How To Establish An Online Community And What To Do With It?

Every business dreams of having a stable online community that takes their revenue generation to the next level and puts their brand above their competitors. Research has found that the average ROI an online community generates for a business is 6,470%. That is an astonishing return, and such promising results have encouraged more brands to use these communities to attract customers familiar with their brand and build a stronger relationship with current customers.

Brands can use online communities to get more sales, innovate products, and reduce support costs. A study by the University of Michigan found that customers would spend 20% more if they were part of a brand’s online community. We will look at what is an online community, and how businesses can get results from them. 

What Is An Online Community?

An online community consists of a group of people interacting with one another on an online platform. The communities can range from a million+ Instagram community to a 20-person community of sushi lovers that rates sushi places in their city on their private Facebook group.

There’s a massive range in how online communities can scale. Understanding the type of online community that will be most beneficial for your business is the first step to building an online community. There are two types of online communities, which include public social networks and branded communities. 

Steps For Building An Online Community

Every business should build an online community where customers can engage with them and provide constant feedback to improve their products or services. The good news is that it isn’t a complicated process, and there are several platforms where you can build a community for your brand. Here are some steps for establishing an online community:

1.     Identify the Main Stakeholders
You need to ensure that your community is organized, and that’s why you must have specific people who will be tasked with managing the community.

2.     Define the Goal and Purpose
You can’t establish an online community without a defined goal and purpose. You should know what you’re trying to achieve and what your community will offer your customers.

3.     Select a Platform
Once you have defined your purpose and goals, you should select a platform where your online community will reside. You can choose between free community platforms and owned community platforms.

4.     Build a Member Profile
You want your community to attract your target audience, which is why you should build a member profile that helps them understand why they should become a part of your community.

5.     Create Rules and Norms
Next, you should create a set of rules and norms that will govern your customers in the online community.

6.     Set up the Community
When you’ve reached this stage, all you need to do is set up your community, including testing it and aligning your brand with this community.

7.     Promote Your Community
Once you have set up your online community, you should make efforts to promote it. You can do that by partnering with influencers, inviting contacts, launching a referral program, and integrating the community into your marketing strategy.