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Beyond Return on Engagement: Understand Your Community ROI in Dollars & Cents

by | Jan 16, 2014 | Industry News & Trends

Guest blogger: Ben Martin, CAE, Chief Engagement Officer, Online Community Results

Every community and social media manager should be prepared for the day when the powers that be — whether it’s your boss, the CEO, or the board — call in to question the ROI of your online engagement efforts. This may even mean the ROI of your continued employment at your organization. If asked what’s the ROI of our online community, how would you respond?

Some might answer, “What’s the ROI of your mother?” That’s a good way to expedite your forced exit from the building.

Others might reply, “An engaged member is more likely to renew, so if we engage our members online, our retention should improve.” That may be true, but can you prove that the members engaged in online community renew at a higher rate than those who don’t?

Well, actually, you can, provided that your online community is tightly integrated with your AMS database. When you can run a query to show that members who engage in your online community are 10% more likely to renew than those who don’t engage, and you’re one step closer to answering the ROI question.

Of course, this isn’t the only way to demonstrate ROI. You’ve got banner advertising, sponsorships, etc. Start stacking these up, and you’ll be in perfect condition to answer the ROI question.

Want more?

Want to learn more about how an integrated community can benefit your organization? View my recorded webinar that I participated in with, The Strategic Value of an Integrated Online Community.

About our guest blogger, Ben Martin, CAE

Ben Martin, CAE, has been helping organizations use online communities and social technologies to accomplish business goals for nearly 10 years. He has trained and consulted with hundreds of organizations such as SAE International, American Industrial Hygiene Association, and American Association for Clinical Chemistry. He worked as a Product Manager for an online community software vendor and Social CRM Consultant from 2010-2013. Before starting Online Community Results, he was a well-known, award-winning executive at the 40,000-member Virginia Association of Realtors.


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