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How Do You Evaluate Community People?

By Sanya Weathers

One of the biggest items of value we provide to clients is increased retention. It is difficult to prove retention, of course. You can’t exactly travel back in time and compare the number of customers you have if you hire Person X versus Person Y (or no person at all).

If you’re wondering how to evaluate your community specialist, or even how to choose between potential candidates for the role, here are three ideas:

–    The 60/40 split in social media. Your Facebook and Twitter feeds shouldn’t be one way streets. Your community manager should be interacting with players, guild leaders, fan media, web media, and other parts of your… community. Social media is about relationships, and your community manager is responsible for fostering those bonds. At the same time, your feeds should be fun and informative, creating incentive for people to follow along without excluding newcomers. I like a 60/40 split, with 60% of the posts being about the product, and 40% being about the interaction.

Is your community manager a mindless parrot, or a living part of the community?

–    Turnaround time. The people reaching out to your community manager for assistance are highly motivated and often well-connected. Impressing them with good service makes a difference in how they will perceive and talk about the product.

Is your community manager turning around that correspondence in one business day?

–    Upward trends during the growth phase. The first two months a CM is on the job, he should be doing more listening than talking. But after that, he should be getting the word out, and making positive contributions to the community. The reactions to his contributions can be measured: Number of followers, average number of comments to blog posts, number of forum members, number of beta sign ups, number of fan sites, number of non-negative pings on the Google Alert he set up for your product.

Are the numbers climbing or stagnating?

This isn’t to suggest that your community manager should be imprisoned by quotas or micromanaged via spreadsheet. But when you go to the doctor for a checkup, the nurse will take your temperature, measure your blood pressure, and make you get onto the scale wearing your jeans and your shoes which is totally not fair. Just as these vital statistics give you a quick snapshot of health, so too will watching certain numbers give you a good starting point to judge what your CM is accomplishing.

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