So you’ve built a stellar membership or a thriving community where your people come together to master something interesting. But how do you know if all your moving parts are actually working?
While profitability is certainly a very important consideration, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Another crucial way to figure out where your community stands is by measuring community engagement. That way, you’ll know if you’re providing a valuable experience for your members, and whether the quality of your content aligns with your members’ wants, needs, and financial investment.
If this is a new world for you, don’t sweat it. Ahead, we’re explaining why community engagement is important, covering how to measure community engagement, and looking at the best community engagement measurement tools.
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1. Why is community engagement important?
When we talk about measuring community engagement, we’re referring to how your members are interacting with your content and each other. It’s a crucial aspect to understand, especially as you set goals for your digital business and develop an overall strategy for growth and success.
That might sound complicated, but it’s actually fairly simple. Especially when you choose a community platform that offers you a robust set of community engagement measurement tools to work with.
The best community and membership site platforms will offer some sort of analytics or insight tool that measures metrics like daily and monthly active users, retention, post views and engagement, and more.
These kinds of community analytics are beneficial because A. they make it easier to understand your members’ behaviors, and B. they can often shed new light on content or strategies that you thought were working but are actually contributing to some sort of decline.
Let’s look more into the kinds of metrics that help you understand and measure community engagement.
2. How do you measure community engagement?
Effectively measuring community engagement largely comes down to what community engagement measurement tools you have at your disposal. More than likely, though, you’ll be able to use the below five metrics to get a greater understanding of what’s working (and what’s not) within your community.
Daily, weekly, and monthly active members
One key to measuring community engagement is literally measuring the number of active members you have, whether it’s by the day, by the week, or by the month. Specifically, we mean:
- Daily active users (DAUs), the number of unique visitors visiting your membership or community on a certain day.
- Weekly active users (WAUs), the number of unique visitors visiting your membership or community in a certain week.
- Monthly active users (MAUs), the number of unique visitors visiting your membership or community in a certain month.
Measuring your number of unique visitors also helps you zoom out for the big picture: The ratio between daily active members and monthly active members can tell you how often members are coming back to your community.
It’s also just one community engagement measurement tool that gives you a deeper understanding of your members’ behaviors. By mapping any changes to your active users and aligning that to whatever marketing or programming you’re doing, you can get a good idea of what activities you should keep, and which you should move on from.
While it’s important to measure community engagement vis a vis active users, gauging contributing users is a crucial insight, too.
Comparing the number of active users in your community with the number of contributing users in your community can give you an idea of how many members are really and truly engaging (and how many aren’t).
Another important member-based community engagement measurement tool is member growth. Typically, this is the measurement of your community’s membership growth rate over a specific period of time, and the number of members you have within your community or membership.
By now, you’ve likely noticed that the question of how to measure community engagement comes down to the way your members interact. But the ways they interact with the content you put out there is important, too.
Measuring community engagement via content interaction depends largely on the community platform you’re using and its design. Still, you should be able to measure how your members are interacting with your content (whether it’s by clicks, RSVPs, likes, comments, or votes), the best performing content, interactions on posts created by you, the creator, and interactions on posts created by your members themselves.
While not exhaustive, those four components are a great starting point to understanding the ways your members are interacting with your content.
Now that we have a better understanding of what metrics help you measure community engagement, let’s take a look at the best tools to measure community engagement.
3. What are the best community engagement measurement tools?
Finding the best community engagement measurement tools is less about finding standalone software that will help you measure community engagement and more about finding a community platform with a robust analytics tool.
And of all of the options for community platforms available right now, there’s one whose analytics tools stand out against the rest: Mighty Networks (that’s us!).
With the recently revamped Mighty Insights, Mighty Networks offers a more detailed community engagement measurement tool that offers creators more data around how their members are interacting within their community. With the help of interactive dashboards, this means that you can uncover new insights around how members interact with each other and your content. And that means you can make better decisions, too.
Specifically, Mighty Insights enables creators to:
Zoom out for the big picture
When it comes to measuring community engagement, Mighty Insights’ Overview dashboard offers a top-level look at the level of member activity in your Mighty Network. This is where you’ll see figures for Daily to Monthly Active Members.
Understand members’ behaviors
With Mighty Insights, think of each dashboard as a distinct piece of an analytics puzzle. You can derive insights about your members’ behaviors in several places: on the Overview dashboard, a heatmap tells you when your members have been most active. And on the Members dashboard, you can see trends by day for Active and Contributing members.
The latter means you can track changes in activity and map them to any marketing or programming you’ve recently implemented. It’s an easy way to not only measure community engagement but get a better understanding of what’s working within your community.
Figure out what content is working
Let’s dig a little deeper into that last point. A lot of the question of how to measure community engagement comes down to figuring out what’s working in your community (and what’s not).
With a solid community engagement measurement tool like Mighty Insights, you can suss out which posts get the most interaction, how your members are interacting—whether it’s via comments, cheers, or RSVPs, for example—, and whether your members prefer polls and questions or events. You can also get a clearer idea of who your top members are, what they respond to, and how.
Dive deep into the data
We’ve established that insights around your community are crucial to understanding your members’ behaviors. Unsurprisingly, the same goes for other features within your community too, whether it’s Courses or Groups.
Mighty Insights enables creators to narrow down metrics from the overall community to their Courses and Groups. And it offers the same functionality for those spaces, whether it’s insights around who the top members are in each space, or what types of posts are getting the most interactions.
And that, reader, makes all the difference.
4. The best way to measure community engagement? Mighty Insights on Mighty Networks
Throughout this article, we’ve looked at why community engagement is important, how to measure community engagement, and the best community engagement measurement tools. And in the end, it all comes down to building a community on a platform that sets you up for success—both with features, and its analytics capabilities.
Enter Mighty Networks (and Mighty Insights!).
With a Mighty Network, you get the opportunity to build your community and increase community engagement, plus a chance to get a deeper understanding of how your members interact with your content. Instead of relying on outside tools for deeper insights around what’s working in your community or membership, Mighty Insights enables you to get clarity within your network with a native community engagement measurement tool.
And when you’re ready, you can expand your Mighty Network with courses, live virtual events, and more. And it will all be available via the web, iOS, and Android. Dope, right?