As Kirsten Laaspere (of Akamai) pointed out at the beginning of her presentation, we talk about the value of community all the time – but how often do we talk about the value of the people "who keep the lights on?" Are there ways we can measure the effectiveness of community managers?
The answer is yes!
Kirsten broke it down into things you can do...
Identify your stakeholders/decision makers
When you're trying to figure out your role, you need to understand what motivates them. Then you can align your value to their specific goals.
Kirsten shared the roadmap from her Aloha community (image at right) and encouraged attendees to create an aspirational version as well – because one never knows when you might be able to convince your stakeholders of another headcount. My favorite aspect of her roadmap is in the training/communications area where Kirsten includes a monthly focus theme. I may just steal that idea!
What is worth measuring?
That's likely a common challenge for community managers as we strive to deliver relevant analytics to our various audiences. Kirsten delivers her scorecard quarterly because she found there wasn't a strong interest in seeing the monthly numbers. Key questions to ask yourself: What is actionable? What can we learn? What did we change?
Conduct roadmap reviews each quarter and adjust it as needed. Kirsten strongly advised adding a disclaimer to your roadmap so that you don't lock yourself in when you do see things you want/need to change.
Share community success stories – and your community management team's involvement in them. You want to put the spotlight on the contributions, yes, but working in how community management impacted the story is important.
Audience Bingo – who are you reaching?
Gather feedback – what are people saying about you?
Personal success stories – what are your personal wins?
Most importantly, "be proud out loud." Bragging about your accomplishments is okay and encouraged. Because it's the best way to demonstrate your team's value to your stakeholders and organization – and an important piece in growing your community resources.
Speaking of which, Teri Wayne from New York Life has done a fantastic job of building a strong community management team within her organization. It doesn't hurt that she has experience looking at things through an operational lens and laid out an operational plan before the company moved to Jive.
Her advice? "You get staff by providing numbers and value."
When The Square launched in 2015, she had a team of three. Now she has eight people managing the different aspects of community, including community and program management, analytics, training and support, graphic design and engagement.
Teri's mantra is that "you teach people to fish." Her team defines processes and repeatable steps and then works with others to show them how to do those things for themselves. This creates scalability for many of the aspects of the community. "We wouldn't have gotten anything done without our partners," she emphasized.
The three lessons the New York Life team has learned:
- Establish mutual goals and and support across your partner teams (Communications, HR, IT, Corporate Services, etc.).
- Tie your measurement to metrics that matter to the business.
- Never stop advocating, sharing and celebrating what's working.