How to Measure Success Within Your Community

This week’s #cmgrclass topic is measuring social media metrics effectively and efficiently. We were assigned to watch two videos in addition to class readings. Those include, How to Use Data for Better Online Community Management with Rich Millington and a webinar (#bizmetrics) that featured four community managers sharing their insight on social media metrics.

According to Rich Millington social media metrics should follow three key steps growth, level of activity, and sense of community. He suggests using a data-driven approach to clearly see and analyze what really matters when it comes to the growth and development of your community. It is important is see what is contributing to the success or failure of your community, therefore, allowing ample opportunity for improvement.

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Millington says that tracking data teaches the theory of where to go next. It provides the community manager with a guideline as to what to do next. He suggests finding out the ROI of your community. Being able to answers questions like “how does the online community enhance the company?” is useful in developing ways to better utilize the platforms on which you have an existence. Millington says if your answer to the stated question is solely engagement, you may need to reevaluate. Engagement does not lead to sales. Your online community should be connected to the areas where you are actively seeking results. Know exactly what it is that you’re measuring.

Gain better insight into what your community members are looking for out of an online experience. Don’t be afraid to ask what their hopes and aspirations are regarding the topic you’re tackling. Find out what challenges and successes they’ve encountered within the topic you’re covering. This will help you better generate content. Millington distinguishes between product strategy and social media strategy. Naturally, if you’re selling products, you need to ask specific questions to make sure you product is providing the needs and desires of your client base. Social media strategy is centered around engagement, but with a specific focus that will generate revenue or improve the company in ways that enhance the overall reputation.

Community managers should be proactive as opposed to being reactive. Millington says 90% of community managers’ time is dedicated to being reactive. This includes monitoring what’s happening in the community, responding to emails and comments, resolving conflict that arises among community members, etc. These things are essential but do not contribute to proactively developing the community. You’re simply working to maintain the current community, not advance it. There’s much value in being proactive. Develop of plan of action for achieving goals within your community. Once your community reaches a critical mass, your goals should be shifting from the micro to the macro level. If you’re still waiting for your critical mass, don’t patiently wait for people to visit your platform. Go market to the right people. Create a set of goals for yourself based on the results you discover from analyzing your data. Measurement isn’t the goal, but getting information that helps influence your business decisions and learning how to invest your time is crucial.

Share with the #cmgrclass which tools you use to measure success within your community.

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