3 Things You Need To Know About Your Advocacy Community Now

David Spinks

Community is no longer a tactic, it’s a necessity! Business has shifted from a digital revolution to community-driven business. So, what does that mean?

The company used to be the sole creator of value at a point when customers were connecting socially. Now, things have changed.

Community-driven business is collaborative and connected. Customers are creating value around the company AND are connected socially. According to Pew Research, 72% of Americans have participated in the sharing economy. Technology is enabling us to connect in real-time, at any time.

This means that our expectations are changing. We expect the companies we support to support our passions—they need to now have a great product AND align with our values, listen to us, and leverage our insights to make their product even stronger. We don’t need to just buy a product, we need to be part of the company story. Companies need to take a stance to create a space for identity and belonging.

The companies that are successful are the ones that will utilize a community to support in that space for identity and belonging. According to The Social Habit, 53% of Americans who are part of a social brand community are more loyal to the brand than those who are not.

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The state of online communities in 2017

The 2017 Community Value and Metrics Report set out to answer three questions: What should your community accomplish? How do you know your community is working? How is your community driving the top line?

We recognized the need for community builders to have data points and benchmarks in order to determine their ongoing value and measure their communities. We asked over 500 community leaders to respond and we learned some interesting things.

1. Know the value that community brings to your business.

Online communities have different purposes, based on what value they are providing to the business. They could be primarily focused on customer support, investigating about product improvements, or any of the other values that we defined out in our previous research.



In our current data set, we found that 23% of the people who responded to the 2017 Community Value and Metrics Report said Acquisition and Advocacy was most relevant to their community type.

2. Communities CAN evolve and likely will

When we found out that 23% of the people in the 2017 Community Value and Metrics Report answered Acquisition and Advocacy, we asked a follow-up question: was this always your most important value?

We discovered that 35% reported that “our most important value has changed”. Our lesson: you don’t need to have it all figured out before you launch – understand that your community platform might evolve and take on new life as members interact. We dug deeper and saw that 27% of people switched to Advocacy & Acquisition.

Why did 27% of people switch to Advocacy & Acquisition?

Content and Programming communities tend to be very susceptible to switching to Advocacy and Acquisition. Why?

“Many companies who plan to use their community for content creation end up identifying key ambassadors and advocates who add value when given more structure and power from the brand,” says Carrie Melissa Jones, COO and co-founder of CMX.

In total, we found that 21% of Content and Programming valued communities shifted to the Acquisition and Advocacy value.

3. The number one reason communities fail

In our previous research study, we determined that the number one reason that communities fail is because they don’t receive enough support and resources internally. In order to get that recognition and support, you need to build a business case with metrics.

93% of participants said that measuring gained interest from other departments and 90% reported increased leadership interest by reporting metrics. Those are some powerful stats: if you had increased inter-departmental and leadership interest, what could your community achieve?

Sign up for our webinar to learn the 5 metrics that top A&A community builders are using to build their business case and get noticed.

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