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We Love Online Community Analytics (Yes, Really)

What’s new in Open Social? We live in a world of analytics and data. Although it’s — continue reading
Posted by Moritz Arendt
February 14, 2018

What’s new in Open Social?

We live in a world of analytics and data. Although it’s overwhelming at times, it’s also a gift. Everyone is adopting an analytical approach – reaching heights they haven’t before. Open Social’s analytics feature helps community managers take advantage of the data-driven world we live in today.

Rapid emergence and adopting of marketing technologies make it nearly impossible to make decisions based on gut instinct alone. Analytics, monitoring, and automation are now reasonably common tools. And it’s arguable that without data analysis, we miss out on many valuable opportunities.

Governments, nonprofits, businesses, and individuals alike are using data to make better, informed decisions and deliver relevant information to the right people. Community managers are no exception!

Data-driven Community Management

As a community manager, you’ve learned that the role consists of many different parts: strategy, people skills, content creation, and analytics (that’s just naming a few). One of the most daunting tasks is tracking data and analytics. Luckily, most community platforms have an analytics feature to help you track and make sense of your data.

Sometimes it’s tempting to ignore the stream of data (even when it’s presented nicely on a dashboard). Many of us haven’t been trained to analyze data, and we often feel like we aren’t qualified enough to make sense of it. But we advise embracing analytics and looking at it as a new opportunity to grow your community.

Not convinced yet? Here are some advantages of data-driven community management:

  • Increase engagement. Data will help you identify what’s not working and what’s working. For example, try starting a discussion in multiple ways. Which thread had the most comments? What about the most likes? Data will tell!
  • Prove your return on investment. The ability to show the value of your community has many advantages. Communities that need support from organizations can prove the ROI and bottom-line contribution of the community with analytics, for example.
  • Grow your community! Data can help create a realistic plan to grow the community. You can see where you should be spending your time and measure the results of your strategy.

Open Social’s Analytics Feature

Open Social’s analytics feature helps community managers tackle both long-term and short-term tasks. It’s the best way to keep track of your KPIs, your new members, and monitor the overall activity in your community. It comes with a dashboard that presents an overview of all your incoming data. Open Social also has other features, such as google analytics and user management, that support community management.


Analytics feature for an online community

Site managers can view various data in our analytics suite:

  • Unique contributors
  • Amount of active users (and who is most active)
  • Amount of comments, posts, groups, events created by community members
  • Amount of comments, posts, groups, events created by community managers
  • Total number of likes and comments on a specific event, topic, or group
  • Engagement metrics – distinguish between likes/comments on posts, events, and other content

Open Social’s analytics tool is only available for site managers and can be reached via the site manager dashboard. Site managers can monitor the community performance with this overview.

It’s hard to just dive into the data without a plan. Here are some starting tips for community managers that want to use their community data and analytics.

Set your KPIs. Of course, the feature can’t do all the work for you. Key performance indicators will help you set your goals and measure your success. Some examples of common community KPIs are interactions on posts (likes, comments), community growth (new users), and how active members are.

Be proactive. Develop a plan according to your data for growing your community. Use benchmarks (and KPIs) to check whether you’re reaching your goals. If not, re-adjust your strategy and see how the change affects your community data.

Optimize your time. Use data to focus your efforts on the areas of your community that will provide the highest return. Is your engagement low? Perhaps, content needs more focus. Is the amount of new members coming in decreasing? Maybe some promotion on your social channels is needed. Let’s find out!

Tip! Our analytics feature splits the community manager data and the member data (see image below). It’s handy to know how much activity and engagement stems from the manager alone versus the members. It will indicate the stage of your community growth. For example, if you see that your community is creating most of the content, it’s safe for you to begin focusing on more strategic tasks. Feverbee has a great community lifecycle that shows which actions are necessary for community managers to take as the community grows.

We Love Analytics

Analytics will become less daunting over time and after a bit of practice (we promise). You’ll soon love watching the numbers rise and fall – and it’s especially fun when you get to see the impact of your hard work. Nowadays, there are many tools, such as analytics dashboards, that help community managers make sense of their community data.

Keep in mind that the decisions you make regarding strategy, KPIs, and analytics will depend on the type of community you have. What’s essential for an intranet-focused community will be different for a volunteer community. Always have your final community goal in mind!


Community building guide


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