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How To Measure Your Community Manager’s Success

Erin Ledbetter.
By: Erin Ledbetter  |   July 12, 2012  |   View Comments

Unlike the more established marketing channels, social media is still in its relative infancy. For this reason, the life of a social media marketer is spent both learning and keeping his or her clients up to speed with the ever-changing social landscape. I believe one of the things that makes us successful as a social media agency is that our clients are always asking questions and pushing us to define success for social media marketing, even though our world is still changing almost daily. And good for them! Any smart business person should be asking how she'll know if she's successful.

Recently, clients have been asking me how they'll know if our community managers are succeeding in their craft. To me, that answer was simple: a healthy community.

That means the community manager is doing well, right? Well sort of. Thanks to some smart thinking and advice from a few industry friends, and great partnership with a few clients who shared input on what they expected from their community managers, we've boiled down what it means to succeed as a community manager, taking that analysis beyond the traditional marketing KPIs and incorporating a more traditional performance review method.


Quality Community Management Metric #1: Measuring Community Health

The community manager's role is to get people to talk, share, and react to the brand in the communities he or she manages. Key performance indicators (KPIs) should be set for each community based on the client’s objectives for that community and the community manager’s scope of work. Example metrics of community health (and therefore, the quality of the community manager’s output) are:

  • Community Growth Metrics: Net new Likes, new followers, etc.
  • Community Attrition Metrics: Unlikes, unfollows
  • Brand Mentions on Active Social Channels: Facebook page tags, blog backlinks, blog comments, @replies and @mentions, etc.
  • Engagement Metrics: Attrition rate, people talking about this, bounce rate, return visitors, etc.
  • Content Analysis: Interaction rates ( [Likes + Comments + Shares] / Total Fans or [@replies + @mentions + RTs] / Followers), click-through rates,  blog posts shares, blog backlinks, etc.

Quality Community Management Metric #2: Tracking the Community Manager's Deliverables

Additionally, there are certain skills and tasks required of a community manager that we can track to ensure her or she is fulfilling the scope and meeting the client needs.

We’d recommend tracking all of these over time, rather than holding community managers to a specific goal, because there are many factors outside of their control that could affect results. Examples of scope fulfillment metrics include:

  • Volume of content output: Number of posts, number of @replies sent, % of fan comments responded to, etc.
  • Speed of replies
  • Spam removed
  • Escalation paths followed properly
  • Content that meets our "Perfect Post Checklist" - these differ by channel, but here are some of the items included on our perfect post checklists:

Excerpt from Ignite Social Media's Perfect Post Checklists

  • Posted at the appropriate time/day
  • Clear CTA
  • Matches brand voice
  • Relevant to the community
  • Includes appropriate tags, mentions, or backlinks
  • Proper spelling and grammar (just because you're posting on Facebook doesn't mean you can ignore the fact that you are a professional company with some expectation by your customers of professionalism)
  • Links are properly tracked and work
  • We have permission to use all media (licenses and rights confirmed, waivers collected, etc.)
  • Facebook-specific: Title and meta data for links are edited appropriately
  • YouTube-specific: Tags, title and descriptions optimized to match keyword strategy
  • Blog-specific: All content and images are sourced properly; post is tagged and categorized; post slug is correct; post-previewed and formatted correctly

Quality Community Management Metric #3: Alignment with Client Needs

There are also subjective measures that any agency with a focus on client success should care about. We recommend discussing these needs with our clients on at least a quarterly basis and ask our client partners to engage in an open dialogue with us, providing feedback on the community manager's ability to do the following:

  • Provide strategic guidance as it relates to the brand's online communities
  • Grasp and adapt the brand voice
  • Represent the community's point of view
  • Provide actionable insights

Thanks to our friends Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer, Dan O'Marra of Expion, Jason Keath of SocialFresh, and our fabulous clients for providing feedback that helped round out this point-of-view.


Download our Free Community Manager Success Tracker

Feel free to download and use our Community Manager Success Tracker, and, as always, if you have any input to share on this topic let me know in the comments. I'd love your perspective!


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Comments

10 thoughts on “How To Measure Your Community Manager’s Success

  1. Jackie Mills

    Hi Erin! Thank you for sharing! The company I work for, Enterprise Strategies, is going to use some of your recommendations as we experiment with our own social media and community management. I appreciate the great content!

  2. Jackie Millls

    Hi Erin! Thank you for sharing! The company I work for, Enterprise Strategies, is going to use some of your recommendations as we experiment with our own social media and community management. I appreciate the great content!

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