This post was originally posted on Micheal Brito’s blog Britopian.

The good folks at The Community Roundtable released The 2012 State of Community Management report last week.  I have known both Jim and Rachel for a few years now and I am excited about the work they have done in the industry.

While many think that “community management” is a tactical job function, I am a firm believer that those on the front line (community managers) are actually driving social business adoption, whether they realize it or not. If you read the report in detail and also between the lines, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that community management is very strategic and certainly a business imperative.  Rachel wrote an outstanding post on this topic a few weeks ago.

Driving Social CRM Programs

Community managers do more than just manage a content calendars and tweet all day long. The truth is, many community managers today are already driving fully robust social CRM programs. They are engaging day to day with the customer. They are working with technology platforms and sometimes making critical technical decisions. They are gathering and reporting analytics. They are creating workflows and feedback loops with other, internal teams (which almost always requires change management initiatives and cross functional/geographic collaboration.)

And, a strategic community manager advocates on behalf of the social customer back to the business; and on behalf of employees back to management for internal community initiatives. They are doing it all and it’s not easy.

Community Maturity Model

Below is the Community Roundtable’s Community Maturity Model. The eight competencies on the Y-axis are those that must be addressed in order to build a successful community and social business. The X-axis are stages of maturity that organizations go through as different competency levels are reached – clearly a very strategic model with community managers in the drivers seat. I hope you enjoy the report as much as I did.  Previous reports can be downloaded here: (SOCM 2011SOCM 2010).

Image credit: Wayne Large

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