Community Management Is Driving Social Business Adoption

Community Management Is Driving Social Business Adoption

Just today, the good folks at The Community Roundtable released The 2012 State of Community Management report.  I have known both Jim and Rachel for a few years now and I am excited about the work they have done in the industry.

While many think that “community management” is a tactical job function, I am a firm believer that those on the front line (community managers) are actually driving social business adoption, whether they realize it or not. If you read the report in detail and also between the lines, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that community management is very strategic and certainly a business imperative.  Rachel wrote an outstanding post on this topic a few weeks ago.

Community managers do more than just manage a content calendars and tweet all day long. The truth is, many community managers today are already driving fully robust social CRM programs.  They are engaging day to day with the customer. They are working with technology platforms and sometimes making critical technical decisions.  They are gathering and reporting analytics. They are creating workflows and feedback loops with other, internal teams (which almost always requires change management initiatives and cross functional/geographic collaboration.) And, a strategic community manager advocates on behalf of the social customer back to the business; and on behalf of employees back to management for internal community initiatives. They are doing it all and it’s not easy.

Below is the Community Roundtable’s Community Maturity Model. The eight competencies on the Y-axis are those that must be addressed in order to build a successful community and social business. The X-axis are stages of maturity that organizations go through as different competency levels are reached – clearly a very strategic model with community managers in the drivers seat. I hope you enjoy the report as much as I did.  Previous reports can be downloaded here: (SOCM 2011, SOCM 2010).

Image: Big Stock Cut Out People

About Michael Brito

Michael Brito has been making things happen online since 1996 with a legit hustle. He gets mad when the 49ers lose, really mad. Feel free to follow him on Twitter.

  • chaussures converse

    Les relations sont très importantes dans la vie sociale

  • Vasko Tashevski

    Community managers are the best new media advocates :)

    Thanks for sharing the framework Michael!
    Great observation and insights.

  • Michael Brito

    Appreciate your comment! Thank you!

  • Adi

    For sure, there have been plenty of studies revealing that Facebook tends to attract more attention seeking individuals.  I was making a comparison with traditional office environments however that tend to be ‘social’ all the time, which can be a significant drain for introverted folks.  By using social business tools though allow introverts to be social when they choose, and to do solitary work when they choose.  It’s a much more inclusive environment.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Adi
    Thanks for your response – and I do find your article very interesting! A topic that I constantly consider!
    I certainly was not making any comparison with external social media platforms but was alluding to Enterprise wide internal social business platforms – the internal office network in other words.  You are absolutely right that the open office environment that tends to be “social” all the time can be a significant drain for introverted colleagues and that social business tools allow introverts to be social when they choose.  My point was, that for an introvert, that environment can be no less intimidating because it can be seen to expose them to a far wider internal community with more far reaching consequences.  Introverts in these environments may have the “option” to participate or not, rather than have it forced upon on them by their physical neighbours, but they remain the “lurkers” and continue as reluctant or occasional participants unless the facilitation process is a very successful and deliberately inclusive one.
    But more often than not, they remain on the periphery. The real issue is how, as facilitators of those tools we can really make the environment an altogether more inclusive one – which as you quite rightly point out has all the potential for being just that.

  • Adi

    I suspect it’s always going to be difficult to flourish in a corporate environment unless you are able to put your ideas out there.

    From a people management perspective, all managers can do is ensure that ideas are treated on their merits rather than basing analysis on who made the suggestion, and by having a forgiving attitude towards mistakes.

    If they can do those two things well then it will hopefully create an inclusive environment for both introverts and extroverts.