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Gaining Valuable Community Insights From Thread Views

Richard Millington
Richard Millington

Founder of FeverBee

This is a screenshot from Apple’s online community.

You probably notice two threads attract thousands of reviews while the rest barely muster a few dozen views.

This usually indicates one of four things.

  1. The organization is promoting or featuring the discussion somehow.
  2. The discussion has been linked to from a popular site.
  3. A small group of people are repeatedly participating and updating the discussion (hence the views).
  4. A lot of people are searching for this discussion.

You can find out which by looking at the source of traffic on Google Analytics and the diversity of participants in the discussion.

Seeing which discussions get the most views yields a lot of value.

Let’s assume the answer above is search traffic (it usually is). This might tell you:

1) A lot of people have the same problem that engineers need to fix. You need to develop a system for passing this information to engineers or management to fix bugs or problems. You need to persuade them of the value of identifying issues that might not have appeared on their radar yet but they can fix in advance.

2) You’re using the wrong terminology. Very often a company will write material which is accurate but doesn’t match the terminology their customers would use. If a discussion is more popular than the comparable article in the help center or FAQ, that’s a sign the terminology used by the brand is wrong. You can pass this information on to marketing teams and update the relevant articles on the main site.

3) A very small group of people really care about an issue. If only a tiny vocal group care about the issue, it might be a sign the organization can prioritize others problems and ride the wave of discontent if there are bigger problems to fix.

4) New product / service ideas. There might be new product or service ideas that the organization can explore based upon which discussions are most popular.

Seeing which discussions attract the most views can be one of the most useful pieces of information and simplest ways of gaining internal support. We can usually do much better in using the value this data yields.

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