Setting annual engagement goals and knowing how to track and measure your performance over time, is a crucial practice for all organizations undertaking online engagement activities.
In this article, we look at some useful ways to set engagement goals and track your online engagement activities over time.
Aware, Informed, and Engaged
One of EngagementHQ's underlying set of metrics revolves around the amount of aware, informed and engaged visitors who visit your site and projects.
Using these measurements is one of the simplest ways to set goals, benchmark, and look at your performance over time.
Using the visitors summary information in the Reporting > Project Reports section of your site is the best place to get your Aware, Informed, and Engaged numbers.
Select All Projects and choose a Custom date range for your query. The best way to measure performance over time is to run an individual query for each year since you started engaging online with EngagementHQ. You could also do this for calendar years or against financial year cycles if you prefer.
For each query, take down the aware, informed, and engaged numbers and put them into a spreadsheet. You should set up your spreadsheet with four columns. One for each aware informed and engaged and a fourth for the year for which you are recording information.
Use a spreadsheet program to generate a graph of your aware, informed and engaged numbers over time.
You might also consider mapping the number of consultations against this graph to help you tell a deeper story or even take an average of your past performance to help you set a benchmark for your coming years activities.
When using aware, informed and engaged to help you set goals you should always reflect on past numbers to better understand the impacts of different events and consultations on your metrics.
Any forward looking goals should also take into account the range of projects and issues you know are coming in the year ahead and their likely impact on your overall engagement.
Make a note of the initiatives you will undertake to help you achieve these goals.
They may include;
Greater focus on promotion and registration campaigns
Improvements in project management and project planning
Using different engagement tools and approaches to collecting feedback
Developing your community database is an important aspect of your online engagement activities.
In much the same manner as above, you should try and look at your registrations over time and set some goals for your upcoming calendar cycle.
To generate a graph of your registrations over time;
Visit the Analytics > Reports section and run an All Projects, All Time query from the Insights Summary Screen.
Use the filters below the graph to toggle off all variables except the New Registrations option.
This will show you a graph of your registrations over time and allow you to set some benchmarks for registrations for the upcoming calendar year.
Remember, new registrations to your site are an important part of building your community database but they will ultimately be a result of how well you promote your site, the number of projects and issues available for comment as well as your community overall interest.
You should look to keep your database growing year on year as part of best practice online engagement.
Use Google Analytics for Demographics
If you have Google Analytics tracking setup on your EngagementHQ site you will have access to a good range of data about users and their behaviour on your site.
This information can be used for key measures such as;
The Gender and Age profile of visitors to your site
Which devices your community are using to look at your consultations
How long they are spending on your site absorbing consultation information
Retention and repeat visit metrics
If you need to set up Google Analytics, please read through our help resource on Add traffic tracking to your EHQ site.
Having this data helps you better understand who is engaging with you and also the ability to identify the gaps in your community participation.
You will also be better able to change behaviours about publishing on your site such as writing engaging copy and you can also make some inferences about how well your rolling communications has worked in retaining your communities attention.
Use this data to help you set some targets for the year ahead and monitor your progress with each consultation.
Community Satisfaction and Evaluation Survey
Finally, one of the best methods for annual online engagement goal setting is to conduct a community satisfaction and evaluation survey of everyone in your community database.
This survey will seek to provide some foundational benchmarks for your future year planning.
An annual satisfaction survey should be designed to ask the same questions over time, to allow you to track the progress of your key areas.
When establishing an annual evaluation survey you might consider asking questions around the following key areas;
Ease of involvement
Range of consultations
Trust and transparency
Communication, responsiveness, modes, and closing the loop
Understanding perceived impact of involvement in consultations
Perceptions of value
These are just a few areas that will give you some good metrics for annual benchmarking.
They should help you to identify areas you need to improve on and allow you to focus your annual engagement planning and goal setting on those areas.
Using some or all of these metrics to help you set some goals for your community engagement activities will ensure that you hold yourself accountable and strive to continually improve your online community engagement practice.
If you need any assistance with goal setting and understanding metrics, get in touch with us via chat or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.