The success and health of an online community can be measured using foundational metrics that have been keenly calibrated as online communities have become both more prominent and more influential in peoples’ lives. We encourage community managers not to feel confined by the conventional metrics. Instead, let’s explore how embracing creativity and adaptability can lead to even greater achievements! In this blog, we’ll discuss the fundamental metrics of community health, but with fresh perspectives that can elevate your community management efforts.
Community engagement – cultivating connection and growth
Consider: How can a measurement like engagement can drive tangible outcomes? Fostering meaningful discussions and quality interactions can lead to lower client support costs and fuel organic growth, thereby lowering your bottom line. Create a space where members want to return and engage regularly and you’ll see the fitness of your community increase across all measures.
Practice: Tracking engagement can be done by using net promoter scores (NPS), conducting focus groups, and evaluating the quality of discussions in forums.
Get creative!: Consider introducing themed challenges or campaigns, like the ones we suggested a customer implement during a challenging engagement time. Within five months, their active user count bounced beyond its highest level ever!
Community value – over delivering and nurturing relationships
Consider: Understand your audience’s desires and aim to over deliver value to your community. Define the commitment curve for members as they progress in their engagement with your community. Metrics like member acquisition rate, rate of return, testimonials, and habits engaged in can reflect the value you provide.
Practice: Share your commitment curve and implement an easily accessible community dashboard that presents trackable metrics daily, weekly, monthly, and annually.
Get Creative!: Introduce gamified elements like badges, points, or rewards for various engagement actions. This can create a sense of competition and accomplishment, encouraging members to progress along the commitment curve.
Community impact – empowering members for success
Consider: Evaluate how your community sets up members for success. Measure impact through feedback, user-generated content (UGC), tracking how many members become moderators or employees, or analysing the overall cost-effectiveness of your community.
Practice: Highlight your impact by showcasing member reviews and shared content on platforms like Google Reviews, TripAdvisor, or Facebook groups.
Get Creative!: Encourage members to promote your brand on social media through initiatives like Instagram Takeovers or Facebook Live sessions.
Community-scale – expanding and enhancing membership
Consider: Aspire to increase your community’s membership and member visibility. Identify ways to provide additional value and reduce integration hurdles to enhance members’ sense of belonging. Measure community-scale by comparing the number of new applicants with departing members and evaluating your community marketing strategies.
Practice: Conduct a complete audit of your community commitment curve to identify areas that need improvement. Utilise user research, member interviews, and focus groups to gather valuable data for informed decision-making.
Get Creative!: Encourage members to conduct interviews with fellow community members. This approach fosters a deeper understanding of the community’s dynamics and allows for more candid conversations.
Advocacy – amplifying voices for a purpose
Consider: Enable advocacy as a central tenet in your community. Encourage members to advocate for causes relevant to your community’s purpose, products, or services. Clearly define roles within your community, including community moderation, event management, and ambassador promotion.
Practice: Measure advocacy by observing member engagement in authentic and challenging conversations and prompt responses from moderators during sensitive situations.
Get Creative!: Acknowledge and celebrate members who actively advocate for the community’s purpose, products, or services. Showcase their efforts through shout-outs, featured content, or even a “Member of the Month” program.
Effective communication is the key
To achieve success in community management, effective communication is paramount. Often, it can be challenging to convey the significance of specific metrics to your internal team. Here are some ways to clarify measurables for your team:
- Communication Packaging: Prepare messaging for your team by presenting well-researched data and case studies that support your community goals.
- Presenting: Create an evergreen slide deck that covers all essential aspects of your community and continually update it with relevant information.
- Hosting an Intra-team Office Hour: Schedule a dedicated Q&A session with your team to ensure everyone is on the same page and understands your community’s objectives.
- Sharing Access to a Tracking Sheet or platform: Make community metrics accessible to key stakeholders within your organisation, fostering understanding and trust.
Remember, community building is a patient but rewarding journey. When updating your community policies or values, communicate the changes clearly and concisely through blogs, social media, or member-hosted takeovers.
Community management requires a strategic approach to metrics and communication. By redefining how we measure and perceive these metrics, we can unlock new opportunities for community growth and engagement. Embrace the journey, stay creative, and nurture the connections that make your community thrive. So, go ahead and take charge of your role as a community manager, and lead your community towards greatness!
If you are ready to see how StellarUp can help you achieve your community management goals, sign up for a free trial today!