Divya Haritwal

Engagement Strategies
Retention
Members Management
February 15, 2024

Divya Haritwal

February 15, 2024
Engagement Strategies
Retention
Members Management

Unveiling Engagement Metrics: Social Media Platforms vs. Community Spaces

What is the first thought you have when you hear of the term engagement metrics? Can you come up with metrics beyond “like, comment and share”? While there are tonnes of ways to assess engagement it’s important to understand why community engagement is different than social media engagement. One of the core factors here is the fact that communities are designed to have deeper interactions with the brand as well as fellow users vs social media platforms which serve more as a space to create more visibility for your brand.

In this article, we’ll explore the fundamentals of social media vs community engagement, the methods deployed therein, and the metrics that one needs to establish to gauge and redefine their community strategy. Let’s dig in!

In the digital era, where interactions and connections unfold across various platforms, understanding the dynamics of engagement becomes crucial. Metrics stand at the heart of this understanding, serving as the compass guiding content creators, marketers, and community managers through the vast digital landscape. However, not all metrics are created equal. The distinction between social media metrics and community engagement metrics is nuanced, reflecting the difference between broad reach and deep connection.

The Essence of Metrics

Metrics are the lifeblood of digital strategy, providing quantifiable data that reflects the success of online initiatives. They offer insights into user behavior, engagement levels, and the overall health of digital platforms. Whether it's tracking the number of likes on a post or the active participation within a forum, metrics enable us to measure what matters, adjust our strategies accordingly, and foster growth in meaningful directions.

Social Media Metrics vs. Community Engagement Metrics: Understanding the Divide

Social media metrics often revolve around visibility and reach—likes, shares, comments, followers, and impressions dominate the dashboard of any social media manager. These metrics, while valuable, primarily offer a surface-level view of engagement. They tell us how many people might have seen a post but not how deeply they interacted with it or the community around it.

Conversely, community engagement metrics dive into the heart of interaction within dedicated spaces. These metrics, such as active members, discussion threads, member retention rates, and the depth of interactions, paint a picture of how connected and involved the community members are. It's a shift from measuring attention to measuring intention and participation.

Comparative Analysis: A Deeper Dive

A high number of likes on a social media post (social media metric) does not necessarily equate to a high level of community engagement. A community might have fewer interactions in terms of likes or shares but may boast in-depth discussions and high-quality feedback in a forum setting (community engagement metric).

Even if the difference between social media engagement and community engagement is fundamentally clear, there can be times when the same action by a user can help understand their behavior in different ways. Let’s look at it with examples of some behaviors and associated actions taken with it.

Views vs. Active Participation

Views are a hallmark of social media metrics, indicating the potential reach of content. For instance, a YouTube video might garner millions of views, signaling widespread interest. However, views offer limited insight into how viewers engage with the content on a deeper level.

On the other hand, Active Participation, a key community engagement metric, sheds light on the quality of interaction within a community. A thread on Reddit or a niche online forum with hundreds of responses and ongoing discussions reflects a level of engagement that views alone cannot capture. It signifies an active, involved community where members are not just consumers but contributors.

If we were to look at views in a community space, it would provide a completely different insight. When you are building a closed community, the number of views on a certain post can give insight into the consumption habits of passive community members. This insight can then be utilized in revising the content-sharing strategy over a community to encourage lurkers to become active members of the community.

Likes vs. Quality Contributions

On social media, likes are a quick measure of content's initial appeal. A post with thousands of likes on Instagram suggests it resonated on some level with a broad audience. However, likes are a passive form of engagement.

Quality Contributions within communities, such as insightful forum posts or valuable responses in a Slack group, represent a more significant investment of time and thought from members. These contributions foster a sense of belonging and collective intelligence that surpasses the superficial engagement of likes.

Followers vs. Active Members

Followers on social media platforms are often seen as a metric of popularity. Yet, a large follower count does not necessarily translate into a highly engaged audience. Many followers might passively consume content without actively engaging with it.

