Khoros Community

The Great Migration: Volume 8 - None of the Analytics You Ever Wanted

I don't think any single person in this Lithium JX community is a stranger to the pain points of the original Jive Community Manager Reports. As your single native out-of-the-box solution on the original Jive-x community platform, the Community Manager Report plugin offers only an ultimately meager window into the success of your community.

 

At SolarWinds, we've been playing with and finding creative ways to show community statistics and raise internal awareness about our community's value to our leadership teams. I noticed a tremendous amount of frustration about accessible analytics this week at the Austin Lithium Customer Advisory Board meeting, so I'm here to share! I should probably add a painful disclaimer that many cloud-based communities may not have access to add the same functionality.

 

 

1. DTM

SolarWinds has built their overall web philosophy around a container-based layering. Our web properties are all housed within a parent container we manager through Adobe Dynamic Tag Management (DTM). This container allows us to add event-based and page load rules to pages. We then built some basic analytics code to capture whenever an action or page load is completed. We then have the ability to track all activity occurring within THWACK in a semi-standard Adobe Analytics dashboard.

 

Depending on who you are, this either sounds easy but isn't easy, or sounds difficult and is difficult. If there's one lesson you should be able to take away, it's that thinking outside the box can get you the data you need. Don't let the generic platform dictate your ability to defend the work you do.

 

Side note: DTM also allows us some additional page load opportunities to deploy social retargeting pixels, and some fun marketing tools like munchkin codes. This way, visitors to specific portions of our site can have Facebook and LinkedIn ads displayed to them which speak directly to some of the product pages they were peeking at on THWACK. Munchkin codes, on the other hand, auto-populate any available Marketo data.

 

2. CMP Code URL Appending

Yeah. You read that right. We love our acronyms. What this translates to, is that we add a code to our URLs when a user visits THWACK. If anything they visit is related to a specific marketing campaign, the CMP code tells us at the time of a product trial download or purchase what from THWACK triggered the purchase. Why is this important? We can attribute all business the community helps close. Hello ROI.

 

Apologies for not being able to go super in-depth. It's part of our secret sauce, but I wanted to at least tell you there are more options out there than guessing analytics.

 

Here's a reminder of how terrible the Community Manager Reports are, just in case you've been avoiding them.

 

screencapture-thwack-solarwinds-global-reports-jspa-2018-03-30-14_34_14.png

About the Author
My name is Ben Garves. I'm a Senior Product Manager at SolarWinds, overseeing the success of our THWACK online community for IT professionals. We're a 150,000-member external community, currently on the Lithium JX platform.
3 Comments
Advisor
Advisor
So are you able to get the same metrics you're tracking with the Lithium platform? Do you find that you're seeing meaningful and valuable ways to measure your ROI through the Lithium out-of-the-box analytics?
Khoros Staff MichaelP
Khoros Staff

Thank you for this additional level of insight on the current state Ben! To add to this discussion in terms of the Lithium side of things around data and analytics, I wanted to share a little bit about Lithium Bulk Data API which is an optional "event log" on every event that happens inside of a Lithium community. The documentation for this on the Lithium side can be found here:

 

https://community.lithium.com/t5/Developer-Documentation/bd-p/dev-doc-portal?section=bulkdata

 

This is in addition to the out-of-the-box (OOTB) reporting in Lithium Social Intelligence or LSI (to make sure I match Ben's use of Acronyms). It should be no surprise that the brands that have gotten the most out of the Bulk Data API are Analytics companies themselves:

 

 

The most common use case beyond extending the Lithium Analytics is bringing multiple sources of data together in a single dashboard and/or visualization. However, there is an endless amount of possibilities about how this data can be used for a better understanding of what's happening in the community.

 

As Ben points out, there are other ways to get to the data. Lithium also supports adding tags to the community pages (i.e. Adobe Tag Manager).

 

Looking forward to the next installment Ben! Franklin's is calling our name.

Lithium Alumni (Retired) Lithium Alumni (Retired)
Lithium Alumni (Retired)

@bengarves still waiting on that epic bet post... Smiley Wink