A Community Manager (CM) is partly responsible for the success of an online community. The work of a CM can be separated in several micro tasks: inviting people, starting conversations and building relationships; and macro tasks: writing content, organising events, talking to stakeholders and determining the overall strategy of an online community.

KPIs and the phases of community management

KPIs and the stages of community management

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can really help you determine which of these tasks a CM should focus on to optimally develop the community. The Buzzing Communities book makes the case that depending on the phase of a community a CM should focus on different tasks. E.g. in a new community it’s more important to focus on micro tasks while in a community that has matured the focus will move to macro tasks.

Building the Open Social analytics feature

We are in the process of building an analytics feature for Open Social with KPIs for community management that should present a fair state of the health of your community. In this build we want to avoid feel-good statistics, such as the total amount of users which can increase without having any impact on how (in)active a community is.

Track user activity over time
Track user activity over time

Insights into community activity

Insight in organic activity versus activity orchestrated by the CM is important to determine if a community has reached critical mass. When most of the activity in an community is managed by the CM ending this activity will lead to death of the community. However, if there is a significant organic activity a CM can start spending more time on macro tasks to further boost organic activity.

Activity in the comments
Comments going down over time mean you may need to take action

Contribute to our KPI modules 

From a technical view we want the KPIs to be flexible and extendable. Therefore, the KPIs are structured in content blocks in combination with the Drupal 8 plugin system. The lightweight library morris.js is used for visualization. The development has not been completed yet but we expect to launch a MVP version within a month. Contributions are welcome in the architectural module: kpi_analytics or the social_kpi_lite module which contains basic KPIs for Open Social.

Community Managers: Need other KPIs? Let us know! 

Are you a Community Manager? What other KPIs do you think we should include in the Open Social Analytics feature that will help you manage your community better? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. :)

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