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Online Community - Growing An Online Community Best Practices

Nearly everyone in business believes that face-to-face encounters are necessary for building long-term partnerships.

Most business transactions, on the other hand, now place mostly online.

Online community can help people form meaningful connections that lead to long-term relationships, but if you just communicate with people online, you risk losing that personal touch.

If you want to have more personal connections with your clients, it may be time to give your marketing a human touch by converting email chains and comment chains into offline communities.

What Is An Online Community?

You may already be a member of an online community without realizing it.

An online community, whether it's a LinkedIn, WhatsApp, or Facebook group or the 'Beyhive' or 'Beliebers,' is essentially a group of people who have a common interest and utilize the internet or social media to engage with one another.

One can mistakenly believe that online communities, also known as social communities or virtual communities, are the same as social networks, however this is not the case.

A common interest (such as a cause, topic, or celebrity) binds community members together; a social network, on the other hand, is held together by pre-existing relationships.

With so many different interests in the world, you're bound to run into different online communities, each with their own style of interaction. If you're unfamiliar with the community, interacting with members may require some skill, and you'll need a strategy to ensure that you engage authentically.

This is where community managers come in, but first, let's take a look at some of the existing online communities in our digital world.

What Is Online Community Management In Social Media?

"It's what happens after and beyond your social media publication," Shopify said of community management on social media. "It's part customer service, part listening to the internet, and part being involved in debates that connect to your brand."

With more people across the world having access to digital communication tools and social media platforms every day, it's becoming more important for brands to stay connected with their online audience, and social media is increasingly becoming the platform for doing so.

Why Are Online Communities Valuable For Brands?

Online communities are, by definition, very engaging and useful to its members.

They can, however, be as beneficial to brands and businesses.

If you're thinking about developing your own online community or cultivating one you currently have, consider the following advantages:

Brand Advocacy

One man talkig to group of people
One man talkig to group of people

One of the most effective ways to increase brand loyalty is through online communities.

This is significant because only one-third of consumers believe they can trust the brands they buy.

Customers will want to buy from you again and again if your brand offers valuable products, and they will tell others in their network to do the same.

And these recommendations from your brand champions aren't to be taken lightly.

According to a HubSpot study, 81 percent of customers trust peer recommendations more than brand and corporate guidance.

What's the point?

Brand advocates can be one of your most valuable marketing assets, and if you can build an online community around them, you not only save marketing costs by having your audience talk about your brand organically, but you increase truth within your brand. And a trusted brand is a successful brand.

Customer Service

The capacity to deliver good customer service is critical to community management and enterprises in general.

When it comes to interacting with and retaining customers, especially when faced with an issue or crisis, having various ways to contact you is critical.

A lady using her laptop
A lady using her laptop

Social media is one of the most convenient ways for your customers to contact you for customer care.

Customers no longer have to dial a phone number to receive customer assistance from a company.

Everything is now mostly done online.

It's vital to ensure that your consumers can reach you and that you have community managers available to help them when they need it.

This method of community management keeps you in touch, accessible, and transparent with your customers.

User-generated Content

User-generated content can help you improve your content marketing approach while also bolstering your brand's online community.

Using content provided by your community can help you boost the value of your brand and strengthen ties with your customers.

UGC blog header infographics
UGC blog header infographics

Customer reviews, viral films that display your product, or high-quality photographs that promote your services are all examples of user-generated material that you may use and distribute to increase community participation.

3 Tips To Creating An Engaged Online Community

Acknowledge The Customer

Nobody enjoys being ignored, especially when they have a complaint or a question for you.

Monica advised community managers to address customers right away when they are approached with a question during our talk.

When you make your customer feel seen and heard, it goes a long way.

Be Consistent In Your Communication With Customers

It's one thing to acknowledge a customer's concern, but you can't stop there as a community manager.

You must provide feedback on their query, and even if you don't have any, you must advise your customer that you are actively working on their query and will contact them as soon as you have more information.

Be Authentic And Genuine

Maintain your brand's tone and engage with your online community genuinely, even if you're dealing with unpleasant news, when managing your online community.

Instead of robotic or methodical, your encounters should seem genuine and natural.

When communicating with your online audience, consistency is crucial, but you must also be authentic.

How To Measure The Success Of Community Management Strategies

When it comes to evaluating success, the adage "you can only manage what you measure" holds true. In other words, if you measure the performance of a specific approach, you'll have a better knowledge of what has to be improved.

You won't know what you need to improve or do more of unless you take these measurements.

You've probably realized as a community manager that community management requires a variety of talents, including good people and communication skills, fast thinking, and providing excellent customer service.

Measuring the value of your online community strategies is critical for demonstrating the importance of your community to your brand.

If you want to know how active your community is with the content you share with them, engagement metrics are useful to track. You should track these metrics on a frequent basis.

People Also Ask

What Makes A Good Online Community?

Awesome material is found in successful communities. It is insufficient to have a community. It's not enough to have a "active" community. To be successful, your community must deliver tangible value, and one of the simplest and most reliable ways to do so is through facilitating amazing content.

What Is The Largest Online Community?

At any given time, there are approximately 38,700 users and 1,829,859,563 posts. This is the world's largest online community. There are 23 million accounts registered, and one million postings are made every day.

Why Should I Join A Community?

People join communities to share fresh ideas, lessons learned, tried and true techniques, insights, and practical advice. Brainstorming, building on each other's ideas, and staying informed on new developments are all ways to innovate.

Final Words

There are a lot of moving components and people involved in developing and optimizing your online community management approach. But once you get started, everything will fall into place, and the effort will be well worth it. It is the single best way to link your business with your customers, and it will help you establish stronger relationships with your brand, your employees, and the people you serve if done correctly.

About The Authors

Keith Peterson

Keith Peterson - I'm an expert IT marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in various Digital Marketing channels such as SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), SMO (social media optimization), ORM (online reputation management), PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Adwords), Lead Generation, Adwords campaign management, Blogging (Corporate and Personal), and so on. Web development and design are unquestionably another of my passions. In fast-paced, high-pressure environments, I excel as an SEO Executive, SEO Analyst, SR SEO Analyst, team leader, and digital marketing strategist, efficiently managing multiple projects, prioritizing and meeting tight deadlines, analyzing and solving problems.

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