Mapping community audience, how?

EvaS Member Posts: 18 Navigator
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Hi GGR Members,

Is there any community manager here or a CSM in charge of their community?

Which tools did you use to map your community audience? How did you discover your audience`s preferences related to the community?

I`m reading a lot about running a survey, focus groups, or community meetings. What's your experience?



  • Michelle Wideman
    Michelle Wideman Member Posts: 54 Navigator
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    I need to get my prior community managers on GGR, but in the meantime, tapping in @Heather Wendt. I can say that we asked our Customer Advisory Boards for feedback.

  • Heather Wendt
    Heather Wendt HLAdmin, Member Posts: 270 Gain Grow Retain Staff
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    edited April 2023

    Hi @EvaS,

    Great questions! GGR is my second community role, and for both, I stepped in just in time to launch onto a new platform, so the perfect time to gain insights from our members!

    For personas (mapping the audience), we have added fields into our profile set up. These allow us to ask for:

    • Company size/type
    • Industry
    • Role (IC, Executive)
    • Geographic information

    This information helps us segment our audience and gives the ability to target communication to interests and goals.

    I have found great success in using three methods to discover preferences:

    1. 1:1 calls - these are such a great way to learn what your audience is looking for. I tend to ask 4-5 questions of each person that help me understand why they joined, what keeps them here (or doesn't), what they are missing, etc. I also make sure I am talking to people from different areas (roles, engagement level, length of time with the community, etc.) so I have a wide-range of voices speaking into needs. I aim for about 2-3 per week, and have continued this even beyond the initial info gathering.
    2. Surveys - 1 or 2 times per year I send out a very short survey. Questions include things like "if this community were to disappear tomorrow, how would you feel (scale of 1-5). Great indicator of how much value you are providing. I then ask many of the same questions I would in the 1:1s, giving the space to comment if desired. This hits a much larger audience segment that I can make happen with calls.
    3. Beta testing (if launching or relaunching), volunteers, or CABs (as @Michelle Wideman mentioned)- this is a group of invested members, and can be very insightful about where gaps are and what is working. These are usually people who are engaged (or would like to be), and are willing to share the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    I would say that continuing to talk to your audience is critical. Even if you feel like you received great feedback and insights that led to changes, needs continue to morph, and being able to pivot early is priceless.