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 dened, the community risks being feature-driven and may suffer from shiny-object syndrome. 2. If the community members are not involved in the success- denition process, the community risks being irrelevant to its members. 3. If business goals are undened, or if community members themselves are not involved in the denition of the community (its for them, after all), the communitys 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 inuencers Reputation changes Awareness Inbound links Innovation (e.g. # new product ideas sourced from community)