironically, any companies that incorporate a well-designed social media marketing ap- proach can internally still be in CMM1, especially if most of that work is outsourced and does not impact or touch the majority of the business. Artifacts Likely restrict access and use. awareness of how social tools and methods are applied to business. interaction with other teams in other functional groups. opportunity. - hoarding, defensiveness when asked to share, and suspicion around the use of information. Possible Organizational Patterns Start simple with monitoring. Monitoring social channels for brand and key market terms is a good place to start. Some analysis to aggregate and report on the volume and make-up of the mentions is valuable to gain exposure and support. Schedule “social media socials” or other types of informal get-togethers. Face-to-face gatherings help social leaders advocate and build awareness of social tools and approaches. Evangelize to naysayers and skeptics. Break down barriers to social | Join TheCR Network 23
  31. 31. CMM1 with the individual’s pain points as to how social media can be of assistance; stories and how mistakes were overcome. Arrange peer-to-peer discussions when ideas from those unfamiliar with their context. Invest in understanding the audience. engagement, technology, and content decisions. Say it again. Personal and business lives are blurring: The lines between personal and to give employees boundaries for interacting on public social networks. Let the outside in. Companies need to understand that if they are going to go down this path of community, they need to be prepared to include external people into matters that would normally be discussed behind the closed doors. Self-awareness is critical. help others understand the obstacles, self-imposed and organizational, that are impeding them to utilizing social approaches. Shift the mindset. When describing social media/social learning, make sure that it is not described as being something extra that the person has to do. Instead, let them know that by removing whatever obstacles were blocking its use Be human. A community mindset is embedded in most people. It is more human than the typical transactional philosophy found in business. People love connecting and building relationships. Promote ecosystem thinking. The more that you can think about your orga- nization as a member of a larger network, the easier it is to connect with the people you are trying to serve and those that either positively or negatively impact the network. It is still business. There still needs to be a value proposition with any business initiative. Be intentional with whom the organization connects with, what the ideal outcome is, and how that positively impacts the business. Education is the key to success. Senior executives, legal and all potential par- ticipants need a grassroots approach to understanding social media before they can understand the bigger picture. Mavericks matter. This journey often begins with leadership at a grassroots level, by someone who sees the changing opportunities and risks and takes a | Join TheCR Network 24
  32. 32. CMM1 Take stock. An internal audit often shows that there is already activity happen- ing in the social arena. This helps to highlight to senior executives that all this organic activity could continue with zero governance or it could be structured in order to get the most value out of it. Audits can help get the ball rolling for broader funding and attention. Recruit leaders who can be pioneers. This is going to feel like pushing a Establish a framework. It is very important to create a roadmap that outlines this way. Most experience lies outside of the organization. Recognize the importance of networking with external colleagues, organizations, and experts. One organi- zation cannot know all there is to know. Don’t block the box. In order to make the adoption of social media more suc- cessful, work to allow access to social media sites if they are currently blocked. Broad adoption and understanding cannot happen without experimentation. Legal is on your side. Legal teams are not necessarily a roadblock. Yes, they - ronments. Continuous education and information sharing is critical and helps to The technology is the easiest piece: Finding the right technology for your hardest piece because that skill set and experience does not reside within most companies right now. Translate. Explain social media in terms of the organization’s business objec- tives. The critical outcome is to convince executives that you know how to trans- late social media into business objectives. Ask for the right things. which tactics your business is particularly sensitive to and always make sure your tactics comply. To lead a social business initiative one needs to be a - zation takes a degree of personal and professional risk. Ask the right questions. Understand the value of lurking. Just about everything we do online markets to the lurker. Even though they are not commenting, it does not mean that | Join TheCR Network 25
  33. 33. CMM1 are not reading. They are watching how you respond and what you write to other people. People have different engagement tipping points and many need to lurk for a long time. Understand the two C’s. Consistency and cadence is critical to model the ex- pectations you have for member engagement Include others in your content. The best way to get your content shared is to collaborate with others on it. They will likely share the content with their network. Relevancy matters. If you are not sure about what content would be relevant to your audience, or just do not have any content yet, simply ask your audience outright via both conversations and surveys Reduce and reuse work. Communicate the “what’s in it for me” element of presence will reduce the amount of time that people with expertise are called into meetings and/or asked to sit on projects because his/her expertise is much more accessible. Know your audience. When sharing social media successes, keep it focused on the audience with whom you are speaking. Initiatives Recruit one or more executives sponsors Identify cross-functional champions technologies and dynamics Create an operational framework and roadmap Complete a social business audit or gap analysis Start a listening program do for the business and adopts the mission to bring that knowledge into the | Join TheCR Network 26
