Online communities are great for connecting members with each other and their association, but according to this year’s State of Community Management report from Community Roundtable, they do more than spark engagement. Marjorie Anderson from Community by Association highlights three major trends from the research:
Communities empower their members. “According to the research, members are empowered frequently or all of the time through mechanisms built into the foundational workings of an online community,” she says. “This level of empowerment is integral to ensuring that association members stay engaged, whether it’s at a live event, a chapter meeting, during their volunteer term, or any other way they choose to get themselves involved.”
Communities transform organizations. The reach of online communities extends beyond community members. “Online communities are touching multiple parts of organizations and helping to drive work forward, helping to make those organizations more successful,” Anderson says. “Community strategy and tactics don’t just benefit those who are active in the online community. They enable work at a faster pace, delivering just as much (if not more) value across lines of business.”
Community leadership is unevenly distributed. Community managers are often expected to wear many hats, which can leave them spread thin across a diverse workload. “We do a really great job of communicating the value of our communities in community terms; however, language needs to shift in order to get the attention of executives to secure resources and ample budget,” she says.
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