Note: This post is based off data from our 2017 report. For the most up-to-date data, please download the 2021 CMX Community Industry Report.
Does your community have an effective measurement strategy yet?
In our newest community research report, we found that by measuring metrics, 90% of community builders reported that they saw “increased leadership support.” 93% also reported that they received “increased interest from other departments.”
But where do you start when creating a clear community measurement strategy? Finding your business value is the first step.
I’m glad you asked. We’ve built a model for categorization of the type of communities that businesses are utilizing. It’s called the SPACES Model and it is based on hundreds of community participants.
While it is not necessary that your community drives just one of these values, it’s important to focus on one area if you’re just starting out, and then expand from there. In fact, about two-thirds of communities switch their primary business value at some point during their lifecycle.
But it is important that you start somewhere, so let’s go.
Again, your community may end up being a combination of these things, but pick one to start with and optimize that first.
Customer Support or Success. In fact, 26% chose it as their most important community value. Check out the breakdown below for all other values.
On the other side, only a few people chose Internal Engagement (e.g. employee engagement) as their community’s primary value.
Pro Tip: This value has the potential for enormous growth as companies recognize community as an opportunity to harness employee engagement and knowledge.
It’s the first step on the journey to proving the business value. Once you determine what the purpose is, you’ll be pointed in the right direction for the metrics to measure (and scale) your success.
Now that you’ve thought about your business value, let’s throw a wrench in the mix: that purpose for your community can change. We’ve asked 533 community builders in our new community research if their business value has changed over time.
35% of communities did say their most important value changed over time.
This indicates that you can strategize and plan for what your value will be when you start, but once your program launches, it might evolve. Realization of this potential shift will make you more aware that you might have to change your metrics over the course of your program.
For instance, 21% of Content and Programming companies shifted to the Acquisition value. The most popular metric for Content and Programming was number of active users/members but for Acquisition and Advocacy the most popular metrics was new users/member sign-ups.
As a result, your measurement strategy might have to shift as your community’s business value does. Racked, a brand of Vox Media, changed its measurement strategy due to their community value switch.
“People were carrying our pieces into their own communities and we wanted to look at actual engagements… our audience was in these pockets. But now we can look at revenue per reader.” – Annemarie Dooling, Racked
Read more on how Annemarie Dooling led her team to measurement victory (and how you can too) in the “The 2017 Community Value and Metrics Report.”