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5 Shocking Stats about Online Communities

With so much information available about online communities, it’s scary to think that many organizations are still not fully investing in building thriving communities.

By far, one of the best sources of information on best practices in online community management is The Community Roundtable’s annual State of Community Management report. Now in its fifth edition, the report offers some insight into how a variety of organizations are building and managing online communities.

In case you missed it, here are some stats that might surprise you and simple recommendations you might want to apply to your online community management practice.

  1. 85% of organizations with the strongest communities measure their community’s value: How do you know if your community is contributing to your organization’s goals if you’re not doing any measurement? Figure out what you want from your community to develop the metrics that will indicate whether your current community management strategy is working. The solution could be as simple as developing a better call-to-action or actually developing a community management strategy.
  2. 52% of organizations with at least one full-time community manager can measure their community’s value: Investing in a dedicated community manager means having a point person to carry out and track your community strategy.
  3. 58% of the strongest communities include participation by organization leaders: Good leaders model good behavior and connect with their tribe wherever they may be. Organizations leaders should make time to get involved to connect with their online community whether that’s on social media or your member forums. Community members value the knowledge that leadership believes in an organization’s as much as they do and this will keep them coming back.
  4. 85% of the strongest communities have a community playbook versus 41% of average communities: The community playbook spells out an organization’s online engagement policies, moderation policies, monitoring and response time guidelines, and reporting metrics. A playbook helps community managers do their job and keeps them accountable to members and the organization.
  5. 79% of the strongest communities have a crisis plan: Conflict can and will strike, seemingly pitting your community against your organization. However, with a good crisis plan, an organization and its community manager can meaningfully address conflict and move forward together with the community by their side.

Wherever your organization is in its knowledge and experience with managing online communities, you too can help others by getting involved in The Community Roundtable’s future research – sign up here.

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