2016 Challenges and Predictions for Community Management with Vanilla Forums
I was asked to share my prediction for the community industry in 2016 for a special piece by Vanilla Forums alongside other kick ass community professionals. I really believe now is the time for the community management field to step up and own the direction of our industry and where overall business is shifting. I share my prediction below and encourage you to check out the full report here.
Community will continue to move to the forefront of business as a critical strategy for companies to build and retain their customer base. This is an awesome thing for our field as our skills become more desired and directly tied to organizational goals. It also means that now more than ever, we as community professionals need to clearly define and own this within the business. As businesses (and other teams like marketing and sales) look to us for guidance on community strategy, we need to show where our work directly impacts the bottom line. By aligning our work with the business goals of our organizations, we will be able to maintain ownership of community and in turn, it’s authenticity for our community members.
Within community strategy itself, our customers are committing loyalties to brands who do more than just provide a great product - customers want to join a movement. People, especially younger generations, are looking to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Like Airbnb’s hosts and guests who commit to the notion of being home anywhere, to Tom’s Shoes Tribe community that takes social impact way beyond buying shoes. Brands will need to think about their greater impact in the world, and build a movement based on their organization’s mission.
This is a truly exciting time for community professionals where we will have the opportunities to do big things in our field, and specifically for our communities.
Thank you Vanilla Forums, and Melanie Attia for organizing an awesome forward thinking report!