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15 Community Metrics Every Brand Needs to Track in 2024

July 5th 2024
Home > Blog > 15 Community Metrics Every Brand Needs to Track in 2024

Tracking metrics is essential to creating a thriving and sustainable community, regardless of your niche. Metrics help businesses assess performance, make decisions based on tangible data, monitor growth, and identify areas for development or improvement. They bring clarity to community goals and priorities, helping entrepreneurs, business owners, and development coaches guide their communities in the right direction.

With a wealth of metrics available to monitor, it can be difficult to know which will impact your community the most. Here are 15 of the most important metrics community owners should be tracking.

Why Your Community Needs Metrics

Metrics are essential tools for growing any business, not just online communities. They provide insights into the growth of your community, giving you access to crucial data you can use to make informed decisions. Here are just some of the reasons why you should be tracking community metrics:

  • They measure engagement. Metrics help identify both active and inactive users, revealing which community members are interacting with your content. This helps you profile the types of people your content might not appeal to and adjust accordingly.
  • They help you understand growth – Community metrics let you monitor your community as it grows. They can help you identify trends, showing you which posting times and days are working best. You can identify high times of growth, such as particular months and seasons, and use this information to optimize your community space. Alternatively, you can see when your community might not be growing as much as it should and use this data to work out why.
  • They help you improve content – By tracking metrics, you can see which type of content resonates the most with your community. For example, your audience may be engaging more with infographics than articles, helping you redesign a new, optimized content plan.
  • They identify issues within the community – Community metrics help you spot problems early on. Identify which content isn’t resonating with your audience, track which times of day members aren’t active, and track if there’s a spike in cancellations.

The Importance of Community Metrics for Sponsors

Sponsorships are hugely beneficial to help you run and grow your online community. According to Exhibitor Online, sponsorships “improve relationships with clients and prospects and boost brand awareness, booth traffic, and sales leads.” Sponsors do this by advertising content, sponsoring events and awards, and creating sponsored content. 

Your community metrics play a direct role in your community’s ability to work with sponsors. Sponsors look for specific metrics that help them gauge the estimated ROI (Return on Investment) when choosing communities to partner with.

Furthermore, clear and quantifiable community data demonstrates the value of working with you and your community. Being transparent about your metrics also builds trust between you and potential sponsors, proving to them that your community is worth investing in.

Pen and paper highlighting community metrics on a bar graph

15 Metrics to Track for Your Online Community

1. Member Growth

Member growth tracks new members joining over time. It’s an important metric for monitoring the health of your community. For example, if you see a sudden spike in members, this may be due to a successful marketing campaign. However, if you notice a drop in members, then it may be due to an issue within the community. Tracking this metric will help you identify issues early on and fix them before they cause a huge problem for your community.

Google Analytics is a well-known and trusted tool that community owners can use to track member growth. Certain community platforms will also track this metric, too.

2. Engagement Rate

This metric tracks when and how community members interact with your content, whether through likes, comments, or shares. This metric is used to measure the success of your content – it can pinpoint exactly what resonates with your audience and which doesn’t. You can dissect the format of the content (such as a video, infographic or article) or the content itself.

For example, if you’re building a fitness coaching community, and you post an infographic that features a meal plan which receives more likes, comments and shares than any other post, it’s clear that this type of content resonates with your audience. From then, you can adjust your content plan to include posts that are sure tor resonate with your audience.

To calculate the Engagement Rate on specific content, use the following formula:

((Likes+Comments+Shares)/Total Community members)*100

3. Active Members

Tracking active members is another way to monitor your community’s health. An “active member” is someone who logs into the community or participates regularly, whether with course content, your posts, or other members. 

Many community platforms offer ways to monitor how active your community members are. View their activity status and see which community members are active and when. These statistics will give you a good idea of when to post your content.

4. Member Retention Rate

Member retention rate tracks how long members stay active in your community before they decide to leave. This metric shows whether you’re successfully providing value for your community members and whether your content aligns with their needs.

For example, if you’re a business coach who has recently introduced soft skill courses into your community, and your metrics reveal higher retention than usual, this suggests that your new course is contributing to the health of your community, and members are getting value out of it.

To calculate your member retention rate, follow these steps:

  • Divide the number of renewed members by the number of members you had last year
  • Multiply the resulting number by 100

5. Content Performance

Tracking the performance of your content, such as posts, videos, infographics, and articles, will help you see what type of content encourages your community members to engage. 

To track content performance, monitor shares, views, and comments. You can do this through your community platform. For example, if you’re trying to build a community on Instagram, this platform offers a range of post insights that show you who’s liking, sharing, and even viewing your content. 

From here, you can design a content plan that truly engages your audience by removing low-engagement posts and focusing on content that encourages more comments, likes, and even follows.

6. Response Time

If you’re looking to build a sustainable community, it’s important to track how quickly your community or support team responds to member queries.

Improving response times is so important for keeping your community healthy, as it will boost member satisfaction and engagement. Discord is excellent for this, allowing users to create bots that answer specific questions. Furthermore, many Discord communities will often take multiple moderators on board, which means someone will always be available to answer queries.

Someone on their laptop viewing community metrics

7. User Satisfaction

Monitoring user satisfaction will help to create a healthy and sustainable community. User satisfaction refers to how happy community members are with the content you’re sharing and the value they’re getting from your community.

There are a few different ways you can gauge member satisfaction, such as through polls, surveys, or feedback forms. To create a survey that will provide you with the information you need, ask community members:

  • What they enjoy about your community
  • Their favorite types of post
  • If they’re happy with the content they’re getting
  • What they’d like to see more of
  • What new content or features they would be interested in 
  • If there are any other improvements or comments they’d like to make

Use trusted tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to record the information.

