Tools for Proactive Community Building

Product
June 3, 2021
Gareth Wilson
Growth Lead
Tools for Proactive Community Building
Welcome to The Observatory, the community newsletter from Orbit.

I'm Rosie, and I'll be your guide for this mission. Each week I'll go down rabbit holes so you don't have to. I'm here to share tactics, trends and valuable resources I've observed in the world of community building.

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A fundamental part of our product focus is to enable community teams to become proactive. Why? Because most community builders only get to spend a small part of their time working with their community. A lot of time is instead spent fighting fires, reacting to the latest issues, or wrangling spreadsheets—just trying to stay on top of everything. It's frustrating for everyone involved - you want to get back to building relationships. At the same time, execs don’t have the data they need to understand the business impact that community is making.

Orbit already made it easy for you to get all your community data into one place, but beyond just showing you the data, we want to make it clear when there are opportunities to get proactive. In this post, I’ll give an overview of recent improvements we've shipped that make getting proactive achievable.

Member segments

We've introduced new behavioral segmentation tools to help you to identify community members you should focus on. By looking at key signals like love score, Orbit level, and presence, and how these are changing over time relative to each other, we can highlight important changes within your member base, like those at risk of churn or those that have recently been active. Here are some example segments you can see in Orbit today:

Drifting away

One interesting group of members is those who were once highly engaged but who are now drifting away. So we flag those who haven’t been around for a while so you can prioritize reaching out to try and bring them back into the fold.

New and promising

For the members who are new and have taken interesting first steps, we flag them too in the “New and promising” segment.

You can access these segments easily from the workspace home page. Toggle between the handful of available segments now available to see where there are opportunities for action.

Presence Indicator

A common element between interesting segments of users is their presence. Presence helps you understand how regularly a member is active in your community. This is so important that we now show this on the members page. It's shown as a bar that gives you more information when you hover over it. Presence reads like a music score: each vertical bar is a span of time (1 day, 2 days, a week, or a month, depending on the timeframe), each pitch is a channel, and notes are the unique activities. Looking at where the right-most dots are, you can see how long it’s been since the community member was last active.

Presence can be broken down by channel and group. When you filter the members table by channel and/or group, you will see the presence bar adapt to the selection. Sorting by presence orders results by the total number of days active in the timeframe. Like other fields, sorting is done by clicking the column header and toggling between descending or ascending.

Easier, more powerful filtering

There are a few more changes you’ll see when navigating around the application. The filters widget is now organized into five categories to more gracefully support all the different filters that are available to you.

Most importantly, Community and Tags are two categories with additional filtering capabilities.

Community

The Community filters make it possible to toggle in and out different types of members in the community. Importantly, you can now do a few things:

  • Easily separate new from returning members (orbit levels contain only returning members)
  • Separate lightweight members in Orbit 4 from everyone else
  • Toggle teammates in and out more quickly
  • Find members who have no activities (e.g., manually added in the UI or uploaded via CSV)

Tags

The Tags filters now supports AND/OR/NOT conditions. For example, the following filters will select all the members who are both a 'Champion' and a 'User', but who aren't part of 'Beta Program.'

Custom Dashboards

You can now create your own dashboards in Orbit, too. Custom dashboards allow you to save the figures you’ve built inside of named Dashboards for easier access, sharing, and editing. Dashboards can be either shared or personal. Shared dashboards can be viewed, edited, and deleted by other members in your Orbit workspace, while personal dashboards are only accessible and modifiable by you.

Additional Ways to Integrate with Orbit

The Integrations settings page has been updated in the Orbit app to include all the ways available to you to connect tools with Orbit. Including:

  • Using one of our Community Integrations
  • Connecting to thousands of other applications via Zapier
  • Rolling your own integrations using the Orbit API

To find these options, click Settings, then Integrations, and you'll see them along with our other integrations by clicking the Add integration button.

Our Community Integrations are built by both the Orbit Developer Relations team and our community. They do require a little technical knowledge, but we've built them to be run via a GitHub account with minimal effort and setup, and we're adding new ones all the time!

Our Zapier integration is now out of beta and, to help you get started, we've created a series of Zap templates that pull together common applications and use cases we've seen other Orbit users building. We're now an official Zapier partner too, and we have expanded the capabilities of the integration to include support for triggers, custom activity weights and identities, and the ability to add notes.

One final addition, to make working with our API more user-friendly, is the ability to regenerate your API token from the Account Settings page. This can be useful in case of credential leaks, for example, during a live streaming session. The new token is active right away, so make sure to update any script or community integration accordingly when regenerating your API token.

💁🏽 Help is at hand

We hope you like these improvements. If you need help getting started with any of them, then the Orbit team is here for you. Drop into our Discord to get answers to any questions you may have.

There's lots more to come. To stay up-to-date, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our newsletter 👇

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