Understanding how your Switchboard is progressing is incredibly important.  While having anecdotal and qualitative data provide a means of understanding how your Switchboard is doing, clear benchmarks allow you deeply understand the state of your Switchboard and next steps to pursue to further foster it.  Knowing what success looks like objectively on Switchboard lights paths that will support you in building more momentum or prioritizing actions that will help.  With the experience you bring to the table in supporting your community, knowing what success looks like and where your Switchboard stands will get your wheels spinning on where to go from there to push your Switchboard to the next level.

In this lesson, you’ll learn what obvious and subtle success benchmarks on Switchboard are, the specific benchmarks for various points in a Switchboard’s life, and ways to move your Switchboard towards those benchmarks if your Switchboard is off course.

What are obvious success benchmarks?

  1. Steady adoption of new users
  2. Consistent/steady posting
  3. Consistent/steady commenting on posts
  4. High response percentage
  5. High participation percentage
  6. Number of engaged users

What are more subtle success benchmarks?

  1. Switchboard has an array of posts
  2. 1:1 ratio of asks/offers
  3. Intergenerational interactions
  4. Healthy ratios between affiliations
  5. Newly adopted user participation in their first month
  6. Steady activity behind the scenes (e.g. messaging, clicking on links in posts)
  7. Number of active users
  8. Steady stakeholder engagement/involvement

What are the benchmarks for Switchboards at any given time?

1-3 months

  1. Response Rate = 100%
  2. New posts every week
  3. Meeting adoption goals set with Tim
  4. Posts cover gamut of content that is of interest to community
  5. 1:1 ratio of asks/offers
  6. Stakeholders engaging with adoption and posting
  7. Alumni most numerous affiliation (depending on intended community for Switchboard)
  8. Daily interactions average = ~1

3-6 months

  1. 30 posts per month
  2. Response Rate = 100%
  3. New posts every week
  4. Daily interactions average = 1-3
  5. 1:1 ratio of ask/offers
  6. Participation Rate percentage = 65%+
  7. Engaged users = 10%+ of total Switchboard population
  8. Continued engagement with adoption and posting from stakeholders
  9. 50% of new users interact in their first month

6-12 months

  1. 30 posts per month
  2. Response Rate = 80%
  3. New posts every week
  4. Meeting adoption goals outlined in Onboarding Guide adoption calendar every month
  5. Daily interactions average = 3-5
  6. 1:1 ratio of ask/offers
  7. Participation Rate percentage = 65%+
  8. Engaged users = 10%+ of total Switchboard population
  9. Continued engagement with adoption and posting from stakeholders
  10. 30% of new users interact in their first month
  11. At least 2 community-wide communications about Switchboard
  12. Ratio of alumni to students approximately 3:1

1-2 years 

  1. At least 30 posts per month
  2. Response Rate = 80%
  3. 5+ new posts every week
  4. Daily interactions average = 5+
  5. 1:1 ratio of ask/offers
  6. Participation Rate percentage = 65%+
  7. Engaged users = 10%+ of total Switchboard population
  8. Continued engagement with adoption and posting from stakeholders
  9. 30% of new users interact in their first month
  10. At least 2 community-wide communications about Switchboard
  11. Ratio of alumni to students approximately 3:1

2+ years

  1. At least 30 posts per month
  2. Response Rate = 80%
  3. 5+ new posts every week
  4. Daily interactions average = 5+
  5. 1:1 ratio of ask/offers
  6. Participation Rate percentage = 65%+
  7. Engaged users = 10%+ of total Switchboard population
  8. Continued engagement with adoption and posting from stakeholders
  9. 30% of new users interact in their first month
  10. At least 2 community-wide communications about Switchboard
  11. Ratio of alumni to students approximately 3:1

How to get to success benchmarks if your Switchboard isn’t there

One of the great benefits of Switchboard is that there are always opportunities to generate momentum, regardless of the age of the Switchboard.  So, if you’re not meeting certain benchmarks on your Switchboard, there are solutions that help bring Switchboards closer to success benchmarks.  These solutions fall into essentially two buckets:

  1. Stewadship
  2. Communicating frequently with community

After you seed your Switchboard and have enough content for the community to understand the purpose and value of your Switchboard, the community needs to hear about your Switchboard and how it can impact their lives frequently.  If they don’t know about it, they won’t come to use it.  But it’s not enough to just bring them to the Switchboard.  Once they come, because you’ve been communicating with them frequently, they must be supported.  This means providing breadcrumbs in all asks, thanking all offers, and nudging new users who haven’t participated to do so.  Because when people feel heard and that their time wasn’t wasted, they’ll return to continue using the Switchboard for future interests and needs.

So, if you’re short on the benchmarks below, take time to steward posts and facilitate connections and next steps that’ll be useful to users.

  1. Response rate
  2. Daily interactions
  3. Participation rate
  4. Engaged users

If you’re short on these benchmarks below, build out a more thorough communications plan so you communicate about the Switchboard more frequently with your community.

  1. 5+ new posts weekly
  2. Participation rate
  3. Stakeholder engagement
  4. 2 community-wide announcements
  5. Ratio of users
  6. Ask/Offer ratio

Action Items

  1. Determine how many benchmarks you’re meeting for the benchmarks for the age of your Switchboard.
  2. Create next steps to remedy any benchmarks that you’re not meeting and input those next steps into the Goals section of Insights
Did this answer your question?