  34. 34. CMM1 Reading & Resources Books Drive, Daniel Pink Trust Agents Sway Groundswell The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion The Now Revolution Reports The 2010 State of Community Management Report The 2011 State of Community Management Report Other Social Media is not a fad Social Business Evidence is Mounting, Best Cases of 2011 Social Media Usage Statistics The Community Roundtable’s Resources How social technologies are extending the organization List of Social Media Management Systems Social Media Monitoring | Join TheCR Network 27
  35. 35. CMM2 Stage 2 – Emergent Community task of organizing, assessing opportunity, researching, learning, developing an opera- tional approach, and marshaling resources. The investments early in this stage tend to be limited; activity is happening in a relatively small group of individuals and costs accrue around consulting, advisory work, research, and training to support the work of that core team. Once critical decisions are made about the organizational approach, Early in CMM2 is an exciting time for the individuals involved is social business ap- proaches because they have a better understanding of the opportunities and they can - est of a variety of stakeholders so there is more interest and often, tangible support organize a social strategy and having more structure helps reduce the chaos and as- suage some of the fears. By early CMM2 there is some level of executive awareness and support – even if it is still limited to pilots and trials to determine the real opportunity at the enterprise | Join TheCR Network 28
  36. 36. CMM2 Management is still, however, generally cautious or adverse to social and community approaches. For those responsible for social initiatives, the goal for stakeholders in this stage is education. This can take many different forms with the objective of enabling further investments. The purpose of early CMM2 is to get critical decisions made and to spread the under- Once these decisions are made, planning and budgeting cycles are then aligned to bring those decisions to life and social business initiatives move into a more operational Infrastructure: Social applications, tools & integration services. Resources: Community managers, social media managers, content specialists, data analysts, business analysts and trainers. Training: External and internal resources and programs to address formal and informal learning across the enterprise. Content & Programs: budget to support events, content development, and content curation to support communities and encourage engagement. Measurement: Tools and/or services to help determine whether you’re achiev- ing your objectives in social environments. External Resources: Consultants, trainers, research, and expertise from outside The latter part of CMM2 is focused on deploying and optimizing approaches. This This process can and does separate out the organizations that have effectively commit- ted to a social business approach and those that may not have the culture or leadership will-power to retain the focus needed to mature. Those organizations that better under- stand their cultural limitations and opportunities are more likely to make it through this Gartner reference of the key challenges faced by social business teams is that organizations may not see scaled outcomes that are convincing, due in part to the fact that it is not possible before the approach is operationalized and optimized. This period can be very hard to navigate, particularly if executive sponsors and advocates are not committed. It is be protected during this period of fear, uncertainty, and doubt? | Join TheCR Network 29
  37. 37. CMM2 The conclusion of CMM2 occurs when social business initiatives start producing results at a meaningful scale to the organization. It is a time of great relief and much rejoicing. Progress and success are obvious and the individuals that took the biggest risks are often rewarded with acknowledgement and recognition. Artifacts Likely existing marketing or support content. form. social media/community initiatives. Possible individuals and teams involved with communities. | Join TheCR Network 30
  38. 38. CMM2 networks. Organizational Patterns Develop an integrated social strategy approach. This will insure you do not them vet their idea in the context of evaluation, design/launch and manage/ monitor. Develop a proactive approach. within the business. Understand the importance of education. Internal evangelism is the key ele- resources than most organizations anticipate. Make friends with legal, compliance, fraud, etc. Get the control functions of executive team. This is important because if legal is on board then executives are not able to hide behind legal risks as a reason for not moving forward. Help early teams win. - typically groups that are treated as the inhibitors of change organizationally, but that is often misplaced. They want to support progress, but in a way that miti- gates risk to the organization - collaborate with them on this. Ensure scalability. Educate stakeholders within the company who want to use sheet that outlines their plans and needs, including what they need from a cen- tralized social business team The best way to receive funding and approval for a growing social initiatives is to get creative and “skinny down the ask”, to make it small enough to do the initial experiment that proves the business case. Also, - ness case that people can rally | Join TheCR Network 31
