Our good friends at the The Community Roundtable in the United States have released their annual research on the state of community management.
As usual, it's a must-read document for community pros and anyone interested in tracking the evolution of professional community management practice.
The report is an invaluable resource to use in business cases for community and education of stakeholders, featuring insights and case studies that make a compelling case for community as the future of business.
The 2018 State of Community Management - the ninth annual edition - is focused on unpacking how communities are impacting organisations and the challenges and opportunities as that impact evolves.
383 companies (representing a variety of industries as well as both internal and external communities) were surveyed.
There are 3 key findings persuasively captured:
1) Communities are change agents
2) Communities generate transformational value
3) Community teams are underfunded
Community managers innately understand that communities can enable change. But we might be surprised to what extent. We are living in an age where change is a constant and change resiliency is a critical skill set for both individuals and organisations.
Communities are a robust way to drive meaningful change, and - as the State of Community Management 2018 research shows - they are transforming multiple aspects of organisations while creating multi-faceted value.
The research reveals a disconnect between the successes community practitioners are notching up and the integration and resourcing to unlock the full potential of community programs.
It's not purely a question of ROI. The research shows how adept community managers are becoming globally at capturing and championing the business value of their work. Findings suggest instead that there is a mindset leap required to kick community into the next stage of its development.
How will we as community managers lead - and support - that transition?
Looking at the SoCM 2018 together with the ACM 2018 Survey, it's clear that community is more commonly relegated to a marketing and support function in APAC, while it is applied more strategically across North American markets.
This is further reflected in the digital sites for community building - the SoCM shows social media networks lower down the list of choice platforms, while in Australia, social media networks (Facebook in particular), dominates.
Community professionals can look to these insights from our global peers to help elevate their skills, their perspective, and the potential impact of their communities.