How to measure community growth

Community shouldn't be about numbers but then how should you measure impact? Here are a few things to look at when your measure you community's impact.
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February 16, 2023

Congratulations! You have reached the next stage of community-led growth! If you actually reached the point where your numbers are growing steadily and you want to keep this steady growth then you need to know how it is growing currently first. This is why measuring your community’s growth is extremely important. It offers you findings about various key demographics such as what time your community members are most active, what is their age and gender, and which of your posts have had a better reach.

Many social media platforms do provide you with analytics to monitor your growth, but communities are not always available on social media platforms. Most likely, it would be on platforms such as discord or slack. 

While tracking the numbers is good, it will not do to become obsessed with just hard numbers and put out content without regard to what it is and how it functions and only with the focus to increase the numbers.

Community quality and community engagement go hand in hand, as do community-led growth and community management. Community engagement will automatically increase, as people’s interest becomes piqued when the quality of your content is intriguing. Once your community members are sufficiently ensured in their own responsibilities and began acting on these and following the rues of community by themselves, this is what paves the way to community led growth and in turn efficient community management as communities begin managing themselves. 

Not Numbers

Anytime one hears the word measurement, they might immediately jump to numbers and maths and complicated equations. But in this scenario, it is definitely not numbers but instead the humans and their interactions with your community which is “measured”.

The key to this is the sense of belonging, your community needs to be able to instill a sense of belonging into every person who joins the community, so much so that they want to keep coming back to you, they want to grow your community, they want to thrive along with the community. 

Your community engagements shouldn’t feel mechanical or transactional but should be personal. To ensure this you need to be aware of whom your members are talking to, how close are the members, whether are they actively participating in your community leading to community-led growth, and who is the most active and initiates more conversations. 

These are the few key factors that will help you in determining the lynchpins in your demographics and what you need to track.



How to measure community engagement  

Community Health

Community health mainly refers to your community members’ behaviour in relation to community management techniques. This may be how quickly the community is growing, how often community members return to your community, and how often new members are inducted into the community. 

Community-led growth is also precipitated by how community campaigns are designed and built and what response they are to incite in community members. Member-led subgroups also increase community health and make community management easier as the sub-groups manage themselves relieving some strain on community manager and being able to fine-tune the nuances by themselves. 

Community health is also affected by the retention rate of community members, are your members sticking around in the community and participating? Or are they just joining the community then ignoring it? What is the ration of active community members to passive community members? 

Trend Conversions

Everyone is aware of “trends” and how everyone is in a mad dash behind every trend. They want to try the next biggest trend, be the one to start the next trend or are simply intrigued by it. Trends have had a staggering response from the public, with any “trending” product being sold out almost immediately. ( After BTS member Jungkook mentioned he really liked the “banana milk” drink, it was sold out to the point that even he couldn’t find it anywhere)

 

Taking this into consideration, we can say with sufficient confidence that applying this to community engagement can only help increase it. 

Once your community successfully sets off a “trend” you can compare previous engagement and current engagement in the community and adjust your community management techniques in such a way as to ensure community growth is always on an upward slope. 

Active Members

While seeing the number of members increase may be a boost of confidence for you, do not just keep focusing on these numbers though, as while superficially it might look good, an in-depth survey will prove that this community looks good only on the surface. To be able to ensure continual growth in a community to a level where can manage itself and lead itself and the community almost works in a self-replicating way, i.e. community-led growth, without input from managers or official administrations, community members will be growing the community and getting new members without initiative.

This is why you need to keep track of active members instead of member registrations. Active members keep contributing to your community’s quality through posts, interactions or spreading word of your community

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