Hawk: Can you give us a brief bio and history of your community career?
Bas: I started my professional career as a project manager at a software company called Hippo. After a couple of years I became their community manager, which was my intro into this wonderful world.
Now I’m a freelance community manager and co-founder of Community-Analytics.com.
Hawk: What was the driver to launch Community-Analytics.com?
Bas: At Hippo I became frustrated at the lack of measurements that were available for Community Managers – especially for the (gasp) mailing list that I was managing. It was hard to find proper metrics. In the end I jury-rigged a Google Doc that automatically imported my mail. It was messy but it worked.
Later I spoke to an old colleague of mine and we decided we wanted to start a company. Fixing the lack of community analytics seemed like a good initial problem to tackle.
Hawk: Are you wearing pants?
Hawk: Community Managers seem to feel the need to measure everything. Is that smart?
Bas: Yes it is smart to measure everything. However, in business (and life) there must always be room for intuition and intellect.
I would approach measuring in one of three ways:
Measure the basics, if there is something peculiar, investigate further.
Ask yourself a question based on your experience, try to find data to answer that question.
- Do some exploratory analysis (using something like Tableau) and see if something sticks out.
Hawk: It’s not just about ROI, right? What do you measure?
Bas: ROI needs to be measured, yes, but measuring your ROI doesn’t help your community.
I’d try to focus on measuring those things that signal either:
- something that works great, in which case you’d try to copy it
- a pain point, in which case you should try to remedy it
- a change in behaviour, which you should try to understand
No change in behaviour should be ‘just because’, noticing/influencing these changes – the little things – are what makes a good Community Manager great.
Hawk: What would be your No. 1 tip for people that want to get a handle on their stats?
Bas: Pick one metric (visitors, posts, registrations, whatever), measure it daily, try to get a feel for what happens and try to figure out why. Once you get a feel for it, pick another one.
Hawk: And now for a question to make me feel good. What would you say is the most valuable part of FeverBee Experts?
Bas: I really value the open culture, and the way that people aren’t afraid to admit to their mistakes to the betterment of others.