An online community, also referred to as an internet or web community, has members who use the internet as a primary source to connect. This group has people sharing mutual interests and discussing what excites them with those who pass the vibe check.
In the last three months, around 24% of social media users have participated actively in online communities.
After a survey of 1000+ social media users, when asked why they joined online communities, the main reasons were to connect with people of the same interests, for fun, and to be updated on the topic they are interested in.
Gen Z tops the list of people who interact and actively participate in online communities.
The members of these communities act as an information system where they may post, give advice, comment, debate, and collaborate.
Insights for the marketers
Consumers can join user-built communities and those built by brands or businesses. In user-built communities, the user forms a group focusing on interest, such as a subreddit or Reddit board, whereas Facebook groups or Discord are built by brands/businesses.
Businesses can have only one type of community, still can take advantage of both. These communities help to understand your audience, their requirements and their perspective regarding your business.
For instance, you may use social listening to know what your consumers have to say about your newly launched product. You may also create interesting polls and make consumers answer the questions you want. You may also analyse your consumer’s loyalty.
Why integrate business data with online communities
Through online communities, your customers actively participate and play a key role in decision-making process. These days customer participation is not just limited to writing feedback and reviews. Now the customers want to feel individually involved with the brands they shop from and value their opinion and demands.
Having a lot of tech systems or tools to streamline business processes will be of no benefit if you are unable to communicate.
Thus, integration of data into your community makes communication of systems possible and eases the production of relevant and helpful data. With data interaction, brands get an in-depth view of their consumers.
Even the support staff can easily figure out the issues that the users are unable to resolve, and then they can assist them. This helps retain loyal customers and increases the opportunities to repeat business. If you desire having a high conversion rate through online communities, then integrating business data with the communities is essential.
Advantages of online community
One of the most common areas where people get confused about the online community industry is to differentiate between large social media networks and branded online communities.
An average user may spend time on public or personal social media networks, the ones who are a part of online communities invest their time with a productive mindset. These users utilise the opportunity of engaging with a specific community to render their personal or professional development.
While being involved in a community, users expect assurance of their privacy, a chance to ask questions, and a feeling that they belong and matter to the community.
Thus, creating an online community platform helps you have:
- Efficient security
Vendors of the community prioritise privacy- it is their responsibility. On platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn, you can protect your data and member’s privacy to a limited area but same is not the case in online community platforms.
- Effective control
Here you have more control on your community whereas if creating a community on any open source solution, one has to accept willingly or unwillingly each and every modification they make.
- Reliable data
Online community platforms helps you get your hands on relevant and reliable data which helps you build an in-depth understanding of your users. This enables you to improve your consumer’s experiences. On the contrary, social media platforms collect invaluale data at times which your customers inevitably generate, you do not.
And it’s a wrap for today!
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