Introducing the Engagement Benchmark Score: A New Solution for Measuring Online Community Engagement

Community Strategy // If you’ve ever owned, led, or managed a community, you’ve asked yourself, or been asked a version of this question: “Is our level of community engagement where it needs to be?”

Blair Bozada
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If you’ve ever owned, led, or managed a community, you’ve asked yourself, or been asked a version of this question: “Is our level of community engagement where it needs to be?”

This is a difficult question to answer, because it depends on a lot of different factors – but measuring community engagement is vital.

Communities don’t produce the business and organizational results we know they can have if people aren’t engaging and returning to them, so it’s critically important that we know where we stand so that we can celebrate our results, or work on ways to get more community members engaging.

That’s why we’re introducing the Engagement Benchmark Score, now live in the admin experience for every Higher Logic customer community site. With the tool, community admins can enter the community dashboard and review how their community engagement stands, receiving a letter grade.

Higher Logic Engagement Benchmark Score tool

The Engagement Benchmark Score is a tool for you to understand engagement through data – while providing you with a roadmap for future success.

If the score isn’t where you want it to be, we provide tips for every letter grade on how you can level up your community engagement strategy.

How We Developed the Engagement Benchmark Score for Communities

The goal behind our research and the Engagement Benchmark Score was to create a comprehensive but (deceptively) simple way for our customers to be able to gauge their success.

The final version of the Engagement Benchmark Score consists of three core measures. We reviewed over 170 different metrics, but a report detailing each of those would have been overwhelming to most – so we focused on the actionable and impactful.

  • Activity: The ratio of the number of items created for each active user in the community. Activity is a core metric because it drives value for your audience and motivates others to interact.
  • Value: A measure of the engagement that is generated by the content in the community. Value gauges the quality and relevance of the content in your community.
  • Reach: The ratio of users that are active in the community as compared to the available audience. A successful community needs to have an engaged audience. Users who spend more active time in the community are more likely to create content and return for subsequent visits, making them a critical piece of the engagement journey.

We grouped data into these categories to be measured, and the result is your specific score. These categories give you a clear picture of what’s happening in your community, helping you focus your efforts in the right areas.

As a separate piece of this project, we applied the Engagement Benchmark Score to 1,000+ of our customer community sites, so that we could identify overarching engagement trends. Learn more in the 2020 Engagement Trends Report.

Download the Engagement Trends Report 2020

And join us for the report webinar, where we’ll discuss these trends and answer your questions.

A New Step Forward in Measuring Community Engagement

In the past, we created industry reports based on our customers’ data that dove into engagement benchmarking. Those were helpful for where we were, but we know that static reports sharing benchmarking statistics just aren’t enough.

Engagement is fluid and complex. Comparing a small association community to an enterprise support community doesn’t reflect engagement accurately. But what is helpful is to compare your community to others of similar industries, sizes, and types to see how you are performing compared to organizations like yours.

That’s why we’re so excited for you to have access to this new benchmarking tool.

Keep in mind that in addition to benchmarking against “like” communities, you need to benchmark against yourself and the specific goals you’ve set for your own community. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to reach your organization’s and community members’ goals and continue to improve on those.

Resources to Help You with Your Community Engagement Strategy

Customers will have access to tips within the Engagement Benchmark Score tool for ways to increase their engagement, and here are some additional ideas:

1. Download the Engagement Trends Report, which outlines three trends in community engagement and provides strategies for community leaders on how to react to each trend in their own communities.

2. Schedule a call with us to learn more about Higher Logic’s Strategic Services. Our industry-leading team of community managers and strategists are available for coaching sessions, strategic reviews, or full-time community management of your community.

3. Visit our resource center, where we share all our eBooks, reports, customer success stories, and webinars.

4. Sign up for Super Series. We’re hosting events on an ongoing basis for anyone who wants to learn more about engagement and how to increase it.

5. If you’re a customer, visit our customer community, HUG, and start picking the brains of the many engagement masterminds within.

Want to learn more about Higher Logic’s Engagement Platform?

Set up a conversation where we can walk through your needs and our platform.

Blair Bozada

Senior Product Marketing Manager

Blair has spent nearly 10 years in the DC Tech sphere, working with and helping to grow organizations in both the startup and high-growth phases. She brings a deep understanding of B2B messaging and positioning principles, focusing primarily on articulating value and driving adoption. She enjoys exploring outside the city on hikes with her Bernese Mountain Dogs, and fueling those hikes by eating at the newest, tastiest restaurants in town. Blair is an alumna of the University of Virginia and fan of all UVA sports teams.

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