All Community Professionals Should Be Accountable To Numbers

October 21, 2013Comments Off on All Community Professionals Should Be Accountable To Numbers

Chas left Runkeeper feeling burnt out. Key quote here:

“Rigid, predictable, and constrained was how most of my days felt. Forced to respond to a certain number of support tickets in a certain amount of time with a certain level of customer satisfaction. {…} 

Nonetheless, while metrics are important, I was beholden to the numbers, not empowered by them.”

Most community professionals would like to work without numbers. If you have no targets, you can't fail. Some highlight examples of members being happy or a vague sense of community utopianism is justification for their employment.

This isn't enough. Whilst, customer support tickets are best left to customer support teams, real numbers should be used to track the results of the community manager's activity. 

If we hire a community manager, we want to know how many members are active in the community each week, how many posts are made, and their conversion rates. This is where you spot the difference between good and very good community managers.

A very good community manager might be able to get 4 or 5 of 10 prospective members to join and participate. A good might just get 1 or 2. This is a big difference over the long-term. Having these numbers and benchmarks helps considerably. 

Imagine how different your job would be if you had to grow membership and increase activity, not just manage it. 

We should embrace this level of accountability. We should track progress. We should qualify our success.

You may be surprised how much more effective you are when you hold yourself accountable to a few simple numbers. 

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