Not enough tools, heavy workload, community manager survey reveals
Updated: Mar 9
At Affogata, we surveyed 50 community managers to find out what's been driving them in 2020, and what are they excited about (or is keeping them up nights) as we move into 2021. From the results of the survey, we see that many CMs struggle to keep on top of their responsibilities without the right tools to help them with their tasks and are looking for guidance on getting the right tools in place.
Keeping a finger on the pulse of scattered conversations
Community managers are handling a community dispersed across many channels. Although close to half (47%) of CMs said that most of their members are on Facebook, the second most popular answer was Other, tied with Instagram, indicating that user feedback and interactions are scattered across a large number of different platforms. On top of that, 23% of CMs also manage an internal community that’s not on a social media platform, adding to the complexity of their tasks.
We were surprised to discover that only 45% of CMs are using tools to help them keep track of their conversations, even though those conversations are so widely scattered across multiple communication channels. CMs who are trying to stay on top of user trends and sentiments by simply reading posts on each platform or manually entering them into a spreadsheet are probably getting overwhelmed very quickly.
Meeting their responsibilities to increase LTV
When asked what is CM highest contribution area -
Maintaining Customer LTV ranked first at 57%
Driving loyalty and increasing customer lifetime value (LTV) is seen as the primary contribution of 55% of CMs, or just over half. 25% feel that crisis management is their biggest responsibility, while 17% said understanding and reporting on user sentiment.
When it comes to their biggest challenges, coping with the workload comes in on top for 46% of CMs, which may connect with the number who aren’t using tools to track user conversations. When asked how hard it is to manage their workload, 39% said it was somewhat or very hard while only 29% replied that it was somewhat or very easy, and 32% were unsure.
Other significant challenges for CMs include differentiating between personas, cited as the biggest challenge by 29%, or one-third of participants, and a quarter (26%) said their biggest challenge as a community manager is to see the big picture. It seems that a lot of CMs struggle to move between the macro and micro views of their community, either finding it difficult to identify how different segments of the user group respond, or conversely to zoom out and take a high-level view. This can also be related to lack of the right tools.
The struggle to track their own performance
When asked about carrying out various tasks like understanding trends, analyzing sentiment, and identifying influencers, a significant chunk of CMs simply aren’t sure how they are doing. It’s possible that community managers are struggling more than they realize.
'Analyzing sentiment' came out first as the hardest task to
fulfill with 38% response rate
Analyzing sentiment stands out as the most difficult task, with 38% saying they find it somewhat or very hard and 42% finding it somewhat or very easy. Around one-third (29%) aren't sure. Understanding trends is considered hard or very hard by just 19%, fewer than half the number who say it’s somewhat or very easy (52%).
Identifying influencers is seen by the majority (58% as somewhat or very easy and only 22% saying it’s somewhat or very hard, but 19% are again unsure. Of course, it's fairly straightforward to figure out who has more followers or engagement, but getting a more nuanced understanding of who is truly influencing which segment and who just promotes themselves as such can be more challenging. So it’s possible that some CMs are unknowingly overstating their ability to detect true influencers.
Quantifying influence or impact in hard numbers is seen as challenging. When asked how hard it is to measure attribution related to social campaigns, 32% said it was somewhat or very hard and 42% that it was somewhat or very easy, with 26% remaining neutral. By far the most difficult task for CMs is estimating the LTV of each member, with 52%, or well over half, agreeing it was somewhat or very hard, 32% remaining neutral, and just 16% saying it was somewhat or very easy. This reveals a serious problem, given that 55% of CMs agreed that their primary responsibility is driving LTV or loyalty.
CMs need the right tools at their disposal
The Affogata Community Managers’ Survey paints a picture of CMs who understand their responsibilities clearly but are finding it challenging to meet them and stay on top of their workload without the right tools. Affogata comes to help CMs draw together conversations, feedback, and interactions from every channel - external and internal - analyze user responses, and draw meaningful insights to make their jobs easier.