In contrast, Active Members in a community setting indicate the number of individuals who regularly participate, contribute, and engage with others. This metric is a truer measure of a community's vibrancy and engagement levels.

Impressions vs. Member Retention

Impressions measure how often content is displayed, a common metric on social media that indicates visibility. However, high impressions do not guarantee meaningful engagement or that the content made an impact on the audience.

Member Retention rates in community spaces tell a story of sustained engagement and value. High retention rates suggest that members find ongoing value in the community, reflecting its success in fostering a supportive and engaging environment.

Establishing and Utilizing Community Engagement Metrics

To establish effective community engagement metrics, one can draw learnings from social media platforms. For instance, the engagement rate (likes, comments, shares divided by the number of followers or impressions) on social media can inspire similar metrics in community settings, such as the ratio of active members to total members or the number of contributions per member.

When considering different community formats, the metrics may vary. For forums, key metrics could include the number of new threads, posts per thread, and active users. In chat-based communities like Slack or Discord, metrics might focus on daily active users, messages sent, and engagement in specific channels. Feed-based communities, similar to social media platforms, might measure engagement through likes, comments, and shares on posts.

Read More: Community Engagement: Essential Metrics to Track and Analyze

Drawing lessons from social media platforms, community managers can develop nuanced engagement metrics tailored to their unique environments. For example, adapting the engagement rate concept from social media to measure active engagement within a community can provide deeper insights into member involvement.

Tailoring Metrics to Community Formats

Different community formats necessitate different engagement metrics:

Forums might prioritize new threads, posts per thread, and active users to gauge the vibrancy of discussion and exchange of ideas.

Chat-based communities such as Slack or Discord could measure daily active users, messages sent, and specific channel engagement to understand real-time interaction and collaboration.

Feed-based communities may look at likes, comments, and shares within a more focused and engaged audience, similar to social media but with an emphasis on community cohesion and interaction.

Want to build chat or feed-based communities in your app to boost engagement and retention? Define customizations in less than 7 days and deploy the integration in just 15 minutes!

Platform-Specific Metrics

Tailoring metrics to specific platforms can further refine understanding and strategy:

Slack communities might focus on metrics around direct message engagement and mentions, reflecting closer, more direct forms of communication.

Discord, with its emphasis on gaming and hobbyist communities, could prioritize voice channel participation and event attendance as key engagement metrics.

Conclusion: The Art of Measuring What Matters

In the quest to foster meaningful digital interactions, distinguishing between social media metrics and community engagement metrics is crucial. While both sets of metrics offer valuable insights, understanding their nuances enables social media managers to communicate more efficiently and community managers to cultivate deeper connections and more vibrant communities.

Understanding and measuring community engagement metrics is vital for nurturing a vibrant, interactive, and growing community. While drawing parallels from social media metrics can provide a foundation, it's important to recognize and adapt to the distinct nature of each community platform. By thoughtfully establishing and analyzing these metrics, organizations can create more meaningful interactions, foster loyalty, and ultimately achieve their strategic goals. As we continue to evolve digitally, the ability to engage and measure this engagement becomes increasingly critical in connecting with our audiences in impactful ways.

About LikeMinds

Done with experimenting and testing your community-building efforts? If you are ready to scale and bring the community within your app, instead of relying on 3rd party platforms, we are here to help you integrate community features in your app in just 15 minutes!!

LikeMinds elevates businesses in unlocking the true potential of their users through their in-app community and social network. Using LikeMinds, businesses achieve higher conversion and retention, by building custom community experiences in their existing platform unlocking community-led growth.

With LikeMinds, businesses get an easy-to-implement and highly scalable infrastructure with a fully customizable UI. All of this with a customization time of 3 days and a deployment time of 15 minutes.

Our Chat and Feed infra have pre-built widgets such as image carousels, PDF slides, short videos, polls, quizzes, events, forms, and more for user engagement and retention along with moderation capabilities to ensure frictionless community operations.

Supercharge your retention with in-app social features

Deploy customised features on top of chat and feed in 15 minutes using LikeMinds SDK.

Let's start!

