Community Metrics to Track
Analyze and track community data to make informed decisions
When it comes to measuring the ROI of your community building efforts, you can focus on three distinct but closely related metrics: community growth, community engagement and brand love. These metrics should be tracked and reported at regular intervals - once a month is a good place to start.
Community growth can be measured through tracking the size of your following and its rate of growth over time. You can track these numbers through Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics - or you can simply compile them into a spreadsheet. While it’s good to know the hard numbers, it’s also important to remember that the quality of your community matters more than the amount of members it has. So how do you measure quality? When your community is small it’s easy to spend time to check out the profile of everyone who joins. As it grows, you can adopt a Spot Check method by selecting a small sample of random users and analyzing their profiles with tools such as SocialBro and FollowerWonk. These tools provide deeper insight into the social influence and activity of your community members.
Community quality dovetails with community engagement. As a rule of thumb, high quality communities tend to be more engaged. To track community engagement, count the interactions that occur on your social properties, such as comments and mentions. For brick and mortar businesses, keep an eye on the amount of check ins that are made at your location through Facebook and Foursquare. Take time to analyze the discussions that take place - are they positive and helpful? Is your community expressing frustration or delight about their experiences with your products and services? Are they interacting with each other as well as with your brand? If you run events, track attendance over time to see if your community makes an impact on event attendance. A simple way to do this is to ask attendees about how they heard about your event .
Brand love refers to a combination of loyalty and advocacy for your brand by your community members. To measure the growth of community love you can track the following metrics - the number of positive testimonials generated, the number of community members who have been brought on in a formal brand advocate role, the amount of user generated content you’ve been able to source from your community, and the number of third party blog posts written about your brand by influencers and community members. These metrics combined will show if your efforts bring so much value to your community that members voluntarily spread the word about your company.