The Numbers Game; Loyalty, Visitors, Activity – Part 1
As the title suggests, this is Part 1 of what will be three articles focused around “The Numbers Game” and by that I mean all those lovely stats you should be tracking and why they are important. This article (Part 1) will be looking at new communities whether fan created or being built by a brand / on behalf of a brand.
Two tools I’m going to recommend first; Google Analytics and Chartbeat. Google Analytics will track the number of visitors, which countries they are visiting from, how many pageviews they have generated, duration of visit and heaps of other useful information. Chartbeat is similar but tracks in realtime how many people are visiting your community and what pages they are looking at.
Moving on from this and working on the premise that you already have a community growth strategy (an article for another time if you don’t) what are the important metrics for a new community? Well, with all new things the tough challenge is to draw people in, if your strategy is good and your community is based around the potential to share and converse about something chances are this will be a little easier.
For those in the first 6 months of growth loyalty isn’t as important as the number of visitors and their activity. Working hand-in-hand with your strategy you should be providing a reason to visit and then those that do visit with a reason to engage. If you don’t have that many visitors then it means your promotion of the community isn’t working that well and you’ll need to have a look at your strategy and the channels you are using.
If you do have visitors coming then you can at least put a tick in one of the boxes and start to focus a little more on their activity. You need to get them to engage with you as a Community Manager, with the whole reason the community exists whilst also convincing them to open up and share. It doesn’t matter if this is sharing their praise, concerns, suggestions or otherwise, the fact that they are doing so means they care at least a little bit.
The more activity you can get from those first few users the easier it will be to draw more in; anyone who visits subsequently will see there are people there and there might be a reason to get involved.
I could write a lot more about this but I’ll keep it short and sweet by summing up and saying; if your community is in the first few months of life focus on bringing visitors to your community and then their activity. Loyalty develops over time and there are other factors to take into consideration for this.
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