Originally answered Jan 17, 2020
Why does community management matter?
Having a good community manager is a critical success factor for communities of practice. Without community management:
- There are no community events.
- Posts are infrequent and receive very few replies.
- Questions do not receive timely answers and requests for help are ignored.
- Posts are not moderated.
- The community may become negative, intimidating, or alienating.
The community manager should know the community’s subject, have energy for stimulating collaboration, and have sufficient time to devote to leadership. Good community managers regularly spend time increasing membership, lining up speakers, hosting calls and meetings, asking and answering questions, posting information useful to the members, and moderating effectively to achieve a positive environment.
Why do companies invest in community management?
Communities enable knowledge to flow between people. Community managers help community members:
- Share new ideas, lessons learned, proven practices, insights, and practical suggestions.
- Innovate through brainstorming, building on each other’s ideas, and keeping informed on emerging developments.
- Reuse solutions through asking and answering questions, applying shared insights, and retrieving posted material.
- Collaborate through threaded discussions, conversations, and interactions.
- Learn from other members of the community; from invited guest speakers about successes, failures, case studies, and new trends; and through mentoring.
How do companies measure community management?
- Costs saved
- Costs avoided
- Incremental revenue
- Improved quality
- Increased employee satisfaction and retention
- Increased customer satisfaction and retention
- Increased partner satisfaction and retention
- New business attracted
- Increased market share
- Revenue and profits from innovation
What are some ways to define successful community management?
- Activity: at least one post to the community threaded discussions per week, posts by more than two different people, no questions left unanswered after 24 hours
- Content: at least one document, newsletter, announcement, or blog entry posted to the community site per month, and content is reviewed to ensure that it is appropriate, current, and accurate
- Membership: at least 100 members after the first three months, with growth in membership every quarter thereafter
- Events: at least one conference call, webinar, or face-to-face meeting every quarter, listed in the community events calendar, held as planned, with at least 10 people participating in each event