An online community is a valuable resource for any business,
but is also one of the most difficult and time consuming to build and maintain.
It involves encouraging your customers to join and engage with the fresh and
interesting topics of discussion on a regular basis, but if done well it can
create brand awareness and a reputation for good communication and customer
care. The following are the most popular and useful tools used by brands to
create their online communities:
LinkedIn is most popular on a business to business (B2B) level, but don’t rule
it out for business to customer (B2C) communities either, as the professionals
who use LinkedIn can also be customers. Make use of the LinkedIn groups
facility to create interesting discussions and encourage engagement. You can
set the moderation options to allow as much freedom or as little freedom to
insiders and outsiders of the group as you wish, but be aware that too little
freedom could make users feel they can’t express themselves freely, and too
much freedom could be abused.
– The three main blogging tools are Wordpress,
Blogger and Tumblr. There are
others, but these are thought to be the most user friendly and therefore
popular blogging platforms available. Blogs are a great way to give your
customer something, such as useful information on how to make the most of your
products and services, or other useful information and news relating to your
industry. You can then encourage engagement by asking people to share their own
advice and opinions using the comments section of each blog post. The great
thing about blog content is it can be shared digitally by those who found it
useful and interesting.
– This is a commenting and
discussion tool which can be added to any website or blog, and integrates any
comments, likes, shares, etc. from all your company’s various online platforms,
such as social media, blogs and more. This is a great way to bring together
people from separate platforms to create a larger engaged community.
What do you use? What works and what have we missed?
Labels: blogger, blogs, build a brand online community, disqus, linkedin, tumblr, wordpress