Online forums - should we share the statistics with the participants on a regular basis?


(Vera Tiago) #1

Hi team,
In terms of engagement to you find that sharing your forum statistics could help somehow?

What kind of statistics should we share? e.g. Number of new members, new conversation, etc.


(Nick Emmett) #2

Hey @veratiago welcome and good work for making your first post :slight_smile:

My initial reaction here is, well, why not.
What would be your reasons for doing so?

If you’re thinking of doing this from a purely engagement perspective, then I think there are probably better ways of showing people that there is activity and engagement ( showing recent/trending posts and conversations; leaderboards or lists of people that have added value the most etc)

If it’s more about being transparent about wanting to show things like growth etc then I don’t see any harm in it - as long as the numbers don’t contradict what you show in my first point above.

(Robert McIntosh) #3

Hi @veratiago - and welcome! I would say that it depends on what you mean by the above

Generally speaking, people want to be associated with things that are positive and successful, so if your statistics show that clearly, then why not! As @Nick_Emmett says, it could demonstrate your openness and transparency as well, giving members a sense of ownership of the community, in which case you might generate a greater engagement.

On the negative side, it could position you (or the organisation) as overly interested in statistics and numbers and not the individual members, so it should be used carefully! This is also true, IMHO, with gamification and competition - while it motivates a certain type of member, it could also put off others who simply do not want to compete (but at the same time do not want to take part if they are going to be seen as ‘losers’ in the war for likes and shares). I know that many of my members wouldn’t mind some positive thanks for participating, but dislike being rated.

The key is to know your audience, and to involve them in a positive way, so you should share the things they will care about, and that will bring them together. That might be to thank the person who has gathered the most likes from the community (for their ‘helpfulness’, not their ‘prowess’), or to mark milestones in members joining (as a sign of how attractive the community they are building is to others, not what it means for your organisation/brand).

Hope that helps (a bit)

(Richard Millington) #4

This is an interesting question. I’d come at it from your goals and objectives.

What is the purpose of sharing the statistics? What are you trying to achieve?

(Vera Tiago) #5

Hi, and thank you all for the answers.

Well, basically I have an online community where the users generally go to ask support - it’s about technical questions and answers.

Right now, I’m trying to create new “dynamics” to stimulate engagement and participation. We have a leaderboard already but I’m thinking about having some regular communication - a monthly post for example - showing the “health” of the community.

For instance - sharing the most popular discussions can bring back some non-active users, to check what’s is going on and to participate (hopefully).

Also, sharing the avg response time could also help in motivating people to ask questions there.

Do you know any online community that it’s doing something similar?


(Laurenfaye512) #6

Hey there! I also manage an online support community.

On our homepage we show number of answers given, number of members, and number of ideas submitted. These numbers dynamically update.

The idea is to instill confidence and show folks upfront how vibrant, helpful, and active our Community is.