KPIs (Key Performance Inicators) with communities are hard to set up. All community platforms give you very shallow metrics (even Scenes has work to do here — a powerful, Mixpanel style analytics dashboard is our #1 priority for Q1 2021). The first thing to understand about beginning to run a community is to understand what metric you're trying to maximize. If engagement, then what kind of engagement?
Here are some decent metrics to shoot for:
- Base Metrics
From our learnings, community ratios are even more important.
- Ratio Metrics
Remember that a lurker in a community is still an active user. Also, at any given point in time, try to optimize just one metric. The last metric (DAU/MAU) is superb for a product, but poor for a community. You can just create a gamified streak or run coupon codes to make sure people open the community everyday, but it's not real engagement. Real engagement is the only thing that will eventually make you money.
Which brings me to my next set of metrics:
- Business Metrics & Context Based Metrics
In my own experience, the ratio metrics are the most important metrics for a community. They're a dipstick measure of a community's health and simply optimizing these will lead to a happy, healthy community. Some benchmarks can be seen below, based on our experience with over 2,200 communities; some reddit community benchmarking; as well as our own community.
Note how I haven't spoken about "churn", or the number of people who leave an online community. This is on purpose. If you've ever had a large Instagram account with >100k followers, you're probably losing 100-300 followers a day for random reasons (some people are pruning their social apps, some aren't interested or finding value in your content, some just hate you). It's normal to turn over something like 10% of your entire community base in a year. This is completely normal, so don't worry about who's leaving your community.
When you’re looking to measure the success of online communities, your focus should only be on growth. Everything else is secondary. Still not sure how to prioritize your community KPIs? The Scenes team has got you covered. Shoot us a message, and we’ll get back to you in a jiffy.