What exactly is an active user?


(Tomas Kubaliak) #1

I have read about active user in a lot of your articles, but can’t find exact definition. Is it user who login regularly, or logged in in last X days? Or one who is posting regularly or just posted in last X days? Thank you


So, what are you working on?
(Bas van Leeuwen) #2

I’ve always used “has posted in the past 28 (or 30) days”


(Steve Bridger) #3

Agree with @Bas_van_Leeuwen. Posted in the last 30 days.


(Bas van Leeuwen) #4

Note: We found that it is more reliable to use a range of 28 rather than 30 days. Reason being is that you often see activity spikes on certain days, with 28 you always have 4 Mondays, 4 Tuesdays etc. in your sample. Keeps it more consistent :slight_smile:


(Alessio Fattorini) #5

How do you call who have loggedin in the past 28 days? They’re also active in a some way…


(Sarah Hawk) #6

We count engagement as ‘having posted during the period in question’.

Liking, logging in etc are arguably also engagement methods, but are not generally counted in this sense.


(Richard Millington) #7

I broadly use ‘posted in the last month’.

Like Bas says, 28 days is technically better - but in reality people just want to use months so you get up to 3 to 10% fluctuations simply because of the days in the month / number of weekends, but they tend to average out over time. So don’t freak out if it’s a small blip.

…especially in august/december.


(Kristen Gastaldo) #8

We also go with “logged in” as an active user - but I do track who has done something OTHER than just log in as well.


It's not you, it's me! What can we do about it?
(Charlotte Kubler) #9

I would say it depends a lot on your community: what is it’s audience, what is it’s level of activity, what is it’s platform, what is it’s objectives, what is your content, etc.

A lot of community platforms (like this one) have a “like” feature - can’t that be considered as an activity? Do people who use the “like” feature contribute to the value of your community, my guess is yes.

What I have done with one of my clients is weigh the value of some various engagement features and create a very simple algorithm that is calculated on a monthly basis, for example:

  • Create a topic: 5 points
  • Give a reply 1 point
  • Give a like: 0.5 points
  • Share content: 5 points
  • Logins: 0.5 points

We then decided (based on the level of activity, objectives, etc.) that any user that gets a minimum of 3 points (for example) within the month would be considered active. This algorithm also helped us identify their superusers/community leaders by not only using number of posts, but passive engagement as well.

TL;DR: Passive engagement also has value, don’t neglect it!


(Sarah Hawk) #10

I agree with you @Charlotte_Kubler (and welcome).

There are definitely varying levels of ‘engaged’ so I guess what needs to be established is what the purpose or proposed use of the statistic is in each case.


(Charlotte Kubler) #11

Thanks for the welcome @HAWK :slight_smile:

And 100% agree!


(Bas van Leeuwen) #12

I 100% agree @Charlotte_Kubler, it feels very much like the system most marketing automation platforms use as well :smile:

That said, my guess is that getting those metrics is beyond the capabilities of most community managers(’ budget) :frowning:


(Sarah Hawk) #13

Most of them are native here: https://experts.feverbee.com/users


(Bo McGuffee) #14

My approach has been to break out categories of members. Because we have had a problem with people signing up and then leaving, I mainly measure “active members” over a 3-month span. Here’s my chart for the 3-month measure:

Committed Member = 80+ posts
Engaged Member = 40-79
Involved Member = 20-39
Casual Member = 6-19
Five and Under = 1-5

My “Active Member” category includes the top 3 categories, which is all who have posted 20+ times in 3 months.

My hope is that I will be able to identify tactics that can move people up that scale.


(Alessio Fattorini) #15

Looks interesting, I’m testing it on my community :smile: but how many posts do you have in a quarter?


(Bo McGuffee) #16

Thanks for asking. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if it’s acceptable for me to share numbers, so I’m going to err on the side of caution and dodge that question. :wink:

Oh, and something else about that. Eventually, I would like to change it to “20+ times in 3 months, with at least one post in each of the 3 months.” What I’m hoping to identify is a consistent pattern of behavior, with the possibility of identifying when people break from it. With the current measure, someone could theoretically have posted 22 times 2 months ago, and they would be considered an “active member” despite the fact that they have not posted in the last 2 months. Right now, my tools don’t allow for that, though.


(Nick Emmett) #17

For reporting an Active member for us has either Posted or Commented in whatever period we’re looking at… I like Like’s, they’re an easy inroad for Lurkers to start feeling engaged, and I can see those people in our Community as they take the step.

As for the time periods part of this discussion I kind of get the whole caboodle, I get the last week, last month, last 30 days.


(JeffKRoss) #18

Posting a message or content within the past 30 days is what we’ve used for a few years now as our definition of “active.” For our internal community of 45,000 employees, that tends to hover between 12-15% of members monthly. About 50% log in monthly and many read, like, etc., but 12-15% actually post per month.

I wondering if others here would share what that percentage looks like for your community and what type of community it is. We’re a 50+ year-old health insurance company and our ESN is about 5.5 years old with 45,000 of our 50,000 employees having created accounts.


(Sarah Hawk) #19

We currently sit at 24% month on month (with active meaning at least one post).

For anyone that is interested in digging deeper into these kinds of stats, and investigating practical ways to stimulate growth and engagement, that is exactly what we’re currently studying in Growth Club.


(Alessio Fattorini) #20

I’m around 16% 515 members and 85 active (at least one post) last 30 days and 130 just logged in
with 2,1k posts (last 30 days)