"The price of light is less than the cost of darkness."
- Arthur C. Nielsen
This pioneer in the science of marketing research has it right. However, consistently executing on the proverb above is challenging for many organizations. Often times companies and associations put so much into designing their online customer or member communities to be valuable to their target audiences (which they should) that they have to scramble to define measures of success at the last minute or after the launch.
When Higher Logic implements an online customer community for a corporation or membership organization, defining metrics and setting up a system to report on relevant data is one of the areas that we spend the most time on. Every organization has different goals and their online community requires specific types of customer or member engagement metrics.
Resources for Measuring Online Community Success
Recently, Higher Logic has discussed how to define metrics and how to align your online community with your business goals. Here are 3 additional guides, from authors who we trust, to help you select and track important metrics in your online customer or member community.
Get an outline of 10 metrics that will give you a basic understanding of your online community's progress toward getting found and engaging members or customers.
Our friend, Vanessa DiMauro at Leader Networks, lays out how to tie customer engagement metrics to your online community's overarching value to your organization. Also, check out Vanessa's article on building a system to measure and track member engagement.
Richard Millington, founder of a UK-based online community consultancy, offers a high level framework for how to capture metrics ranging from behavioral data and tone to member or customer satisfaction with the community.
Share Your Experience to Help Others
In the comments below, tell us about your experience setting goals and tracking metrics for your online community. If you could share one metrics tip for marketing, membership, customer care, and social business professionals, what would it be?