4 supreme reasons why building an online community is important!
“Communication leads to COMMUNITY, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing” — Rollo May!!
Technology is growing fast in the 20th century and so is the idea of Social Media Marketing. History of social media is somewhat breath-taking when you compare them in the 19th century and now. There was this website called as HistoryCooperative which was actually shocking and gave me a brief overview of how beautifully can an idea turn into a demand i.e. Social Media.
So, when did Social Media come into effect??
Basically, the roots of social media started back in the 1990s where the basic idea was to connect and be friends with users whole over the world online. By early 2000, there was an exponential increase in users using the Internet, wanting to connect with other users worldwide which in other word is CREATING A COMMUNITY.
Later in 2005, Facebook and Twitter turned this idea into reality which now is used by billions of people. Using the Internet and social media platforms, users started discussing their idea with other users sharing the same area of interest and that helped them grow more. This is when an online community was created.
Reaching out to users now are just a few clicks away using these platforms and the most interesting fact is you don’t have to spend even a single penny!
According to Wikipedia, an online community, also called an internet community, is a virtual community whose members interact with each other primarily via the Internet. This can act as an information system where members can post, comment on discussions, give advice or collaborate. These discussions mostly are done via Social Network sites, chat rooms, discussion boards etc. We can hence conclude that in today’s date if you want to grow your/your product’s presence online, you must have a Community page.
Let’s take a look on why building an online community is actually important!
Growing your Social Relationship
Social is all about socializing, which in other words can be framed as building a stronger relationship with people you may or may not know. Take note that others here can be anyone, say your mentor, customer, friend or someone you have never encountered with.
It is a must fact that “OTHERS” here don’t know if you are trustworthy enough to share ideas with or even initiate a discussion. In order to eradicate this problem and build trust among your users, you need to humanize yourself, show your presence by being in continuous touch with them. This engagement can be achieved using an online community where you can check out posts of different users and share explanations that can solve their problems.
In the long term, these small activities of keeping yourself, your product and other members in community engaged, can increase users trust and loyalty level to a great deal.
Getting feedback from members
Do you want your customers to market your product? If yes, ENGAGE and get feedback!
Nowadays, feedback provided by other users to you or your product is the only point of reliability, that’s the first thing a user refers to when buying a product online. This no doubt has become a habit now worldwide.
When I started with my first product, I never cared about getting feedback from users, rather kept my focus on developing the product more and more. You won’t believe the loss incurred! Your online community page can solve this problem for you.
Always remember that users love to post their feedback/queries on the community page of any companies because they always crave for a quicker response. Now it’s your job to engage with them at a maximum level. The more you engage, the greater is the credibility of your product.
The Limelight factor
You can’t ignore the fact that your product needs to be in limelight to grow in a pace you only have dreamt of. For early stage startups, this is the Christmas Gift that an online community can give to you and your product at any time of the year.
You need to make sure that the contents that you are sharing about your product are driving the readers to your website and not on the social channel you are sharing on. In order to attain this, you need to devise your marketing strategy in a way that users spend a lot of time researching your product.
You also need to engage your website visitors in all possible ways. By doing this your users get an impression of them being an essential part of your product and not just any other user. Once you plant this impression on your users, you won’t have to ask them about their feedback and testimonials, users on its own would take a step ahead and make sure that your product is recognized.
TIP: Play it psychologically!
Wave of Opportunities
Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben from Spiderman the movie quoted, “With great power, comes great responsibility”. Analogous to this quote would be “With excellent community, comes greater opportunity”. The reason most startups fails is that they fail to grab hold the opportunities knocking their door by giving utmost importance to other trivial matters. One doesn’t realize that when the online community of your product is in the limelight, it can bring thousands of customers that have a conversion rate of more than 90%. These thousands bring another thousand and form wave of opportunities in startup ocean.
Social media is growing and will continue to grow at a pace one can’t even imagine. You need to be the fisherman and catch hold all the opportunities sailing in this vast ocean of 3+ billion people. Try to make the fullest use of your online community and give your product a level it deserves.
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