On October 4th, 2021 a great part of the online world went silent due to Facebook and its apps being down for more than five hours. This downtime demonstrated something very important: relying on social media platforms may be risky and expensive. A great lesson to be learned, but where should you take it from here?
It’s important to keep in mind that since social networks are composed of preexisting relationships, brands should use them for getting organic traffic through social media marketing and referrals. However, if you want to prevent your business from being fully reliable on social media giants as well as get more space and opportunities for interacting with existing customers, you should create your own community. A community provides you with competitive advantages that can’t be undervalued. Here are a few of them:
- Reach to the audience. Companies that own a community get 100% reach to their users while for social media platforms, the organic reach for example on Facebook is down to 5.2% and declining every year. As a result, brands have to pay for ads to reach their own followers that they have built over years.
- Access to information. People can later use this information to create a buzz around your brand, continuing to build a community without your active participation. By observing communication in an online community, a brand can learn about the shortcomings of its products or services and the consumers’ wishes.
- Increased socialization and productivity. An online community is a virtual place where people with common interests share ideas, experience problems together, and work on them collectively. It is hard for one person alone to solve complicated challenges without any cooperation from others since solitary working leads us into feeling discouraged more often than not.
- A sense of belonging and support. An online community offers people a needed sense of belonging by providing a place for them to share their thoughts and feelings around a shared interest while receiving support from other members who may be going through similar challenges as well.
- Turn users into brand ambassadors. Community is a great way to turn your customers into brand ambassadors. When they see that you are listening to their needs and want to provide them with a space where they can express their thoughts, feelings, insights, or advice to help other members of the community – it makes them feel appreciated and valued and encourages them to promote your brand in their social networks.
If you feel overwhelmed and still hesitate whether you should build your own community or leave things as they are right now, make sure to download our free ebook. We will guide you through all the peculiarities of starting and managing a community.
- Understanding Online Communities (what is an online community, types of online communities, the difference between online communities and social networks, why is owning an online community important)
- How to Build a Thriving Online Community
- Community Engagement
- Community Moderation
- Platforms for Online Communities
- Examples of Successful Online Communities