‘What gets measured, gets managed.’- Peter Drucker
An online community is a dynamic space where members exchange thoughts, ideas, and opinions. They expect something new and valuable from the community consistently to keep associating. But, how do you determine and manage the changing requirements of your community members?
This is where metrics enter the picture.
You need a base value against which you can measure the performance of your community and evaluate whether you need improvement. With community metrics, you can do exactly that.
But most community managers struggle to define the right metrics. Let’s find out how you can source the right metrics to measure the growth of your community.
Understanding Community Metrics
Communities sure have a clear intrinsic value. But measuring that value is still a struggle for many. As a community manager, you need to analyze your business and assess the parameters that complement your business. Since there is no one-size-fits-all metric, you can start with community performance indicators to measure your progress.
Community metrics are different from business metrics. We are not talking about business-centric metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) or Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). We are going to look at community-centric metrics that focus on-
- Use of Community: Factors like the number of questions posted, emails to you, numbers of quotes/comments from members, etc., enable community managers to measure how members make use of the community.
- Engagement in Community: To measure the extent of engagement in the community, assess analytics like what members are discussing, the average number of posts per day, the average number of impressions per post, and more.
- Retention in Community: Metrics like the number of unique vs repeat logins and contributors, help community managers to calculate if the members return to the community.
Emerging Community Metrics and What They Mean
In the past, community managers only focused on the number of members to determine the growth. However, the growth of the community depends on more than just the number of members.
Let’s take a look at 5 emerging metrics that you, as a community manager, can measure to assess the growth of your community.
1. Unique Contributors
New members mean fresh content in your community. They will bring new perceptions and ideas to the community. Therefore, you may want to look into the number of first-time posters and try to encourage others to post more. This is a strong indicator of your community’s growth and your members feel welcomed.
2. Most Viewed Pages
What pages or posts in your community have the most views or impressions? Don’t just look at the numbers but also see how frequently the ‘most viewed page’ changes. It will help you figure out the lifetime of a certain post or topic in your community and why it garnered engagement. Analyzing this metric can help you analyze what your members are interested in and how they consume content in your community. It is a strong indicator of engagement in your community.
3. Resource Uploads
Resource uploads are the data or information your members upload in your community and share with one another. It enables you to understand what topics interest them and how they cover those topics. Plus, it can help you identify the gaps in the topics covered and bridge them. Once you understand how they make use of your community, it becomes clear to identify their requirements. That way, you can meet their expectations and boost engagement within your community.
4. Comments From Members
Instead of looking at the number of comments, look at the type of comments your community members leave on your posts. It might not offer a quantitative value but is useful in assessing how your members perceive your community. For instance, if the members are posting positive feedback about your product or a certain post, save them. They can be used for demonstrating the success of your community and outlining your community strategy.
5. New vs Repeat Logins
Rather than looking at the total number of logins, analyze repeat and unique logins separately. It enables you to gain insights into whether there are members who only log in once or twice a month, or if there are members who log in multiple times a day. Assessing them separately will allow you to get the bigger picture.
Communities are hot in the digital landscape. Organizations want to reap the optimum value from their communities but struggle to evaluate it. Metrics make this happen. All you need is the right metrics that enable you to demonstrate the success and value they provide in real-time. Now that you have a list of metrics to start, let’s start calculating the value your community delivers!
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