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.
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.
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.
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