Every couple of months we scrape and analyse data of various communities to see how they’re doing.
The method isn’t perfect. Scraping doesn’t capture private discussions and some organisations tend to remove posts over time which influence the results. But it does give you a vivid picture of how a sample of top brand communities are fairing.
Posts Per Month Per Community
Looking at the number of posts per month per community, it’s clear COVID did cause a spike of around 50% in most communities. However, as time progresses, the number seems to be returning to the baseline. (p.s. If you’re running a brand community, 4k – 5k posts per month seems to be a good target).
Breaking this down by community, we can see wild fluctuations depending upon the community sector.
We can see wild fluctuations in the data based upon the community. However, other than a slight uplift, there aren’t any major trends. Although the increase in EA Games is worth noting.
No. Active Members Per Month
Next we look at how many members are engaging in the community. This is the number of unique usernames who made 1 post in the community within the past month.
Overall, there seems to be a slight upload trend before the pandemic hit. The pandemic caused a spike as a flood of new members began asking questions in the community instead of other channels. This spike has largely been sustained with a slight downtick in February (28 days).
Note the median of around 1500 active users per month as a reasonable target for most enterprise brand communities to aim for.
We can break down this by each community in the sample too.
This chart shows the importance of focusing on the median rather than the mean. Some communities had a huge COVID surge (HP had more people setting up home printers/laptops), EA Games presumably had more people playing games at home.
Overall we’re seeing the pandemic has driven more people to use communities and a small percentage of those seems to be sticking.
This hasn’t massively increased the volume of posts members are making when they do visit (i.e. the communities themselves aren’t becoming more engaging), but the pandemic has accelerated the relatively small trend towards members participating in communities.