  39. 39. CMM2 Centralize the role of the social team. This approach will work with the internal and external partners, as well as many internal functional departments and business units. Foster a community management mindset. Community management should - munity management mindset includes transparency, engaging the members and/or volunteers, soliciting feedback, inclusion and the support and sharing of other people’s ideas. Develop strategies for overcoming objections from naysayers and skeptics. - Meet with the skeptics in an informal setting vs. a business meeting. - Acknowledge any concerns and show concrete examples that resonate with the individual’s pain points as to how social media can be of assistance. - Make videos and tell stories about social media. Empower your community manager. The community manager needs to be them the authority to go directly to a source for answers and set the expectation that they need to receive straight answers. Ask people frank questions about social media and community. There are a - feel that they are being heard within their organizations. The second statement exposes trust issues in an organization’s culture. Start early with the legal team. Discuss policies with your legal team months ahead of the launch phase. Realize that this is a time-consuming task. Invest in listening. It is vital that a company invest in monitoring software. Not only will it give you a true picture of your brand perception, but it will also prove invaluable in helping you determine your social strategy by exposing hidden op- portunities and challenges. It will not necessarily be the market leader. Vendor intangibles are things like maintenance and sup- port, etc. Accordingly, an organization should understand the vendor’s strategy and roadmap and insure it maps to the organization’s goals. needed to support the business goal and then align the software choices around Start simple. - plicity to understand what is available to them. Social comfort is critical to tool adoption. of trust. The concept is right, but a term like “social comfort” might be a | Join TheCR Network 32
  40. 40. CMM2 software and comfort with the content. To SaaS or not to SaaS? When considering whether to go with a hosted plat- form or in-house, consider the issues of integration, managing entitlements and data integration with community members and CRM. The other concern with Know your ROI expectations. There are considerable differences between a large organization and a small company in regards to the importance of short - ties and expectations before building ROI models and estimates. Don’t track too often. ROI from community activity typically takes a while because you are looking to change behaviors and that takes time. Tracking on a daily or weekly basis may give you the wrong picture and it is often time wasted. Consider your goals, if they are simple tracking on a weekly basis may be ap- All members are not created equal. - derstanding that difference and treating segments differently can help you reach Executives have become numb to copious amounts of data. What gives to tell a story is a powerful approach when sharing with executives. Develop social stewards. When implementing an open culture create a social stewardship program. The social steward role is the linchpin needed to help also reducing the risk to the organization. These individuals work hands-on with employees throughout the organization with a focus on promoting adoption and coaching others. Keep a global perspective. Build governance, stewardship programs, and cul- tural initiatives to meet the needs of your entire enterprise. A narrow initial focus Develop good judgment. A guidebook does not exist with all the appropriate responses to follow for each and every interaction in social media. It takes train- ing and experience. Ensure social and community teams have access to peers Know your data sources. When setting up advanced listening initiatives it is criti- cal to understand where data is coming from and what data is not being included. Understand the purpose of social monitoring. market to the masses, the social monitoring industry has created a bit of a mon- ster by making it appear simple in their marketing. It is not simple. In fact, it has evolved to a point where this is now a broader, consumer insights’ research type of tool that has applications across the company. The depth of the monitoring will depend on the needs of your organization and its goals. The main | Join TheCR Network 33
  41. 41. CMM2 and functionalities focus on engagement and response, text analysis, sentiment Start managing at the outset. Without effective management of a community, try and reign back control vs. facilitating it from the start. Growing groups. Without effective community management, there is the risk of because people join the group that is about everything. Time can be wasted try- can silo information and conversations, also making it hard to locate. Finding the right balance comes with experience. Know your organization. online communities could be authenticity-related challenges. In other words, - tion of how the company would really do this if it were being true to itself. Build in hooks for engagement. It is important to have a hook within the com- munity that keeps people coming back. This can vary by community and can recognition. Some critical lessons from participating in communities have helped com- munity managers: - Cultivate pride and identity - Nurture the shared passion that brought this community together - Build camaraderie - Find altruism - Generate excitement - Build a sense of duty within the community - Fun is critical ingredient Use surveys to understand where to allocate budget. When deciding where the effectiveness of this best practice, follow up with a phone call to the survey respondents. With regards to legal regulations, there’s no such thing as “The Wild West.” The misconception is that this is all new, so therefore there are few rules. There adapt existing rules/laws within social media until such time as new laws can be enacted. Don’t shoot the messenger. Lawyers do want to help their business clients win, but they cannot change the rules. Their job is to help their clients and | Join TheCR Network 34
  42. 42. CMM2 that the risks are almost always external. Lawyers give advice based on those external risks. You get the legal advice you ask for. Lawyers worry about whether or not the business client has been honest and forthcoming with all the facts or that some- thing has changed without the lawyer being informed after s/he has imparted his/her advice. That gap in information or change may have a material impact on the advice that has been given. If you want a better answer than “it depends”, do not play in the lawyer’s world. - gest risk areas that I can do something about?” If you ask a lawyer for that kind of guidance, then he/she can speak from experience based on what they have seen, on emerging issues or actual cases. In turn, the lawyer will be able to give you some steps to help you work with your business team to mitigate those potential risks. Initiatives Build an operational framework and roadmap Develop a comprehensive budget Formalize an enterprise-wide governance structure Deploy social software Develop community management expertise and tools Create metrics scorecards for various reporting levels Document response and escalation processes of experience with the new technologies, interest, and position in the organiza- tion. These early leaders are sometimes replaced or supplemented with outside hires. - ogy, community management, training, and governance. make meaningful enterprise impact, but enough to show their potential to do | Join TheCR Network 35
