social analytics

Interview with Fast Gush

I love pontificating on my favorite topic, don’t you? Last month I got the chance to wax philosophical on the topics of online communities and social media. The folks at FastGush asked some questions. I got to answer. Here’s an excerpt:

The two most frequently asked questions: How do you measure ROI? and how do you measure engagement?

Love these topics! Conduit is about sharing information, networking, and coordination. Our currency is collaboration. We’re ultimately helping people get their work done more effectively. So this is a fuzzy thing to try and turn into a number. Right now, we’re measuring ROI by surveying users and asking to what degree they perceive Conduit as helping them in their work – i.e. “do you believe it is a valuable tool?”.

Another proxy for ROI is engagement. If people are using the tools the site offers and interacting with one another, we believe this is helping push forward the site’s collaboration goals and ultimately accelerating our energy efficiency work. So we measure engagement a couple different ways. The highest level of engagement is content contribution. We measure that by tracking, on a per-member basis, their content contributions over a certain period of time. If they’ve contributed at least once during that period, we deem them engaged. Our monthly average is around 8%. We hope to raise this to above 10% this next year.

See the full interview on the Fast Gush blog.


Determining Your Metric for Engagement

The above is your ticket to determining online engagement. Simple. Something any online marketer, community manager, or social media strategist will know, right? Looks pretty daunting to me. Does determining engagement have to be this complex?

As you may have noticed, I’ve been very focused on online community engagement. While I’ve touched quite a bit on developing strategies around increasing engagement, as well as measuring engagement, I have not yet delved into an actual formula one might use to measure it. Here we’ll take a look at some different views on the equation one might use to calculate this abstract but important metric.

And by the way, the above formula isn’t a rubric for engagement. It’s actually the fourier series, completely unrelated to engagement, at least as far as I can tell. But doesn’t it look cool?

I believe there are two methodologies to consider when looking at engagement: (more…)