Calling all online community catalysts! If you run, manage, administrate for, or are otherwise knowledgable about, the underpinnings of an online community, please consider participating in the 2013 State of Community Management Survey.

A brainchild of The Community Roundtable, the "State of Community Management" is an annual survey intended to give us all a better understanding of what else--the state of community management. As social media enthusiasts, we are all aware of the shifting tides. Social business is no longer a new concept and brands are increasingly taking it upon themselves to create and cultivate powerful networks of customers, fans, followers and advocates. As the trend grows stronger, so too does the investment.

Marketing forecasts suggest that brands and businesses will cut traditional media spending by 2-6% and increase cashflow to digital media by 14-16%. That's a lot of capital! If you're part of a community team, you can probably expect a boost in your budget. You might even see a colleague or two gravitate your way, and that's a good thing, because the shift toward social business is a reaction to the emergence of the social customer. Many more customers are vocalizing their opinions and seeking support through tweets, comments and posts than ever before, and it takes a great deal of time and emotional energy to facilitate the rich narratives opened up by social media.

Even with this immense increase in activity and a focus on social engagement, analysts still don't quite have a handle on how a ten percent increase in investment will affect the bottom line. This is where The CR Research team and you can help. Along with culling the answers to some of those nagging ROI-related questions, this survey aims to qualify the efforts of community managers by addressing the following: 

  • What is the benefit of a community strategy?
  • When should I expect to see those benefits at a meaningful scale?
  • What difference does community management make?
  • What are the standard roles and responsibilities of community managers?
  • How does the performance of internal communities differ from external communities?
  • How big should I expect my community program budget to be?

Of course, they can't do it alone. Chip in by submitting your experiences and budget knowledge--participate in the 2013 State of Community Management Survey today. All told, the survey swallowed about thirty minutes, but it was quite illuminating and went by quick. And if you do follow through, you might just be left with a stronger sense of connection to your role and the impact you have on your organization -- I was!

For more of the specifics, check out Call for Research Participants: 2013 State of Community Management.

Here's a look at what The Community Roundtable has been able to publish in years past:

Lead image courtesy of PublicDomainPictures

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