How Do You Measure Success?

Posted: February 2, 2010 in Social Media, Social Network, Uncategorized, Websites
Tags: , , ,

Let’s face it. Everything about marketing is different today, and it’s going to be different tomorrow based on how technology is changing. This means that the way we measure success and how we do our jobs must change as well.  In the category of jobs that were not even heard of ten years ago is the Online Community Manager.

And we met a few during our Monday night class on February 1, 2010. We welcomed online community managers from large corporations as well as small companies. The panel included Micki Krimmel, founder of; Heath Row, research manager of Google; Alex Asselin, APOC 2009, who worked for Revver community properties and; and Erika Shen, APOC 2008, who works for  Our discussion focused on the role and skills needed from a strong community manager as well as important advice on how to grow your online communities through solid community management leadership.

It seems to me that when you are an online community manager of a large organization with many users, it is difficult to find time to answer one-on-one questions, posts and negative comments on a timely basis. Many of these sites put filters in place to answer the frequently asked questions automatically. This was the case when I attempted to contact the online community manager at LinkedIn. I completed the online form, asking a question about their premium services, and when I hit submit, four answers to questions about their premium services immediately appeared on the screen. At the bottom of the screen, it stated that if these answers didn’t answer my question then I should re-submit my question and someone would get back to me.

According to our panel of speakers, putting in answers to FAQ was a good thing. They suggested that when building an online community, it is important to put detailed information about your site on it before you launch. It will save you considerable time in the long run, but more importantly it will help your visitors become more familiar with your site and build brand loyalty at the same time.

Speaking of brand loyalty, I think one of the more interesting points of the discussion centered on how a website should measure success. When I was working in television stations, the measure of success for their websites was focused on how many visitors came to the website and how many page views they generated. Now, some companies are changing their success measurement to focus on loyalty. Instead of recognizing the number of visitors who come to the sites, they are more focused on those users who come to the website every day and those who stay for an hour or more at a time. As we build our online communities, we must determine how we are going to measure success and put technologies and elements in place before launch.

Other notable highlights of our discussion included the following:

  • Companies need to define the role of their online manager. These responsibilities include but are not limited to managing all UGC, interacting with the user base, assist in new product development and upholding their social networking guidelines.
  • If the community managers are representing the website itself in a chat or in correspondence with a user, it is best to identify themselves as that representative. This will inspire trust in the site and the leadership of the community manager.
  • Companies who hire people to drive the conversation on their websites a certain way are making a big mistake. Eventually the people on the site will realize it and leave the site. Facilitators should allow the flow of conversation to happen naturally and let the community members drive the discussion where they want it to go.
  • Try to find a way to recognize and encourage first time users and responders. This will help you build brand loyalty and repeat visits from the beginning of the brand interaction.
  • Most companies have strategic marketing or management plans. As they get more and more into online communities, they will need to build a community management guide that will help them be consistent in presenting their brands in their online space.

Cool websites: check out Micki’s  websites: and

  1. clintschaff says:

    Thanks again for the great notes. Curious if you think Online Community Manager is a role best played by one individual, shared by 2-3 people or shared across an entire organization???

  2. I think there should be one Online Community Manager who oversees the brand and content showcased on the site. Then there should be x number of people (depending upon the size of the company) under this Online Community Manager who executes the site plan on a daily basis. This way, there is one person who can ensure that the brand vision is showcased properly and the company can avoid the brand issues that Erika mentioned during our class on February 1.

  3. clintschaff says:

    sounds like a plan to me!

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