Organizations, today, are using online communities to identify customer behavior and resolve their issues in real-time.
Sounds fascinating, right?
In order to leverage the true potential of your online community, proving its quantitative value is not enough. You need to identify the key metrics that highlight the qualitative value of the community.
Statistics suggest that 44%[i] brands find it challenging to convey the exact value that a community generates.
So, is there a way to measure what matters in your community? Let’s find out!
Value Creation in Online Communities
Cracking the code of reaping ROI from your community is just half the battle. The other half is the ability to identify and convey the value created by an online community. Since every community is built around a goal or purpose, their value creation elements vary accordingly.
Before we dive into the metrics to measure community value, we need to understand what elements create value in online communities.
- Member Acquisition: Such communities are designed to bring in immediate value by acquiring new customers. Elements like the number of participants acquired organically or the number of referrals, etc., define its success.
- Product Ideation/Revenue: This type of community is focused on helping brands refine their products by promoting ideation in your community. To measure the success of such a community, elements like sales driven by community members’ advocacy will be measured.
- Customer Support: This type of community streamlines the customer support process by promoting self-help. FAQs, open discussions, educational articles, and more, are common examples of support communities. You can measure the increase in case deflection rate to obtain the actual figures.
- Content Generation: Such communities are designed to source content that is useful to your business. It can be a review, testimonial, open discussion forum, etc., from members that offer realized value. To evaluate the value creation of such a community, elements like the number of posts created by members is measured.
- Brand Engagement: This type of community empowers members to engage in discussions and participate in two-way knowledge exchange. You can measure elements like the ‘degree of engagement of your members’ and ‘how well your member content is doing’ to evaluate the value created within the community.
Metrics to Measure Community Value
An online community is a dynamic asset for a brand. It keeps bringing benefits to a brand in different ways. As a community manager, you need to understand the changing nature of your community driven by the purchasing habits, needs, and psychology of your customers. Only then will you be able to accurately represent value creation by the community.
Here are some community building metrics that enable you to measure community value accurately-
1. Number of Visitors
A community designed to boost the number of customers or prospects is focused on steadily increasing the number of visitors per month. To derive accurate growth, you can use web analytics tools like Google Analytics.
2. Increase in the Number of Members
Increase in the number of members in the community is a major success metric for most customer-focused communities. Thus, calculating increase in the number of visitors, active members, and more, is a good practice to ensure your member acquisition efforts are working. The formula to calculate member growth is-
In the given formula, PM represents the number of members at the end of the determined time span. Whereas, CM is the number of members in the previous period. Lastly, T denotes the number of members in the previous time.
3. Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)
CLV represents the total value of a customer to the business over its lifetime. An ideal community will persuade a customer to make multiple purchases from a brand. Therefore, CLV becomes important to calculate as it infers the amount a customer might spend. Following is the formula to calculate CLV-
$ Per Sale * Repeat Purchases * Time
To calculate CLV, multiply the amount per sale with the number of repeat purchases and the expected timespan of that customer with your business.
4. New Contributors
How do you determine the level of engagement in your community? The answer is by analyzing the number of new active members in the community. Now that they’ve started to participate in community activities and revisit the community, it indicates that they feel a sense of belonging and are interested in adding value. The formula to calculate new contributors is-
(New contributors/ New Members) X 100
Ideally, you will divide the number of new members that became contributors with the number of new users and multiply it by 100. This will give you an accurate number of new contributors.
Data-driven figures can convey value more accurately than presumptuous data. When reporting the growth and value delivered by your community, metrics-based information becomes essential. It enables a community manager to outline both qualitative and quantitative benefits.
Wish to Build a Steller Online Community That Adds Value to Your Business? Talk to Us!
Team Grazitti has extensive experience in building robust communities that enables you to foster lasting relationships with your customers. To know more about our CMaaS expertise, drop us a line at [email protected] and we’ll take it from there.
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