Share now

Supercharge your retention with in-app social features

Deploy customised features on top of chat and feed in 15 minutes using LikeMinds SDK.

Let's start!

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Engagement Strategies

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Unveiling Engagement Metrics: Social Media Platforms vs. Community Spaces

Divya Haritwal
/
February 15, 2024
/

What is the first thought you have when you hear of the term engagement metrics? Can you come up with metrics beyond “like, comment and share”? While there are tonnes of ways to assess engagement it’s important to understand why community engagement is different than social media engagement. One of the core factors here is the fact that communities are designed to have deeper interactions with the brand as well as fellow users vs social media platforms which serve more as a space to create more visibility for your brand.

In this article, we’ll explore the fundamentals of social media vs community engagement, the methods deployed therein, and the metrics that one needs to establish to gauge and redefine their community strategy. Let’s dig in!

In the digital era, where interactions and connections unfold across various platforms, understanding the dynamics of engagement becomes crucial. Metrics stand at the heart of this understanding, serving as the compass guiding content creators, marketers, and community managers through the vast digital landscape. However, not all metrics are created equal. The distinction between social media metrics and community engagement metrics is nuanced, reflecting the difference between broad reach and deep connection.

The Essence of Metrics

Metrics are the lifeblood of digital strategy, providing quantifiable data that reflects the success of online initiatives. They offer insights into user behavior, engagement levels, and the overall health of digital platforms. Whether it's tracking the number of likes on a post or the active participation within a forum, metrics enable us to measure what matters, adjust our strategies accordingly, and foster growth in meaningful directions.

Social Media Metrics vs. Community Engagement Metrics: Understanding the Divide

Social media metrics often revolve around visibility and reach—likes, shares, comments, followers, and impressions dominate the dashboard of any social media manager. These metrics, while valuable, primarily offer a surface-level view of engagement. They tell us how many people might have seen a post but not how deeply they interacted with it or the community around it.

Conversely, community engagement metrics dive into the heart of interaction within dedicated spaces. These metrics, such as active members, discussion threads, member retention rates, and the depth of interactions, paint a picture of how connected and involved the community members are. It's a shift from measuring attention to measuring intention and participation.

Comparative Analysis: A Deeper Dive

A high number of likes on a social media post (social media metric) does not necessarily equate to a high level of community engagement. A community might have fewer interactions in terms of likes or shares but may boast in-depth discussions and high-quality feedback in a forum setting (community engagement metric).

Even if the difference between social media engagement and community engagement is fundamentally clear, there can be times when the same action by a user can help understand their behavior in different ways. Let’s look at it with examples of some behaviors and associated actions taken with it.

Views vs. Active Participation

Views are a hallmark of social media metrics, indicating the potential reach of content. For instance, a YouTube video might garner millions of views, signaling widespread interest. However, views offer limited insight into how viewers engage with the content on a deeper level.

On the other hand, Active Participation, a key community engagement metric, sheds light on the quality of interaction within a community. A thread on Reddit or a niche online forum with hundreds of responses and ongoing discussions reflects a level of engagement that views alone cannot capture. It signifies an active, involved community where members are not just consumers but contributors.

If we were to look at views in a community space, it would provide a completely different insight. When you are building a closed community, the number of views on a certain post can give insight into the consumption habits of passive community members. This insight can then be utilized in revising the content-sharing strategy over a community to encourage lurkers to become active members of the community.

Likes vs. Quality Contributions

On social media, likes are a quick measure of content's initial appeal. A post with thousands of likes on Instagram suggests it resonated on some level with a broad audience. However, likes are a passive form of engagement.

Quality Contributions within communities, such as insightful forum posts or valuable responses in a Slack group, represent a more significant investment of time and thought from members. These contributions foster a sense of belonging and collective intelligence that surpasses the superficial engagement of likes.

Followers vs. Active Members

Followers on social media platforms are often seen as a metric of popularity. Yet, a large follower count does not necessarily translate into a highly engaged audience. Many followers might passively consume content without actively engaging with it.

