I didn't have any publicly stated goals or targets for our external community launch, but I did have some things in my mind. I'll admit this does suffer from some hindsight bias, but I'll give it ago anyways.
My logic was based on:
- Our external community is accessed from a top nav menu item from our Customer Portal (login required to our portal and SSO connection to our Community)
- Our users/customers don't spend a lot of extra time online and don't 'surf' our Customer Portal -- very tactically focused.
- I used some of the Community metrics I had seen from other presentations about % of members that are active, participants, creators to inform my expectations (2-5% creators/contributors, 5-10% promoters/participants)
- I felt like attracting 10% of our target customers (target = # of users that had the opportunity to visit Community based on our rollout approach) within the first 6-8 weeks would be a Success
- Once they visited our Community and accepted the T&C, they are considered 'members'. If we were within the range of 2-5% contributors and 5-10% participants, I would view it as another layer of Success
Our result was that we attracted 18% of our target customers as Community members within 7 weeks (this period covered the end of year holiday period as well) for our first wave of rollout. The engagement metrics also fell within the high side my 'hoped for' range.
The other element of 'success' was harder to measure but we've been watching it: the tone/nature of the discussions taking place. Was it Ask/Answer help questions (positive/negative tone) or was it general peer-to-peer discussions?