Study: Answering Complaints in Online Forums Boosts Consumer Advocacy More Than Any Other Customer Service Channel

Posted by Patrick on February 11th, 2016 in Research

According to a new study, when a company responds to a complaint posted in an online forum, they receive a greater boost to consumer advocacy than when responding to complaints lodged through phone, email, social media or review sites.

The study was conducted by Jay Baer and Edison Research for Jay’s new book, Hug Your Haters. The book is about customer service – specifically, about embracing complaints. This is something I believe in. I sell more books by responding to bad reviews. As Jay says in Hug Your Haters, “Not responding is a response. A response that says, ‘I don’t care about you.'”

They surveyed “more than 2,000 American consumers who have complained about a company in the previous 12 months, with the study participants representing a statistically valid cross-section of ages, incomes, racial make-ups, and technology aptitudes.”

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Free Download: Community Manager Salary Survey 2014 by The Community Roundtable and Jive

Posted by Patrick on November 27th, 2014 in Research

The Community Roundtable has released their Community Manager Salary Survey 2014, which was sponsored by Jive. You can download it for free in exchange for your contact information.

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States, and this research is truly something that community managers should be thankful for.

I spent some time yesterday reviewing the full document, and I have to commend them on a really useful work. The salary data is immediately helpful to professionals and will help unpaid community managers get raises. That’ll raise the bottom, which will raise the average, which will raise all of us.

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How Compensation Studies Help Underpaid Community Managers

Posted by Patrick on October 30th, 2014 in Research

Compensation studies are most beneficial (at least in the short term) for professionals who are underpaid. It helps them ask for raises, which then raises the averages, which helps the space as a whole.

That’s why you should be paying close attention when a new study is released. The other day I wrote about the latest one, conducted by The Community Roundtable. This data helps move us forward and directly helps the professionals within this space.

Let me explain how it works.

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$70,000, $90,000, $110,000: The Salary of the Average Community Manager, Community Strategist and Director of Community

Posted by Patrick on October 27th, 2014 in Research

The Community Roundtable has released some preliminary results from their recently completed Community Manager Salary Survey 2014. More than 350 community professionals participated. They were asked about their responsibilities, compensation, level of experience and more.

The full report, sponsored by Jive, is due later this year. But I wanted to talk about some of the early data that caught my eye. To view all of the information, download the infographic that they released.

The infographic breaks the research down into three roles: community manager, community strategist and director of community.

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78% of Anonymous Commenters Will Leave If Forced to Use a Real Identity

Posted by Patrick on September 4th, 2014 in Research

Livefyre released a study on anonymous commenting last week. Their conclusions are generally in favor of allowing anonymity on your blog. They found that when you require a real identity, you also say good-bye to more than three quarters of people who would normally comment anonymously.

I spent a lot of time looking at the numbers, and before we discuss them, it’s important to understand the sample size. I found some of the information confusing, but Skyler Rogers of Livefyre was very accommodating in answering my many questions. Thank you, Skyler.

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The Quantified Value of Great Customer Experience

Posted by Patrick on August 7th, 2014 in Research

Customer Experience Score ChartWhen you have a choice of where you do business, you tend to go with the company that you have had a better experience with. Many would refer to that as common sense. Any decent company tries to provide the best customer experience that they can. But when deciding what level of resources you can invest in customer experience, there is a question of how much it is actually worth to the company. What is the value of improving customer experience? That’s what Peter Kriss of Medallia and Vision Prize sought to quantify.

In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Kriss explains how they did it. They analyzed customer data at two different billion-plus dollar companies. One was a transaction-based business. The other was a relationship-based subscription business. Controlling for an assortment of factors that could skew the data, they took customer feedback and paired it with future spending by those same customers.

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Are Online Community Members Who Introduce Themselves More Likely to Become Active Contributors?

Posted by Patrick on April 21st, 2014 in Community Cultivation, Research
Creative Commons License photo credit: mauwf

When I was on #CMGRHangout a little over a week ago, I said I would be interested to know if members who post an introduction in our introductions forum were more likely to become active contributors.

My friend Chrispian Burks wrote some database queries for me that allowed me to look at the database. is a mature community with a lot of data to play with, so it makes a great example for communities like it – focused, niche interest communities.

You can check out the data below. I decided to look at members with a certain post count or higher and then see what percentage of them posted a thread in the introductions forum. The data isn’t perfect, but it is pretty close.

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Jason Falls: Why I Don’t Ignore Forums

Posted by Patrick on December 13th, 2012 in How Should I Participate?, Research

Over the years, I’ve developed a great respect for Jason Falls, Founder of Social Media Explorer and Vice President of Digital Strategy for CafePress. One of the things that I respect about Jason is his honesty and his pursuit of truth. He doesn’t simply follow trends or rely on what is known or easy. Instead, he has a reasoned perspective that allows him to see the diversity of social media.

To me, the people who really understand social media understand how big it is. Jason doesn’t just talk about Twitter. Or Facebook. Or Pinterest. Or Google+. He doesn’t just talk about the buzz brands in social. He talks about it all. What he really follows is results. He wrote a book about email marketing and has written about forums time and time again. In April, he threw out a startling figure: 90% of trackable discussions around the banking industry happen in forums.

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Report Details Online Community Tool Usage by Big Brands (Free Download)

Posted by Patrick on November 15th, 2012 in Research

ComBlu has released the 2012 iteration of their “The State of Online Branded Communities” report. You can download it for free via their website. It includes data from 219 communities owned by 92 brands in 15 industries.

The report takes a good look at the tools used and features deployed in these communities, in addition to the success levels and reason for being. It breaks this data into various segments, such as by industry and by those who scored the highest on their scale.

I appreciate that they made the report available for free because it contains a lot of interesting data that is worth pondering and interpreting in your own way. There were a few areas that jumped out at me as I was reading through it. In this chart, you can view the overall adoption of different types of tools or features, or what ComBlu calls “best practices,” across the communities surveyed.

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Study: Twitter, Forums and Blogs Lead Online Mentions of Fortune Global 100 Brands

Posted by Patrick on July 23rd, 2012 in Research

Burson-Marsteller and Visible have released their third annual Global Social Media Check-Up report, detailing how the Fortune Global 100 participates on the social web.

Much of it is focused on how many accounts they have on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest, how many people follow them through those accounts and how active they are.

One of the metrics that I found most interesting is their reporting of the average number of mentions per Fortune 100 company on various segments of the social web. These segments were video/photo sites, Twitter, reviews/shopping sites, news, forums, Facebook and blogs. The data was collected in February of this year.

Here is how these segments ranked:

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