In contrast, Active Members in a community setting indicate the number of individuals who regularly participate, contribute, and engage with others. This metric is a truer measure of a community's vibrancy and engagement levels.

Impressions vs. Member Retention

Impressions measure how often content is displayed, a common metric on social media that indicates visibility. However, high impressions do not guarantee meaningful engagement or that the content made an impact on the audience.

Member Retention rates in community spaces tell a story of sustained engagement and value. High retention rates suggest that members find ongoing value in the community, reflecting its success in fostering a supportive and engaging environment.

Establishing and Utilizing Community Engagement Metrics

To establish effective community engagement metrics, one can draw learnings from social media platforms. For instance, the engagement rate (likes, comments, shares divided by the number of followers or impressions) on social media can inspire similar metrics in community settings, such as the ratio of active members to total members or the number of contributions per member.

When considering different community formats, the metrics may vary. For forums, key metrics could include the number of new threads, posts per thread, and active users. In chat-based communities like Slack or Discord, metrics might focus on daily active users, messages sent, and engagement in specific channels. Feed-based communities, similar to social media platforms, might measure engagement through likes, comments, and shares on posts.

Read More: Community Engagement: Essential Metrics to Track and Analyze

Drawing lessons from social media platforms, community managers can develop nuanced engagement metrics tailored to their unique environments. For example, adapting the engagement rate concept from social media to measure active engagement within a community can provide deeper insights into member involvement.

Tailoring Metrics to Community Formats

Different community formats necessitate different engagement metrics:

Forums might prioritize new threads, posts per thread, and active users to gauge the vibrancy of discussion and exchange of ideas.

Chat-based communities such as Slack or Discord could measure daily active users, messages sent, and specific channel engagement to understand real-time interaction and collaboration.

Feed-based communities may look at likes, comments, and shares within a more focused and engaged audience, similar to social media but with an emphasis on community cohesion and interaction.

Want to build chat or feed-based communities in your app to boost engagement and retention? Define customizations in less than 7 days and deploy the integration in just 15 minutes!

Platform-Specific Metrics

Tailoring metrics to specific platforms can further refine understanding and strategy:

Slack communities might focus on metrics around direct message engagement and mentions, reflecting closer, more direct forms of communication.

Discord, with its emphasis on gaming and hobbyist communities, could prioritize voice channel participation and event attendance as key engagement metrics.

Conclusion: The Art of Measuring What Matters

In the quest to foster meaningful digital interactions, distinguishing between social media metrics and community engagement metrics is crucial. While both sets of metrics offer valuable insights, understanding their nuances enables social media managers to communicate more efficiently and community managers to cultivate deeper connections and more vibrant communities.

Understanding and measuring community engagement metrics is vital for nurturing a vibrant, interactive, and growing community. While drawing parallels from social media metrics can provide a foundation, it's important to recognize and adapt to the distinct nature of each community platform. By thoughtfully establishing and analyzing these metrics, organizations can create more meaningful interactions, foster loyalty, and ultimately achieve their strategic goals. As we continue to evolve digitally, the ability to engage and measure this engagement becomes increasingly critical in connecting with our audiences in impactful ways.

About LikeMinds

Done with experimenting and testing your community-building efforts? If you are ready to scale and bring the community within your app, instead of relying on 3rd party platforms, we are here to help you integrate community features in your app in just 15 minutes!!

LikeMinds elevates businesses in unlocking the true potential of their users through their in-app community and social network. Using LikeMinds, businesses achieve higher conversion and retention, by building custom community experiences in their existing platform unlocking community-led growth.

With LikeMinds, businesses get an easy-to-implement and highly scalable infrastructure with a fully customizable UI. All of this with a customization time of 3 days and a deployment time of 15 minutes.

Our Chat and Feed infra have pre-built widgets such as image carousels, PDF slides, short videos, polls, quizzes, events, forms, and more for user engagement and retention along with moderation capabilities to ensure frictionless community operations.

Supercharge your retention with in-app social features

Deploy customised features on top of chat and feed in 15 minutes using LikeMinds SDK.

Let's start!