Brands use surveys to gauge the performance of their website, products, courses, or anything else they’d like direct feedback on. For example, if you’re an education-based community centered around freelancing, feedback may indicate that community members would like to see cold-call pitch examples. Implementing this information will offer more value and improve customer satisfaction and retention.

8. Post Reach

 Post reach shows you the unique members who are seeing each post. Monitoring the reach of your posts will help you track which content type is resonating and converting new members. Your post reach can determine what type of content you post going forward and even how the algorithm is responding to your content. For example, the Instagram algorithm rewards you with a good reach if you follow their rules, such as posting every day, posting reels, interacting with followers, and more.

Brands such as Penguin Books, Sephora, and The Pet Scout Shop have adopted reels into their content straegy in order to improve their reach.

You can access this metric through your social media analytics, or your community platform analytics if you’ve chosen a paid option like Teach.

9. Churn Rate

Churn rate refers to how many members leave your community platform. This information lets you track patterns and cancelation spikes. For example, more members leave than usual, there may be an identifying cause, such as new content you’ve introduced, old content you’ve taken away, or even a price increase. Knowing this number will help brands find strategies that better engage their audience.

To calculate your membership churn rate, pick a start and an end date, such as the start of the year and the end. You need the number of members you had at the beginning of the period. Then, divide the number of members lost by the total number at the start of the period. This will you give an accurate churn rate.

However, there are also tools that can help you calculate the churn rate, such as CRM software.

10. Conversion Rate

Membership conversion rate refers to how many potential members are converted through things such as sign-ups or purchases. Many things can make your target audience convert, including an effective lead magnet, posts on social media, and sign-up pages. How high your conversion rate is depends on how many people are resonating with your strategies for conversion. If you have a low conversion rate, it might be time to adjust your strategy or try something new, such as offering member discounts for first-time sign-ups.

To calculate the conversion rate, use tools such as Google Analytics or your community platform analytics. This will offer you an accurate picture of who is signing up and why.

11. Sentiment Analysis

This metric allows you to track how your customers think and feel about your brand. It’s so important to gauge whether your community members have negative, positive, or even just neutral feelings about your brand. This can help you post future content that creates an emotional response. If community members connect with your community emotionally, they’re more likely to stay. 

One example of a brand that used sentiment analysis to overcome negativity is Nestle. This company received backlash for misrepresenting the healthiness of their products. Because of this, Nestle has worked hard to increase nutrition in their products.

Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools are excellent for tracking this metric. This tool interprets human language from communication channels such as text messages, email, social media, audio, and video, and analyzes the intent of the message. This can help community owners scout public opinion about their brand and messaging.

12. Top Contributors

Identifying the top contributors in your community is so important. Top contributors are the people who contribute the most to your community, offering insights or creating content that other community members resonate with. 

Top contributors are essential for helping to create a community flywheel where your community thrives and becomes sustainable without much input from its creator. Once you’ve discovered who your top contributors are, you can acknowledge their efforts, either through praise or even rewards, such as points, a spot on the community leaderboard, or even a digital voucher. This will show your community members how much you value them. This, in turn, will encourage your top contributors to continue contributing and also encourage new, shyer members of your community to start.

To identify your top contributors, use community platform analytics. For example, Facebook Groups lets you find top contributors easily. Go to admin tools > membership. This will then bring up the top 10 contributors of your Facebook group over the last 28 days.

13. Event Participation

Tracking event participation is so important for seeing if your community events are resonating with your audience. Whether it’s live seminars, guest speakers, or even virtual parties, these events should strengthen the bonds between community members, provide value, and improve participation and engagement. Furthermore, by tracking the success of events, you’ll be able to tell which ones you can leverage to draw more people into the community and improve the conversion rate.

To track event attendance and participation:

  • Choose a registration method – Asking people to register before the event will help you track basic information about your event attendees, such as their name, date of birth, emails and interests, providing valuable data on community members. This will also give you a good indication of the numbers you expect to attend, and thus, the amount of interest your event will have garnered.
  • Use a check-in system – When it comes to the actual event, an online check-in will help you verify who actually attended the event and how long they stayed for. Tools such as CheckinEasy, Whova, and more can help with this.
  • Data tracking during the event – Use polls, quizzes, chats and social media to collect data from during the event. Tool such as SurveyMonkey and Kahoot can help.

14. Referral Traffic

Referral traffic monitors the traffic that arrives on your website from another source other than Google search – in this case, your community platform. Referral traffic is so important for creating conversions. 

To monitor referral traffic and track the performance of your website, use Google Analytics. It offers a full report, which can tell you exactly how visitors reached your website. Try to aim for referral traffic of 7% or above.

15. Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

This metric measures how much it costs to acquire a new community member. It’s important to understand your CPA, as this will help you manage your budget, analyse your profitability, and decide where you invest. Calculating this metric along with others such as return on investment (ROI) and return on ad spend (ROAS) can help you gauge how well your campaign is performing.

For example, if you run ads to increase sign ups, this will help your gauge whether spending money on advertising is well placed, or whether it’s worth directing traffic more organically through social media posts or a blog.

To calculate the CPA, follow this formula:

Total Marketing Cost / Number of New Customers.

How to Increase Engagement

Tracking your community metrics will undoubtably reveal weaknesses and areas for improvement in your community. If your metrics aren’t offering the glowing data you expected, you may not be engaging your community effectively.

Here are some community building activities that will help bring your community together and increase overall engagement.

Build Your Community With Teach.io

If you’re looking to build a sustainable and paying community, Teach.io offers everything you need to grow. Designed as an all-in-one platform, Teach boasts a range of features without the need for app-switching. Host live events, build courses, chat one-to-one, and build a tribe where your members feel like they truly belong. Turn your passion into profit, all with the help of Teach’s tools.

Start your 14-day free trial.

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