  43. 43. CMM2 Reading & Resources Books Online Community Management for Dummies Digital Habitats – Stewarding Technology for Communities The New Social Learning Get Bold Social Media ROI Smart Business, Social Business Reports - How Corporations Should Prioritize Social Business Budgets - Career Path of the Corporate Social Strategist: Be Proactive or Become Social Media Help Desk - A Strategy for Managing Social Media Proliferation - The Shift Index - 2011 - 2011 Tech Trends Report - Social Business Survey Results - Community Health Index Articles, Presentations & Posts Differentiating Between Social Media and Community Management How To Develop a Business-Aligned Social Media & Social Networking Strategy Enterprise Social Tools & The Knowledge Organization Designing Metrics for Online Customer Communities Metrics & Measuring Success in Online Communities Measuring E2.0 Success & Business Value – Metrics & Analysis Build a Content Plan & Successful Community Management How to create an editorial calendar New Media, New Metrics, New Lessons Crisis Communications in Social Media: Are You Ready? | Join TheCR Network 36
  44. 44. CMM2 Other Resources Social Media Policies Database Social Media Governance & Policy Database Case Studies, Ideas, and Reports Glassdoor Troll | Join TheCR Network 37
  45. 45. CMM3 Stage 3 – Community milestone – they are seeing business returns from their community or communities at a meaningful scale for the organization. While this allows the community management team to take a collective sigh of relief because the pressure to prove the approach dissipates, it creates new challenges in sustaining and managing growth. One of the biggest risks is the perception that now that the community is successful, community management can take a back seat or be de-prioritized because members have taken on a lot of community management responsibilities themselves. One of the biggest business decisions during CMM3 is whether a community approach will remain something applied to discrete business goals or whether it will be incorpo- rated into a broader business strategy and drive major changes to the organizational business model. For many organizations, achieving and maintaining a CMM3 envi- ronment will satisfy their needs and interests. A smaller percentage of organizations will have the opportunity and interest in transforming their organizations through to a networked approach to operations. Regardless of the long-term vision, organizations - | Join TheCR Network 38
  46. 46. CMM3 For individual employees, CMM3 can be a very unsettling period because no longer can - ronment. For the business processes the community supports, power is shared with the - ing this shifting power dynamic becomes something all employees who interact with the community become responsible for. Community management is critical to help achieve a healthy balance of power and to help navigate the myriad of hiccups that occur as this ongoing negotiation happens. While community management was primarily focused on organizing an approach and selling a vision in CMM2, the responsibilities for community management shift in CMM3 - community management is reprioritized, the community can often overwhelm the orga- nization because of its emerging power. The tone and authenticity of engagement plays a critical role in preventing either a reactionary stance from management or worse, a community revolt. The risks associated with a CMM3 can come as a big shock to an organization that, having made it up the mountain, now expects a relatively easy path to future success. CMM3 is where the bulk of the organizational culture and leadership change happens. While a group of leaders likely made this leap during CMM2, the scale of the commu- nity effort now touches a much larger percentage of the organization. Individuals who were either not interested or skeptical during earlier periods now have to acknowledge the community as a productive part of the organization and pay more attention. Many people may do so unenthusiastically because it forces them to change how they oper- ate. These changes can make people feel inept because the new approaches are so unfamiliar. Education initiatives become vital to supporting and familiarizing all employ- structures CMM3 is usually where an organization stays for a long time, often for the foreseeable - - tional approach and move toward | Join TheCR Network 39
  47. 47. CMM3 Artifacts Likely community activities across the organization. individuals and teams involved with communities. the most senior levels of the organization. dynamics work. expanded points of interaction to meet customers everywhere that they want to interact across the web. management use cases. and customers. or community are discussing business on external social channels. | Join TheCR Network 40
  48. 48. CMM3 Possible emergent leaders. - plicable business functions. website. - discussion and which consumed months of internal attention. opportunities. with corporate values in the hiring process. Online communication skills are included in the employee development processes. Organizational Patterns Actively listen for change. Watch for shifting narrative in the community and change and update public statements according to what is being said in social media channels. Watch and adapt. Community members may not use the community as it was designed or envisioned by the organization. Community members want what they want, not what organizations want to give them. Be ready to reassess initial too far away from your goals. community. Conduct war games. When working towards an open culture, reduce executive anxiety and prepare the organization by getting fears out on the table, articulat- ing worst-case scenarios, and planning hypothetical responses. Include a cross- section of leaders from various | Join TheCR Network 41