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The ROI of a Community Website

Posted @ 8:58 am by Adam Brill | Category: Community & Social Media, Technology, Web Development Process | 0 Comments

How do you measure the ROI of a community website?

SolutionSet offers almost every possible solution that a client could need via the web and has extensive experience building all kinds of websites: political sites, E-commerce, brochure sites, marketing sites, community sites, and so on. In my time here, I have been amazed by the level and range of skill that we offer clients. One area where we really excel is building custom community websites. SolutionSet has developed more than 40 community websites for a number of clients ranging from startups like Education.com to large corporate clients like Autodesk and eBay. The types of communities that we have developed take on a lot of forms including developer communities, corporate intranets, paid subscription communities, and communities whose business model is to sell ads.

Before addressing the ROI question, I would like to mention that to build an effective community takes a certain level of experience, expertise, and time if done right. This is why custom community projects tend to be high cost projects as well. The technical architects at SolutionSet are very strong at taking the clients’ goals/requirements, breaking down the flows and logic as to how the site will work, and then developing a technical design that will allow the community to scale. It is a true value to our clients to know that they can lean on a team that can build something that is custom to their needs. Our job is very easy when clients who understand the value of a community site approach us for projects. They see our past work and trust that we will be able to execute on their needs. Where things can become tricky is when we are dealing with a prospect who wants to build a community site but are not exactly sure why. When dealing with a prospect like this, we often face the question, “What is the ROI of a Community Website?” While many have found this question to be somewhat difficult to answer, I will give it a try.

There are both qualitative and quantitative answers that address the ROI question.

Qualitative

Quantitative

There is much to be gained from building a community website. The reason people have such a difficult time answering the ROI question is because it is not as overt as other aspects of their business. The truth of the matter is that the decisions that we make everyday are impacted in large part by community.

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