One of my goals with The Community Roundtable was to observe and consolidate the practices of community management - and in doing so, make them more explicit and understood. After five years of learning together with our members, and documenting practices in hundreds of reports, we know what the core practices of successful communities are. This is not to say that good community mangers don’t also bring a magical element to the practice, enabling them to connect and orchestrate amazing experiences, but we do know from an operational perspective what kind of management elements are key to successful communities.
Our State of Community Management research this year showed us that of those communities that have the best management practices, 85% of them can measure their value. That suggests that taking a community approach is no longer a gamble and much closer to a sure thing.
Some of the markers of successful community management programs are:
- A multi-tiered advocacy program
- A community management playbook that documents how the organization engages with different constituent groups
- An owned community space and infrastructure
- Metrics that track not just activity but changes in member behavior
Now that our research has matured, we can assess the effectiveness of an organization’s community management system and are rolling out a Community Performance Benchmark. We think that by focusing on the performance of the system, it will enable organizations to produce reliable, scalable business results from a community.
I’m excited to share more about community benchmarking at JiveWorld and I’ll be talking broadly about the value of benchmarking but also about the various areas of community programs that need to be benchmarked, including the management system. The session is designed to be very practical and give you the information you need to:
- Understand what can be benchmarked - and how to think about the value and limits of benchmarking
- How to benchmark community management, community behaviors and business outcomes
- How to use benchmarking to develop or update your roadmap
There are some specific trends both in community management and in the wider business world that make community benchmarking particularly valuable today. I’m looking forward to sharing my perspective with you at JiveWorld!