Not everything that we can measure matters, But know what does. This is not a quote, it’s a saying which holds true to virtually any business activity. Signifying that any business activity can be improved upon if you keep a measure on what matters the most to the business. For that, you’ll need a good understanding of the current state of action and the area of focus for you to reach your target. Metrics help in community building. Arranging these metrics to be easily visible for the team working on the community will help in keeping clear accountability and to achieve the business goals.
More than 66% of companies are building different types of online communities. Older people now prefer to use online forums/communities for self-service and troubleshooting according to Forrester. There are only two types of communities, one’s which deal with the customers called External Communities and the one’s which deal with the employees called Internal Communities.
We will talk about the way community managers quantify the value of member relations, measure the impact of user-generated content and show the overall return on investment which the communities bring and then communicate these results to the leadership. This, in turn, bolsters the communication strategy by involving different teams.
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1. User-Generated Content is Gold
A community is driven by its users producing regular content. Content which then helps in keeping the forum or business relevant and fresh. Resulting in a better standing on search engines and voice searches results. Communities are a source of user-generated content.
Every community manager should ask themselves these questions in order to help improve the community and meet business goals:
- Which post type is successful ( e.g., questions, ideas)?
- Which type of content writer by members drives the most engagement (comments/visits/likes/upvotes)?
- What type of polls gets you most responses?
- What type of events gets you the most turnouts?
These questions are aimed to derive what is most successful for your community and what is not. But to figure this out you need to define criteria on which you will measure how successful is the content generated in your community.
This criterion depends solely on the type of community and you. What BuddyPress has is extensions and plugins which will be able to give you complete data set around your content and members with just a single tap of the mouse. Download the data from BuddyPress and then use it to rate the content.
After doing this, you can look for patterns in the user-generated content that has reached its target audience very consistently. This will help you to repeat the success you gained and steering clear of the non-performing content.
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2. Health of the Community
Here you focus on the community. Specifically on how well is the community performing.
These are the questions you should look out for:
- The growth rate of the community?
- How many members stick to the community, members stopped using your community, active users were you able to retain?
You can use Google Analytics with BuddyPress to gain these valuable insights very easily. Google Analytics allows you to get an understanding of the community, its visitors and provide you with a bird’s eye view of the actions being performed in the community by the members.
BuddyPress Moderation Pr0
While plugins such as the BuddyPress Moderation Pro offers a solution for site owners to keep their communities working exactly the way they want it to work. You can also measure metrics on members behaviour by receiving member properties and details of their actions.
BuddyPress comes with a wide range of third-party plugins support. These plugins add functionalities to your website. From these plugins you can easily obtain data on the number of visitors per month, the number of posts and posts per user (per month), member growth in the community, retention rate and the number of users that stuck to one community.
BuddyPress Poll, BuddyPress Moderation Pro and BuddyPress Hashtags are one of the most primarily used plugins for analytics as well as to gauge the health of a community. GamiPress plugin helps in then in turn provide badges and achievements based on their activity in a specific community.
Once you have these plugins up and running. You can then check out the New Contributors based on the people who unlocked the new member badge in the community. This analysis and data will allow you to identify whether your community is moving forward with user sentiment or by repetitive usage of a specific term. Enabling you to steer the community in the direction you see fit for the completion of your Business Goals.
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3. How these metrics will Influence your Business Goals
Every piece of content that is generated and the community it is generated in ultimately affects your business. The question that then pops up is.
Let us dive into the major five business objectives and understand which metrics should you choose to gauge the impact on the community.
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4. Customer Acquisition
Finding out the number of leads gained via your customer community and how many of them were successfully converted into a customer should be your top priority. You should also keep a track of how many existing members are there. And how many new customers are joining via referrals of your existing members.
5. Customer Support
For achieving and analyzing this business objective you need to get ahold of the number of support queries generated, the success of support via community and customer satisfaction score.
6. Customer Retention
A measure of the average lifetime of the customers who are your community members and those who still aren’t. For a marketplace company, the number of transactions done via members and non-members is necessary for evaluation of retention.
7. Revenue Generation
If you have an external or internal community which is dedicated to collecting feedback and new ideas or for conducting market research. You should keep a measure of the number of new features included in your product which originated from these communities. These new features will end up increasing your revenue
The number of improvements made and issues fixed to the product resulting as a suggestion from these communities is also adding to your customer retention and revenue generation.
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8. Brand Building
If your communities are buzzing with new information. A good idea will be to check the social media mentions of your company or community. This will help to analyze your brands standing on social networks, the brand equity and keep your brand relevant. Another thing which could be done is to look at the number of search queries (via Google Search Console) associated with your brand and new ideas that you have shared.
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Final Words Of Community Managers
We would like to point out that the metrics which you measure should be presented in a compelling format in the dashboard in order to invoke ideation on how to push your community forward. This will then in turn help you in readjusting your community strategy and to better align your business goals.
Conducting better brainstorming sessions will be possible if your reports are communicated across teams. This internal brainstorming session will help better execution of tasks and to attain improvements.
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