When it comes to community building the numbers can be deceiving. One might say their community is 100,000 strong all because their website has received that number of registrations to date. Maybe over 6 years. Or, because they have 3,000 Facebook fans.
Are they listening?
A website registration is as valuable as paper. I’m serious. Take your web form, put it on paper, and you can consider hitting the submit button the equivalent of handing it back to you filled out. At this point they’ve taken the first step to join the community. Whether they truly become a participant in your community is another story. Here are a few social analytics to better define your real community number.
Desired Community Measurement: Size
Social Metric = Number of Active Community Members
1. It Was More Than A One Night Stand
Has Visited: logged in the site over x period (website metric)
2. They Have a Pulse
Engaged: has participated and taken action such as creating, discussing or consuming content (website metric and social networking metric)
A Simplified Working Example:
A website community has 100,000 registered members
Over 30 days 25,000 have visited and logged in = Active Community Members 25%
2,500 of these visitors took action = Engaged Active Community Members 10%