Does anyone have recommendations, articles or resources that could help me create a survey that gauges member engagement and future engagement possibilities?
I’m sure there are plenty. Just for some context.
What’s the goal of the survey? What are you trying to find out? How will you use that information?
Thanks for commenting Richard. The overall goal is to figure out what features or enhancements would be the most valuable to our users. We hope to be able to rank the features or enhancements in order of importance to create a plan for 2016. We’d also like to capture what elements within the Community are deterring people from returning. After reviewing the Communities analytics we found that our return rate is really low.
Not sure if this is what you are looking for, but we do a benchmarking report which can be downloaded here: http://resources.higherlogic.com/2015-community-benchmarking-report?utm_campaign=2015+Community+Benchmark+Report&utm_source=website&utm_medium=banner
It has a ton of metrics. I’ll dig further as I may also have a list of questions our community managers ask their members.
Hope this helps, Mark
Ok, I’m going to try and boil down what you’re saying here. Tell me if I’ve gotten it wrong.
1) You want to find out what features / enhancements are most valuable to your users? How do you define value? (Is it what they visit, what they use, what they need, what they want?)
If it’s what they use/visit, your google analytics can you tell this information. What people say they want on the feature side is usually very different from what they actually use. Your analytics will give you better data than your survey can here.
2) You want to rank the features / enhancements in order of importance to create a plan for 2016 (is this in terms of what you will remove / what you will develop?)
I’d build a list today of the top and bottom 5 most and least used/visited features/areas of the community. I’d then decide to either remove or spend no further time on the bottom segment and then invest far more time in the areas where people do visit.
If you want to build new features, I’d look to see what people were already doing and seeing if you can build a feature for it. Are they sharing short messages? Are they sharing detailed reports? Are they sharing cat pictures? You can develop unique features based on what people are already doing. No surveys needed here.
3) You want to find out why people are not returning to the community.
Now this is a great one The problem your survey will likely only be answered by regular community members, which is a bit of a problem. If you do a survey/interview of the non-returness, they’ll likely tell you one of 2 things 1) not enough time 2) not enough value.
This is usually because you haven’t quite nailed the concept most valuable to them and aren’t making the activities interesting enough within the site. So we use this survey to get that data. Then we begin designing more discussions, content, activities, and the concept around the answers.
Thanks Mark! I actually downloaded the benchmark report last week It made me realize that we don’t have enough information on our forums activity. Apparently it was something discussed during development but was never delivered so I’m suppose to be getting a custom report from the vendor shortly. Got to love starting your job in the middle of a project lol. The report will help me identify forum popularity, contribution levels and help me determine our potential advocates which is all exciting information that we definitely need.
I define value as a positive experience with our company, products, and customers where the member receives information, interaction or objects which will help them in their daily routine. I was able to rank the pages based on views in Google Analytics to see what people are doing most in the Community (forums; as expected).
I’m slowly getting there! I was able to put together an impact map after speaking with your founding members so I have a pretty good idea of impact in relationship to effort. We aren’t looking to remove anything (it’s pretty basic right now) and definitely make enhancements.
That makes sense. I have a pretty good idea of what the members are looking for because I use to be in the field and essentially on the other end. Finding out first hand definitely wouldn’t hurt.
Here are some slides from Stephanie Beadell’s Sprint talk about surveys.
I also wonder if @Lucas might have something to add to this conversation. He has lots of experience with researching and analysing survey data.
Lucas, do you have any tips or tricks for getting the most from surveys?
The topic of exploratory surveys has been covered well by Richard and Mark. I can relate some of the observations we made regarding engagement for our online panels, since we also observed members that joined and simply didn’t come back to participate.
If the bulk of your activities are carried by a small core of members then any analysis of engagement strategies needs to separate the core from the rest.
Habit is a stronger driving force behind the core of the community than say new features or functionalities. Beware of disruptions you may cause to those habits in the effort to increase the community base.
The content of your communications is elbowing for attention with so many other signals that it is wise to take with a pinch of salt any perceived causality between say a new campaign and a spike in response/engagement.
Try to balance your metrics between creating a “habitual” member base and being able to spike the response of the entire community on a particular occasion e.g. a big project. This really depends on what you hope to build the community for.