If you’ve spent any time online, as a consumer or entrepreneur, you are probably already convinced. The power of an online community reaches far.
Let’s take a closer look at how they help benefit organizations and create growth for all types of businesses. Let’s quickly delve into just a few examples of the types of online communities that can benefit and even help grow your business or organization!
Example 1: Employee community
The Global Age has been upon us for some time already and with it comes the constant connection to the entire world via the various contemporary modes of communication. And, everyone is connected, your employees and team included!
Smartphones, social media, and apps have affected the way employees conduct their daily activities. They are increasingly turning to social media to fetch info, search for answers, and generally complete their tasks more effectively. To make the most of this trend, you have to embrace and utilize the digitality of modern businesses. You need to engage such communities at scale and provide them with a unified structure or platform. Here social, mobile, and cloud methods represent a basis for a productive employee community.
The advantages are numerous for both you and your employees. You can gather useful insights about the essential gears of your business. While your employees receive new apps and technologies to boost their productivity and be fully engage with their work.
Benefits employee community
An effective employee community platform gives these 4 staple benefits:
- Standardized, continuous, and effortless service with a greater level of engagement. This can result in a better working experience throughout all channels of your company.
- Access to relevant, meaningful, and useful info. Employees can proactively support each other and foster a wider network of collaboration.
- A fully-detailed profile of each employee. Integrate all relevant stats and details from other core systems, including history and past engagement.
- A platform for giving employees the ability to help themselves via self-help, self-service options. A joint social network with a common interest for all members.
Isn’t that awesome? A single digital HQ for your workforce to consolidate, ask questions, receive instructions, search for data, and socialize?
And, the most powerful quality of such a network is proactivity. Nothing comes “from above” – everybody is an equal part of the network and contributes accordingly. Employees themselves create their own platform.
Example 2: Customer Community
The second aspect of the community-business symbiosis, so to speak, is perhaps the most widely known: customer community. An online community is a proactive way of giving voice to your customers and receiving valuable feedback. Yes, you could always walk around and question your customers about their opinions of your products, but online customer communities go several steps forward.
Customer community is a platform where customers themselves exchange experiences, provide feedback, and share ideas. It is an extremely quick and effective way to adapt your strategies and methods to increasingly shifting expectations and aspirations of your target audience. Such communities often turn into hubs of communication and marketing, promoting your business far beyond the limits of your platform. The times of passive hard-selling campaigns have ended, and all of the biggest and influential brands have turned to their respective communities for insights, guidelines, and inspiration.
It is a simple yet powerful concept.
Prove to your customers that you listen and care about their opinion. Soon afterward you will notice that they appreciate equal footing. The results of mending the customer-business gap are loyal customers and an ever-expanding customer network. Not to mention their thankfulness for even the slightest advance in the customer support direction!
Customer communities allow you to build deep connections. They increase engagement and interaction with your brand. They represent the free-thinking centers of creativity, proactivity, and word-of-mouth marketing broadcasts. Imagine the traditional marketing costs to achieve all of this?
Well, customer communities do not even require upkeep – you can incentivize your customers (e.g. through gamification) to manage such platforms.
How efficient is that?
Example 3: Insights Community
The third example of effective online communities focuses on insights as a means to collect data on a wide marketing scale. To whom do I sell? What do they like/dislike? Will they continue to like/dislike it in the future? What trends can we expect in the near future?
These and numerous other questions like these bring out answers upon which you might base your business policies. Ultimately, insights and your actions upon them mark the edge between success and failure.
We used to think about customers through the image of an average consumer. Modern insights have proved that an average consumer does not exist. What insights rely on are customer diversity and the projected profile of each customer for more accurate and reliable portrayal of your potential market. Using insights community, you can gather data on customers’ age, interests, activities, gender, cultural background, etc. that you can further apply in your selling policies. Both qualitative and quantitative data form the backbone of insights acquisition. A proper insights community supplies you with real-time insights upon which you can swiftly act or react. In today’s business, quickness, adaptability, and hospitality demarcate a line between prosperous and barren companies.
On which side of the line do you stand?
Example 4: Private Social Network
Our last layer of the concept of online community benefits not only commercial efforts but also any movement, organization, or idea. A type of social networking that unites people with common interests, the private social network serves as a platform for talks, idea exchanges, and collaborations about various subjects. Such networks foster trends, changes, and developments within a larger movement or a group.
It dabbles in the same area as social media, with the difference that private social networks focus more on people and their personal relationships than in the content itself, as is the case with social media.
You can forward a registration link to individual network users. But also invite whole groups of peers, volunteers, or members of your organization. By archiving a database of email addresses within the network, you can keep a close count of your members and the data they share through the network. Of course, you have full control of things that can be seen or done within the network at all times but you can build along with your social network members and discuss the results via special customizable chat rooms and forums.
Once large enough, your network can make good use of profile search engines, page search engines, and a built-in newsletter system. As a part of a private social network, you can even create a customized app to further bring the platform closer to its users whether they use mobile devices, laptops, or personal computers.
Ever dreamed of your very own social network?
This is one of those dreams that you can effectively bring into reality!
Want to be a part of CMNTY’s online community? Learn more about the latest CMNTY Platform 5 today!