Your online community packs the potential to build trust, drive sales, promote loyalty, and lessen service costs. Nevertheless, profit is not the heart of a community, rather community is concerned with interaction and relationships. So rather than beginning with a business plan, it is recommended to begin keeping in mind your customers. Irrespective of how versatile your functionality and features are, if you don’t develop your community from a customer-based point of view, you’ll be virtually deserted.
To build a flourishing online community, begin by analyzing these 12 keys to mobilize the enthusiasm of your clients and develop powerful connections.
# 1 Stimulated Brand Advocates
Effective online communities promote, honor, and highlight their superusers. When you entrust your most ardent community members, they will evolve into brand advocates, who frequently contribute most of the content while also actively helping other customers.
The brand is more likely to be recommended to others by brand advocates. Besides increasing brand awareness, it also directly affects revenue as people naturally rely on the reviews of other persons more as compared to brand’s advertisements. The premier market research firm Forrester, estimates that 70% of US adults online trust product or brand recommendations from family and friends, while 46% trust online reviews written by consumers.
# 2 Valuable User-created Content
Smart brands know the worth of building an environment that motivates users to create helpful and genuine content. User-generated content (UGC) raises engagement among community members, which finally fortifies a community’s bonds and expected value.
Communities with appropriate UGC frequently have a considerable number of members and are keeping on growing. Since it’s written by actual people for actual people, UGC is more probable to be shared and trusted, aiding the community to prosper.
# 3 Mobile Responsiveness
More than 50% of people globally access the internet from tablets or mobile devices. Previously, websites were built keeping in mind just desktop functionality and user experience. Nevertheless, with the advancement of mobile users, it’s become mandatory to design websites that respond to every design type.
This applies to online communities. To make your online community experience rewarding to all users, it should be mobile-responsive. The most effective online communities present a seamless experience to all users.
# 4 Crowdsourcing Of Ideas
Effective online communities utilize their platform to crowdsource ideas from their maximum invested customers. These collaborative ideations can be employed by brands to better their product or estimate interest for latest projects.
If you wish to gather ideas for product invention and feedback from your finest customers, activate features in your community that permit customers to share their ideas, vote, and insert comments.
# 5 Monitoring User Behavior
The most effective online communities utilize data for their benefit. Analytics tools enable you to easily keep a watch on the interests of your existing or potential customers and any alteration in their sentiment. Besides such tools help you to review topics they are looking for, permitting you to design proper content or make you familiar with changing customer attitudes. With tracking features , you can even analyze which users are more probable to take part in discussions and reply to questions, and thank them with customized responses by the crew of your customer care.
# 6 Sturdy Reputation System
Drawing persons to your community is just one item of the puzzle. To make your community successful, you must find a way to encourage users and entrust them to understand and trust one another. This can be achieved by an extensive reputation system.
A reputation system comprises a structure that identifies users for their cooperation in order to cultivate trust. A reputation system operates 24/7 to identify users for their involvement. You determine (frequently with input from your subscribers) what activities count most within the community, and you write those actions into the guidelines that oversee the allocation of ranks. Identifying high-grade contributors or superusers offers an impetus to participate more and aids users recognize quality content.
# 7 Integration With Support Channels
Online communities present the maximum value to business as they completely integrate with available systems. This will permit your brand to offer improved customer service to community members and gather important data.
Ensure a smooth experience throughout all support channels by incorporating your online community with available support processes. Ensure to rope in your CRM system also, so that unanswered queries are auto-speeded into direct support channels.
# 8 Personalization
Motivate and build your community by providing members a curated feed that displays content that is appropriate to them, encouraging them to give more. Communities that have customized features better get to regard community members as individuals.
Personalized experiences are vital for community members; 80% of consumers are more probable to conduct business with a firm that presents personalized experiences. Personalization can be superb for the bottom line, also, as it can raise the efficiency of marketing investment by nearly 30% and sales by nearly 8%.
# 9 Engaging Content
Visually attractive communities fuel greater traffic. Give your customers greater control to include videos and photos to their galleries and within their posts. Community members utilize videos and images to engage with different members and your brand, answer queries, and leave reviews. The traffic that picture and video content creates serves to grow size and community.
# A Knowledge Base Repository
Successful communities possess a plethora of content and are continuously creating more. Due to this, content ultimately becomes buried or hard to find. Nevertheless, this doesn’t imply that this content isn’t precious. To ensure that even ancient content measures to its potential, online communities should include a searchable repository. A knowledge base or repository permits your customers to quickly discover answers, tips, and advice exchanged in your community.
# 11 Gamification Boosts Sharing
Gamification is the program of game-playing elements to a different sphere of activity. External to real games, online brand communities were among the first places to witness gamification. In modern communities, the practices and ideas that guide gamification have grown to align more with an advanced member journey concept where the major role of the user experience designer is to correspond external rewards with inherent motivation.
Gamification motivates employees and customers to enthusiastically exchange with each other more often. Automate gaming mechanics for daily actions, such as awarding badges, an online community member posts, answers to a post, or offers congratulations on another member’s post.
# 12 Measurement Of Performance
It’s vital to evaluate the well-being of communities and act to maintain them at their optimum. Pay attention to metrics that matter utmost through features that measure these 6 health factors like interaction, liveliness, members, content, traffic, and responsiveness.
Know more regarding which metrics to monitor and decode to best obtain a pulse of your customer service performance and community.
Examples of successful online communities include Passion Planner community, Mr. Money Mustache community, Skullcandy community, Airbnb community and TripAdvisor community.
Communities comprise the buzzword presently. People desire communities that offer value, and provide them a forum to join with like minded persons. This is made possible by the inclusion of the features enumerated above that helps you to build a vibrant community and let people reach out together with their shared experiences.