What community metrics do you actually care about?

I’m trying to establish better thoughts (for myself) about community metrics that I actually care about.

Below is a screenshot from Discourse for this Rosieland Forum/Village which I generally find helpful from a ‘heartbeat’ and ‘is everything going in the right direction?’ angle.

I guess as part of community building we want to prove we are providing value and often metrics are what we turn to. However, I kinda of feel it should be metrics mixed in with valuable outcomes.

Metrics are meaningless unless there are also valuable outcomes at the end.

When I think of outcomes I mean things like: successful collaborations and co-creations, personal members growth, and people getting real help and answers.

What metrics do you actually pay attention to? And (how) do you measure any specific outcomes?


This. We should measure what we value, not value what we measure. (It’s the first rule of monitoring and evaluation)

When people ask about metrics, I recommend a combination of activity and impact in line with the agreed community strategy.

Community strategy (in brief) is obtained by answering this question: How does bringing people together solve customer/user problems and deliver organisational aims?

Community metrics will be: community health/activity, member/org needs met, tangible value to member/org, and evidence of quality/satisfaction.

These will change depending on the organisation, the type of community, and the type of community.

For the community I lead, we aim to reduce isolation, provide information and support, and help people feel heard and supported, as well as delivering a scalable and high quality service that people need and funders want to fund. Metrics enable us to prove ROI, attract funding, and demonstrate value.

Maybe I should write a blog about this…


Adding this here as it is related.

In it we say:


These days I’m thinking in the terms of outcomes. None of the engagement really matters if goals aren’t being achieved.

Platform statistics are probably more useful to the builders as a guide towards the outcomes/goals.

So maybe shift the conversation towards goals?


Agreed, and we are already communicating this idea, but somehow it seems that they really like to hold on to these vanity metrics. Probably because reactions, likes etc are more tangible then something like sense of belonging, psychological safety etc?


It’s the intangible that businesses struggle with.

I wonder what more tangible goals would look like? To help them feel more comfortable (?)


I know this is an old post but signed up (finally) to say YES! Had a discussion yesterday with one of my co-leads about that and he’s saying it’s just about the money and sales. If you don’t talk about the bottom-line nobody cares what you are doing…


Agreed - I’ve been thinking of it this way: metrics are there to help solve/prevent problems or to ensure you’re on the right track to your vision.

That’s why engagement & DAU/MAU are tricky metrics – they show activity, but is it activity that’s driving your community toward the vision? You need more insight (likely qualitative) to get that.

This is the tough part, as sometimes communities need to get creative in how they talk about impacting the bottom line. It’s definitely not easy.

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