State of Community Management 2014

Retired Community Manager


stateofcm_img1.pngWhat are best-in-class communities’ keys to success? Lithium is proud to be a sponsor of The Community Roundtable’s State of Community Management’s 5th annual report. The 2014 report reflects performance benchmarks, community maturity and opportunities for growth. It is designed to give community managers insights to identify strengths and gaps and create the basis for a community investment roadmap.


The comprehensive report surveyed 164 communities across a wide range of industries and reflects both internal and external communities. Of those surveyed, 50% have 10,000+ members. The survey and report is based on a maturity model with eight key competencies that you can use to benchmark your community.


What did the report discover?


Community maturity delivers business value.
Community management is now backed with the science of analytics and best practices, with many newer communities applying these practices and seeing better business results than older communities that lacked that information. Of those with the most mature processes –  the top 20% best-in-class  in the report – 85% can measure the value of their communities compared to only 48% of the average communities.


Advocacy programs increase engagement.
The most successful communities employ community advocacy and leadership programs – these correlate with engagement, ability to measure value and executive participation. These programs require an investment of resources and processes to scale from informal programs to structured programs to multi-tiered leadership initiatives. Only 33% of communities without any leadership opportunities are able to measure value, while 71% of those with formal advocacy programs can clearly measure their business value.


Executive participation impacts success.
Executive support drives business results and correlates with resources to enable success. It is also strongly linked to engagement – with both sponsorship and behavioral modeling crucial elements to success. Best-in-class communities reported that 58% had CEO participation compared to 36% of average communities. Best-in-class communities also reported being able to measure value, have a fully-funded roadmap and have advanced community leadership programs.


Additionally, the report findings demonstrate that community managers are a critical element for community success. While community maturity has been evolving at a fast pace in terms of strategy, there are still wide gaps in organizations’ abilities to execute on those strategies. The biggest opportunities lie in developing content and programming approaches, and measurement techniques.




Read the full report to find out how your community measures up and what you can do to improve your community’s business value.  The complimentary two pack also includes our summary white paper with key highlights to easily digest and impress your community manager friends!