It’s an exciting time to be in the community ﬁeld. In the past couple of years, communities have gained the executive spotlight. It’s currently shining pretty brightly.
That is phenomenal progress in a few short years – and something in which everyone who works in the community space can feel pride. And yet, a majority of communities cannot measure their value.
Return on investment (ROI) is the mechanism for showing that an effort is worthwhile. How an ROI model is constructed determines how executives will see the value. Because of that, calculating ROI is a great way to align with executives on what is valuable.
No matter what your community use case, questions, and answers are its lifeblood. By capturing the value of this single behavior, you capture the lion’s share of the return communities provide. Drilling in on answers highlights the way that communities surface innovations, strengthen networks, highlight best practices, and drive behavior change.
The result is a straightforward, understandable formula that focuses the heat of the executive spotlight on the results that matter the most to business outcomes. Can learn more about our Community ROI Formula here or calculate your Community ROI here.
Here are four tips for calculating your Community ROI:
1 – ROI doesn’t have to be overwhelming Because most communities rely on the same critical behavior — asking and answering questions — focusing on that behavior provides an easy method for ROI calculations.
2 – ROI is a tool, not simply an outcome Thinking about ROI as an element that informs and feeds into the evolution of your community strategy is the best way to give it value.
3 – Search is a critical element of community success – The numbers are still evolving, but the power of communities comes not just from answering questions, but in making those validated answers available for others with the same questions — the networked value.
4 – ROI informs community management If search is a critical behavior, ask yourself how to get members to complete one more search per month. Making community a bigger part of workﬂows can exponentially increase ROI.