How to measure community value: Findings from a new CMX report

Measuring tape
proper measure(ment)” by Barbara Krawcowicz, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Community managers often face the challenge of communicating their communities’ impact and value back to their organization. As we reported on the blog last year, “defining and measuring shared value” is a top goal for successful communities. Now, a new report from CMX explores the ways in which brand communities are doing just that. In the 2017 Community Value and Metrics Report, CMX shares data from over 500 participants about the ways they measure the impact of the communities they work with.

Who was surveyed?

CMX received responses from 533 participants from a variety of industries, with the technology industry (46% of respondents) most highly represented. Most communities measured (64%) had fewer than 100,000 members.

 

What value does community add?

When asked what the single most important value that the community drives for their organization, 26% of respondents identified customer support or customer success and another 23% cited advocacy and acquisition.

For 35% of participating communities, their number 1 value has changed over time – 27% of these switches were to advocacy and acquisition.

 

What are the right metrics for community value?

Member retention was the most popular metric for assessing a community’s business value – with 54% of respondents citing it. 53% of participants measure their metrics quarterly – only 8% do so on a daily basis. Once metrics and reporting are in place, 93% of surveyed organizations report seeing an increased interest in community outside their department.

Interestingly, in spite of this benefit, just under half (45%) of companies surveyed were confident they’re measuring the right metrics.

 

Further reading

The CMX report is the latest in a growing body of research on the nature of professionally managed communities. For more information about community management in science, look at the results of the Community Roundtable’s 2016 State of Community Management Survey or our own analysis of the state of scientific community management.

 

Join the conversations on Trellis!

If you’re interested in discussing community management within science, we have a family of groups focused on this topic on Trellis. Request to join the C4Sci – communities for science communication discussions here.

 

How do these takeaways reflect your own communities?

Are you confident that you’re measuring the right things in your community or that others in your organization understand the value of what you’re doing? Let us know in the comments.

 

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