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Welcome... To the 7th edition of Vanilla Forums' Community

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What's in this year's eBook?

We sat down with 22 experts to discover what's coming for community in 2022. Together, we worked out ten key takeaways for the coming year. If you run a community, are part of a community, or are debating whether or not to launch one, this eBook is for you. Check out the ten predictions we make for 2022 and prepare your community for the future. 


Our Experts

The experts that contributed to Community Predictions 2022 come from an array of backgrounds and work in entirely different industries. From gaming communities, Non Profit Associations, and SaaS company communities, our experts are based in North America, Germany, Spain, and India.

They have something in common though, and that’s a passion for all things community building.


01 Community in the New Normal

Community in 2022. What does it look like and what do you need to be ready for?

As we approach a new year there are two things we need to do: review what has happened, and prepare for what is to come. We have witnessed huge changes to the community industry over the past few years, and in 2022, these changes are set to culminate in a new, better positioning for community within an organization. 

Where does community fit in a world post-covid? The community experts weigh in.



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02 The Growth of the Community Career Path

The community professional’s career path has never been linear or lucrative. But, 2022 looks set to be a significant turning point.

This coming year is setting a foundation for the changing structure of the community professional role, the evolution of the community team’s place in the organization, and the rise of the CCO, the Chief Community Officer that is.


03 Community Beyond Transactional Support

Through the rise of eCommerce and the fall of brick and mortar shopping experiences, disengaged, impersonal interaction between customer and brand has become the norm. Today though, transactional relationships just aren’t good enough. Customers want more from their communities than product support. They want connection. They want belonging.

In 2022, how can organizations use community to unite the objectives of each department to achieve organization-wide goals, while at the same time, offer customers something more, something indescribably satisfying?

With the introduction of a holistic experience.

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Get the full lowdown and actionable takeaways in the 64-page eBook



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04 Community Moving from Marketing to Customer Success

In 2022, the question ‘What can our community do for us?’ is changing to ‘What can community do for its members?’. Organizations are finally beginning to grasp the full scope of community potentiality.

With marketing traditionally representing company interests and customer success routinely advocating for customers; we’re going to see a huge wave of community moving away from the marketing vertical and instead, aligning with customer success. 

What kind of changes need to be made for this push to happen?


05 Community as the Center of Excellence

Community, if done right, is at the heart of an organization - both internally and externally. Community can be a CoE and guide best practices across the organization and the customer base.

How can you help your organization evolve? Over the past couple of years, community has certainly taken on a central role as part of an organization’s success, but in 2022, community professionals need to push buy-in and establish value to be recognized as a CoE, whether that is internal, external, or both.

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06 Better Assessment on Community Value and ROI

There’s a recurring theme in this year’s Predictions edition, and indeed in past editions: The value of community. But value is such a vague term. 

Across the myriad of communities this year’s experts work on however, there is a base meaning attached to value: The health of a community. 

Find out how the health of a community can be measured in ways that prove impact not only within the community, but across the organization.

Get the full lowdown and actionable takeaways in the 64-page eBook




07 Action and Diversity and Inclusion

In 2022 we need to continue showing attention to diversity and inclusion, and go further to take action through community endeavours.

In theory community means inclusion and inclusion implies diversity, but in practice we need to actively nurture and protect our communities to enable diversity and inclusivity.

Find out how community will play a central role in an organization's DEI&B progress.

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08 Making Community Accessible to All

As the world remains in a state of virtual reality going into 2022, online communities reign supreme as a means of social interaction.

This coming year could be outstanding when it comes to making online living available to all, or it could be a year just like the others where we just talk about it. Why does the burden fall to community to be a leader in accessibility? Because, ultimately, that’s the whole point. 

This chapter has two actionable ways you can bring about accessibility - find out what you can do.

09 Hybrid Events - In-Person and Virtual

In 2020 the world collectively moved online. And we’ve pretty much stayed there ever since. Now though, events are going to be slowly but surely moving away from purely virtual. In-person opportunities are coming, but for every person ready and willing to attend, there is another that’s simply not.

What challenges are we facing as we inevitably return to a partially in-person life? Community builders will have to both ensure comfort and results. Understanding what the optimal balance is will take some elbow grease but by the Summer of 2022, those who are prepared will thrive.

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10 Automation and AI

Community is, ultimately, a human program so one might wonder, if we automate everything, how do we retain the very thing that makes it stand out?

We need to tread carefully. Retaining connection and personalization are paramount; automating customer-to-customer interactions rather than brand-to-customer interactions is the key. Achieving this feat however, is a little more nuanced than it sounds.

Get the full lowdown and actionable takeaways in the 64-page ebook




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