Our b2b tech community is just starting out and we're wondering what metrics should we really focus on? What are some huge ones to definitely include in our analysis and not so obvious ones? Our goals are to increase user engagement and contribution.
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It is always difficult to advise about metrics without knowing more about the type of community, the history and the goals. So take my comments at a high level. There may well be metrics that are more important than ones I mention based on your particular use case. That said, most communities will use LSI to track Posts, Completed Registrations, PageViews and Member Entrances. These will give you an overall view of activity in response to your promotion efforts. Be sure to also monitor activity on a board level, so you have an early indication as to which boards are growing well and which are not attracting attention, so you can review issues of naming and board structure. Monitor conversations across your structure, as well as at the node level to get an understanding as to what is of interest to your users. Finally, be aware of which users are beginning to get engaged and providing good answers to other users. It is early days, so you don't want to be issuing rewards of any kind. But it is never to early to notice and let users know you have noticed and appreciate their contributions by thanking them.
Don't forget to monitor referrers so you have a good sense of which of your .com pages are working well to alert people to the community. You don't indicate whether your community is open to the world. But even if it is, until your content builds up, you won't be getting much traffic from search. Instead, it will depend on all of your promotion efforts. So it is very important to track the effectiveness of those efforts, continue what is working and modify what is not working as well.
There are plenty of other interesting metrics such as Kudos, Solutions, Minutes to first response, Solution Views, as well as measures you may only get from your Web Analytics. Again, without knowing more about your goals, I can't speculate further. But the ones I have mentioned should give you a sense of the growth trends, and potential issues that need your attention.