Why your organization needs a community and how to get it right

Discover the benefits of a virtual community for your organization.

This guide covers:

  • How online communities help organizations develop a sustainable competitive advantage
  • The difference between online communities and social networks
  • How to ensure your online community’s success

Discover the benefits of a virtual community

What is a virtual community?

In a nutshell, an online community is a group of people who share a common interest or goal and use the internet to exchange.

Before diving any deeper, let’s address a common mistake: newcomers to the online community industry often confuse online communities with social networks.

People join virtual communities for a shared purpose, and a common goal holds people together.

People tend to join social networks to build relationships, and these interpersonal relationships hold the network together.

Social networks offer a more individualistic experience where users seek “likes” or “views”, whereas virtual communities provide a culture of sharing and authentic exchanges.

Key benefits of a virtual community.

Companies are increasingly recognizing the limitations of traditional social media platforms and turning to virtual communities to foster more profound connections.

Here’s a closer look at some of the benefits of a virtual community:

  • Longer customer lifetime value
    Cultivate meaningful relationships based on trust.
    Transform customers into advocates, fortifying loyalty.
  • Serve your customers better
    Facilitate authentic feedback and conversations.
    Rapidly understand customer needs for agile business improvements.
  • Lower customer acquisition costs
    Cultivate brand evangelists through human-centred engagement.
    Provide a space for customers to answer potential buyers’ questions.
  • Increase diversity and global reach
    Expand your company’s global reach
    Attract a diverse audience, fostering varied perspectives

Ensuring your virtual community’s success.

Building a thriving virtual community demands a strategic approach.
Align your community with overarching business goals and identify a specific need it can address.

Create a mission statement as a guiding force and implement a robust onboarding process to enhance member engagement and retention.

Strategies for engaging your virtual community.

Engagement doesn’t occur automatically; it requires meticulous planning and execution.

Simplify participation with multiple entry points, personalized notifications, and a user-friendly design. Reward members for contributions, respond promptly to questions, and actively listen to your community. Implement a test-and-learn approach, adapting strategies as the community grows.

Creating a targeted content strategy.

Content is the lifeblood of a thriving virtual community. Define your target audience, address their challenges, and plan content around significant dates. Establish a content calendar for consistency, ensuring a diverse range of topics. Content should be a tool for engagement, trust-building, and relationship strengthening.

Ignite community engagement with our FREE content calendar template!

Measuring your community’s success.

Success surpasses mere clicks and comments. Evaluate business metrics tied to specific goals, such as the impact on new customers, customer lifetime value, and time saved for customer support.

Download the guide to discover more on why your organization needs a virtual community and how to get it right!

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