Online Community Metrics

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Information about Online Community Metrics
Business & Mgmt

Published on August 2, 2009

Author: christophercarfi



An overview of the key classes of metrics that can be used as part of developing social media, social business, online community strategy.

Online Community Metrics

A community must support business goals and the goals of the current (and prospective) community members themselves.

Three things to remember 1. If the business goals are not defined, the community risks being feature-driven and may suffer from shiny-object syndrome. 2. If the community members are not involved in the success- definition process, the community risks being irrelevant to its members. 3. If business goals are undefined, or if community members themselves are not involved in the definition of the community (it’s for them, after all), the community’s risk of failure grows substantially.

Types of community metrics There are a number of types of community metrics that can tie to the business goals: • Financial Metrics • Activity Metrics • Other Metrics Source: “Measuring the Success of an Online Community,” Strategy and Leadership, v. 28.2, 2000

Possible Financial Metrics • Advertising performance • Conversion from free to paid memberships • Membership renewals (retention) • Product renewals • Product upsells • Other sales • Cost savings from customer service • Cost savings from tech support • Leads to partners (referral fees) Source: Online Community Research Network

Possible Activity Metrics • Unique visitors • New registered members • Page views • Most active members • Top searches • New posts per month • Length of time on site • First time contributions • Content ratings • Ratio: Registered to unregistered users • Ratio: Page views/post • Ratio: Posts/thread Source: Online Community Research Network

Possible Activity Metrics (cont.) • % Content with “tags” • Comments/post • Ratio: Searches/post • # Podcasts uploaded • # Photos uploaded • # Videos uploaded • # Member posts • Size of networks/buddy lists • Product trial downloads

Other Potential Community Metrics • “Topic” measurement (I.e. # discussions/activity on site around “target” topics) • Member satisfaction • Mentions by influencers • Reputation changes • Awareness • Inbound links • Innovation (e.g. # new product ideas sourced from community)

Online Community Metrics

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