By: Morgan Wood, Head of Community at Hivebrite.
Building trust and growing your community requires communicating your impact, but measuring impact isn’t always straightforward. Your choice of success metrics should not only hold you accountable but also tell your community’s story.
Here, we’ll explain how to identify your community’s success and demonstrate its impact quantitatively and qualitatively.
Measuring Quantitative Impact
Quantifying your impact involves many considerations, including:
- The health of your community
- The quality of member sentiment
- The engagement of your audience in events
Let’s take a closer look at how you can measure each one!
Understanding Your Community’s Overall Health
The first step to understanding the impact of your community is to take a holistic view of its overall health. You can do this by looking at various metrics such as activity, reach, and overall growth—to do this we recommend you use the following metrics:
|Traffic Metrics||Activity Metrics|
|# of unique visitors per time frame# of page views per timeframe# logins per timeframe# registrations per timeframe||% conversion of members # of Monthly Active Users (MAU)# posts created per timeframe# of moderator actions performed per timeframe|
Diving Deep Into Member Sentiment
In order to dive deeper into engagement, it is necessary to have a good understanding of your community’s overall health. Often, this means looking at things like how often members log in, what kind of content they interact with, and how long they spend in the community.
However, engagement has been watered down (especially with the community boom) so we want to dig deeper by looking at sentiment metrics. The better you understand your members’ feelings, opinions, and attitudes toward your community, the better you can shape their community experience.
|Belonging||# New Members # New registrations|
|Importance||% feedback implemented from members % of engaged members vs. members registered|
|Security||# unique comments from members# unique discussion posts from members|
|Happiness||# of converted advocates or championsYour overall Community Health ScoreYour Net Promoter Score (NPS)|
|# of registrations vs. # of attendees% Engagement of Attendees# Website Visits% Returning Attendees# Post event engagement (i.e: on-demand content views)|
Measuring Qualitative Impact
Traditionally, organizations have focused on quantitative data, but not everything can be reduced to a number. There is just as much value in qualitative data as quantitative data. Qualitative impact allows you to elevate, champion, understand, and tell the stories of your members.
Gathering Member Stories
Ask for member stories! These are simple but powerful narratives that highlight how your community has made a positive difference in someone’s life. Stories like these are invaluable when it comes to showing the impact of your work.
Ottobock is a med-tech company continually specialized in prosthetics and orthotics. Its community, Movao, connects amputees using its products.
The team running the community has created a stories page where community members share inspiring stories about their life:
Conducting Surveys and Polls
Asking your community members directly is another great way to measure the impact of your community. You can do this through surveys, polls, one-on-one interviews, or focus groups. This method is especially useful if you want to get feedback on specific initiatives or programs.
Correlating Your Data
Correlating data is critical. Correlation can tell if two variables have a linear relationship, and the strength of that relationship.
If someone doesn’t attend any of your community’s events in the coming year, how likely are they to renew their membership? If you compare this to someone who attends an event, you might be able to predict how likely they are to resubscribe the next year. You can use this information to focus on initiatives that have the greatest impact when two variables are correlated.
Invest time in understanding and measuring your community’s impact across your organization by working with other departments. If, for example, your community strives to improve products, you must work closely with the Product and Customer Success Teams to determine how many ideas are implemented, how they affect customer satisfaction, and how they influence new customers.
Measuring impact is often imagined to be far more complicated than in practice. The best place to start is with your members and what impact you want to make for them. Remember, the most important thing is to keep your community’s goals top of mind and apply a rigorous methodology when evaluating your chosen metrics.
Hivebrite is an all-in-one community management platform. It empowers organizations of all sizes and sectors to launch, manage, and grow fully branded private communities.