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SOCM2016 Draft Cover Shadow.pngWhen The Community Roundtable launched in 2009, the idea of measuring the markers of community success was unheard of; community management was considered an art that couldn't be taught - or measured.


Seven years later, many platforms have developed sophisticated analytics capabilities for their communities, giving community managers dashboards and annual reports with which they can measure and benchmark the activity and output of their communities. Jive has invested a lot of effort to providing dashboards and other insights that make it more possible than ever for you to measure the value and ROI of your community.


So why do you need to spend 25 minutes taking the State of Community Management survey?


Because platform-driven data is powerful but it only tells you one important part of the story - the output. It doesn't tell you much about how you invest your resources to get that output - your community management approach.


For the last six years, we have been tracking the management behaviors that make for successful communities. How critical is strategy? Does executive engagement really matter - and from whom? How do content and programs fit together to drive engagement? Does the community management work you do outside the platform translate to community success? How do policies and governance affect the community? Do strong value statements derive strong engagement? What are the most effective times to be higher-touch with your members?


The list goes on and on. And the better the data and benchmarking you can get out of your platform, the more powerful this other information becomes - the data that is the lifeblood of the State of Community Management survey.


We’re taking a closer look at the data from the Jive customer segment of our 2015 survey population for a custom benchmark report to be presented next month at JiveWorld 2016 - and come chat with us about the research at our booth.


3 Reasons to Participate in TheCR’s State of Community Management 2016 survey


  1. Improve your strategic perspective: Upon completing the survey, you will automatically receive your maturity score by the eight competencies in the Community Maturity Model which will help you understand your program's biggest strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Gain stakeholder confidence: by involving stakeholders in completing the survey, it will help you and them understand the scope of community management responsibilities and start having the right conversations about what to prioritize and invest in.
  3. Be credible: By contributing to the most widely read research about communities, you are contributing to the broader understanding of the community opportunity, which gives you more credibility and career opportunities.




So what are you waiting for?


Take the survey today!


We’ll even give you coffee or let you donate $5 to No Kid Hungry.

CMSF.pngIt’s a great time to be a community manager! Organizations big and small are beginning to recognize that managed communities can help transform organizations, making them more resilient in a digitally connected world.


Yet, while the discipline of community management is becoming better understood, the specific roles within the discipline are still often poorly defined, measured and rewarded. We know from our work with community practitioners that there is a huge range in experience, responsibilities and compensation among community managers – it is not a one size fits all discipline. We also know that many people still believe community management is mostly about updating Facebook and Twitter. 


Quite to the contrary, we see community professionals playing a unique, strategic and under-valued role in evolving their organizations - helping them become more responsive, adaptive and innovative. Community professionals can be front line engagement specialists, and they can also play a critical strategic role in organizational transformation. At the same time, many community managers are frustrated by a lack of recognition, compensation and advancement opportunities - often epitomized by completely unrealistic job descriptions.


Our mission at The Community Roundtable is to advance the business of community and research has always played an integral part of that – helping people understand the dynamics and management approaches that build successful communities. We’ve made great strides at the macro level with our State of Community Management research and our Community Maturity Model framework, but we needed to apply the same research approach to the role of the individual community professional. With that in mind, we undertook our inaugural Community Manager Salary Survey, made possible with support from Jive.


This research documents the roles, skills, responsibilities, compensation, evaluation and professional development opportunities of over 350 individuals in the community space today.


What we found was enlightening:


  • Community professionals on average have 13 years of work experience, suggesting that while entry level jobs exist, they by no means represent the average community professional
  • Community job descriptions are poorly rationalized between experience required, responsibilities and compensation - making it challenging for organizations to hire and hard for community professionals to find challenging and exciting roles that won’t burn them out.
  • Less than one-third of community professionals find jobs through traditional job postings, making the career path opaque and hard to navigate.
  • Community executive roles are increasing, suggesting that community programs are growing in strategic importance as organizations understand the value they generate


Most notably, along with the research findings, we developed the Community Management Skills Framework, included here. This framework helps individuals, managers and organizations understand the scope of community management roles and the specific priorities of each through the four skill families found within community management:


  • People and engagement skills
  • Content development skills
  • Strategic and business skills
  • Technical skills


The full report helps answer the following questions:

  • What is the role of a community manager, community strategist or director of community?
  • How to define or refine the role to be more realistic for one person?
  • How to bring compensation in line with responsibilities?
  • What is a good starting point for building a job description?
  • How to help the HR team define standard job categories and descriptions?


We hope you’ll download this research and use it as a springboard for discussing these issues in your organization, and in the broader field of community.


Additionally, if you are looking to enhance your own skills in community management, Jive and The Community Roundtable have partnered to offer both internally- and externally-focused professionals training on community management fundamentals. This is a fantastic resource that provides short video tutorials combined with actionable worksheets  - you can access both courses here Jive User & Community Manager Training.

Screen-shot-2014-07-02-at-4.36.23-PM.pngOnline community management is far from new - it’s been around since the beginning of the Internet, and in more formal capacities at media companies since the 90s. Our aggregate understanding of the role, however, is still evolving. What we know from our work over the last five years with clients is that the role varies pretty dramatically based on the strategic importance of the community, experience and responsibility level of the community manager, community use case and the maturity of the community program.


The Community Roundtable has invested in a new research platform - our Community Manager Salary Survey - to look at community manager profiles across these variables in order to develop a skill, responsibility and compensation matrix. This data will help both community professionals and hiring community managers evaluate and assess the worth of different roles within community management.


Some preliminary findings that were interesting to me:

  • Of those respondents with ‘community’ in their title, 69% were Community Managers, 18% were Community Strategists and 13% were Directors of Community. We had no VPs of Community complete the survey (if you are one, please consider participating in the research).
  • Data on how community professionals are hired suggests HR is still largely absent in recruiting. 22% of community professionals defined their own role before moving into it and 27% were found by hiring managers directly.
  • External (customer and market-facing) community professionals still dominate. 63% of responses were from external community managers, 24% was from internal community managers and 13% worked in other types of community managers.
  • Almost half of all community professionals in the survey have been in their role for one year or less.
  • 37% of community professionals have been promoted - encouraging confirmation that there is a career path within the field of community management.
  • 52% are evaluated by their ability to deliver business outcomes suggesting that organizations are figuring out how to value communities and community management.

While this preliminary data is great, we want to make sure we are capturing the entire range of community management roles and experiences. We are still looking for participation, particularly if you fit into any of the following categories:

  • You own or manage an employee facing community
  • You manage a community but it’s not your sole responsibility or title (i.e. you are a Director of Marketing that owns a community)
  • You are a senior or experienced community professional
  • You work in a traditional industry like manufacturing, energy, financial services, health care and professional services

We are closing the survey soon - please please consider contributing today. It takes approximately 10-15 minutes.


By participating, you will help us develop the most robust and accurate information we can so you have the data you need to prove your worth or align your hiring and job descriptions with industry realities.


We take your privacy very seriously and the only individuals who have access to raw data are two members of TheCR team. We do not share any raw (individual) data points with the rest of TheCR team, partners or clients.

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