We’re at a pivotal time for the community industry — and now we have the data to prove it.
So much has changed for the better in the community industry in recent years. We’ve made enormous strides in terms of resources, buy-in, cross-functional understanding, and an ever-expanding world of job opportunities.
But that’s not the whole story. Despite the incredible growth of the industry, there is still a considerable way to go when it comes to the empowerment, representation, and impact Community teams have across organizations.
In our 2022 Community-Led Report, we unpack it all.
Here’s a look at some high-level trends we identified:
A glance at The Community Club’s ever-growing jobs board is a wonderful indicator of just how fast the industry has expanded in recent years — and our report data validates that incredible growth. In fact, the past two years have highlighted a clear tipping point for many companies.
In 2020, this is the percentage of companies who had a dedicated community team:
And this is the percentage of companies who have one now:
That’s phenomenal growth in less than two years. The best part: more than half of companies across stages are hiring this year.
We also uncovered some encouraging trends in Community team size, all to be found in the report.
Community team responsibilities were similar across the board, as were the most common community engagement channels.
Over a third (36%) of teams still own social media management, though that number trends downwards the more established an organization is. In an ideal situation, Community and Social Media would be separate teams with different goals. But for smaller, newer companies with less company headcount, it does make sense why you would (preferably temporarily) combine the responsibilities.
In this chapter of the report, we also unpack data on Community team goals, budget, and reporting structures.
We gathered data on several key indicators of how Community-Led an organization is: control over community roadmap, leadership representation, buy-in, whether or not the community is a core part of business strategy, and then, of course, compensation for community pros.
We found leadership awareness and understanding to be particularly interesting. While the majority of our survey respondents reported that their company board members were aware of the community, a comparatively large number of them didn’t understand the impact community has on their organization.
Board awareness and understanding are critical for a variety of reasons: board members can be allies during strategic planning and budgeting, they can offer assistance and resource connections, and they'll have an easier time seeing the bigger picture for how community fits into the rest of the organization. It's on Community teams to advocate up the chain for board awareness and to craft a compelling story about the community and the team.
Truly realizing the benefits of Community-Led growth requires teams working cross-functionally — which is one of the biggest areas for growth our survey identified.
In most companies, well under half (39%) of other teams participated in community often, and only slightly more (48%) participated infrequently. We want to see the number of ‘infrequently’ decrease and ‘often’
increase! With a better understanding of other team's goals and OKRs/KPIs, Community teams can come to the table with recommendations on how other teams can best participate in and use the community to achieve their goals.
We also gathered insights into which teams participate in the community most often, as well as how they’re participating — both of which painted a fascinating picture, and highlighted several areas where work needs to be done.
The info presented above is really just the tip of the iceberg, and there are scores more data points and insights, and plenty of guidance for Community teams and professionals in the report.
We hope you find the data as illuminating and valuable as we did! If there are data points we haven’t shared in this report that you’re curious about, please do reach out to us and we’ll provide some more detail.