There’s no business without a brand, and there’s no brand with an audience. While there are innumerable ways to gain an audience, online communities are the most credible source.
However, gaining an audience isn’t about just increasing number counts – it’s more about thoughtful engagement and genuine bonding with the loyal brand followers.
Wondering why you should invest your time and effort in online communities? Visit this page to know more about the role community chat can play in your organizational growth.
Benefits Of Online Communities
Here are some of the benefits of choosing online communities over any other platform.
Cutting Customer Support Costs
A majority of online communities offer customer support to ensure prompt responses. However, receiving an email when you urgently seek answers is certainly not a convenient option.
Instead, encourage the community individuals to have each other’s back and reply as soon as someone posts a query. The best you can do is add a FAQs section alongside to help them out with common queries.
Getting New Customers
If you are a business owner, you know the drill of getting new customers – it’s hard. But being in an online community may help you gain organic prospects and genuine feedback without spending a penny.
Effective Marketing And Selling
Your online community can only become a brand’s favourite if it effectively markets and sells a product. So, the earlier you leverage your customers, the better your chances for success.
Not only will these communities promote the product, but they will also answer the queries and offer the best solutions. To conclude, the more organic your marketing is, the better your sales will be.
Customer Data Collection
While other tools and websites charge you to provide customer data for marketing, you’ll get it free from the online communities. Most online communities come with an analytics dashboard for you to get data-backed insights and track overall growth. With added features like surveys and polls, you can avail quantitative data with a click.
Offers Brand Transparency
Your customers will not purchase from you until they know you and believe in your service/product. An online community gives you ample opportunities to engage with your audience and show your brand’s authenticity and values.
Once the consumers can directly reach out to your brand, they develop trust. The trust and relationship with the brand instill customer loyalty and ensure better customer retention. You can use community chat software to engage better with your target consumers.
Difference Between Social Media And Online Communities
Though both are virtual, there are quite some differences between social media and online communities. These differences are based on:
While the connections you make on social media depend solely on your pre-existing relationships, online community connections are based solely on your preferences and perspectives.
Most individuals join social media with the purpose of entertainment or social communication. On the other hand, individuals join online communities to grow their network and communicate thoughts and ideas.
You can connect with friends, relatives, and colleagues who would be great to chat with and hang out with on most social media platforms. But when it comes to genuine feedback or spiking up your sales, the individuals of an online community are the best resources you can use.
Why Should You Consider E-Communities Over Social Media?
There are specific reasons to consider communities over social media:
Individuals on social media are often subjected to major updates and changes that affect their experience. But in an online community, you have complete control over the changes.
More Data Exposure
Social media generates invaluable data that is hard to use. However, you can avail genuine data to help you understand your prospects better in online communities.
Though social media is upgrading its security every day, they will still have specific control over your privacy. On another note, online communities have strong security as no third parties are involved.
How To Choose Great Online Communities?
Here’s how you can make the right choice of suitable online communities.
Figure Out The Niché
Every online community operates in a specific niché. Individuals can be targeted based on the niché or the category. For example, If you are from the marketing domain, just writing the keyword in the search bar can take you to some of the best online communities in a similar domain.
Follow Your Mentors
When it’s time to make a decision, and you’re confused, following your mentors is the only getaway. See which online communities your members are following and suggesting. If they seem right for you, go ahead and join.
Check User Experience
It is important to determine whether the online community ensures a smooth user experience. Check whether the platform is easy to browse through, has a smooth interface, and is easily accessible on different devices. Otherwise, your engagement in the community will be majorly affected.
Tips To Expand Your Online Community
Here are some tips to expand your online community better:
Ensure Smooth Member Onboarding
When new members join in, consider introducing them to the community’s culture besides warm welcome messages and emails. Also, focus on introducing them to the other individuals in the group for better interactions.
Hire The Right Community Managers
Hiring the right community managers can make a major difference in member retention and experience. Choose individuals who are passionate and proactive and have excellent communication skills.
Choose Encouraging Moderators
Choosing the right community moderators is essential as they can promote integrity, offer security regarding what’s being posted, and preserve community culture.
Encourage Content Creation
No strategy can beat good content in your community – the more they are, the better. You need to figure out what type of content your community prefers the most.
From creating new content to sharing related posts shared by your members, quality content encourages better interactions and fosters bonds in the community.
Track Performance Through KPIs
Tracking your community performance based on the KPI metrics will give you a real idea about its growth. First, identify the metrics that matter to your community, for example, “Share,” “Comments,” and others based on your target audience.
It’s certainly not easy to build an online community – you need to invest effort and time in equal proportion. However, the benefits definitely outweigh the efforts, resulting in traffic influx, excellent communications and genuine feedback.
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