How to Gather Details about Your Online Community - dummies

How to Gather Details about Your Online Community

By Deborah Ng

Stats reveal many important details about the people who visit your online community. These details can be essential to excelling as community manager, helping you to tailor your content to those who are most likely to draw more traffic to your site.

You could find out, for example, that the majority of visitors to your blog come from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, so your blog’s content should be written for a primarily English-speaking audience. Knowing the top cities in which members reside helps you tailor content even more.


Here are some key piece of information that can help you tailor your online community to its most frequent visitors.

  • Where your members live: Your stats tell you not only the countries in which your members live, but the cities, states, and counties as well. Location is relevant because if large chunks of your members live in the same area, you can tailor content and promotions to that area.

    If most of your members come from New York City, for example, you can create discussions that are relevant to New Yorkers, such as nightlife, cuisine, or life in the boroughs.

    Don’t alienate your other members. Target locations, but make sure that you have enough content to include everyone.

  • What browsers they’re using: Web content and design don’t look the same in every browser. Sometimes, what looks good in Mozilla Firefox doesn’t look good in Google Chrome, for example. Knowing the browsers that your members use allows you to adjust your design to work well with every browser that your members are using.

    You should test content and design in the top browsers that your members use to make sure that users get an optimal experience.


  • How social-media campaigns are working out: If you’re using Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or another social-networking site to drive traffic to your community, you’ll be able to pinpoint the success of each campaign by using your analytics.

    Also, seeing which networks most of your visitors are coming from gives you an inkling of where you should be spending the most time. If most of your community members are on Facebook, for example, spend more time on Facebook.

  • Why people are joining your community: This fact is the most important one you can gather from your analytics tool. Knowing why people come to your community enables you to find the means to bring in more people and turn visitors into community members. Knowing the types of content and promotional opportunities that bring in the most people encourages you to create more of this type of content.

    If folks show up only when you offer freebies or post a controversial topic, this information is important to know; you want more than just freebie hunters, and you definitely don’t want to be controversial for controversy’s sake.