"All beginnings are difficult" – not if you start with a detailed concept and a clear idea of the results. Once the online community has been established, community management is based entirely on the structure and the defined goals of the platform. There are certain things to look out for when building and maintaining your online community. Here we have some useful tips for you:
How to set up your online community correctly
As with any marketing activity, you first need a clear concept for building your communication platform. It should contain concrete goals, a strategy with an action plan and intended user behavior as well as scope for optimization.
Possible goals of an online community
- improving customer lifetime value: increased customer spend by strengthening customer loyalty through the community & confirming previous experiences or purchases
- with an internal community: an optimized work performance through a platform on which clear information and best practices, as well as direct communication options, are available for an efficient exchange
- customer acquisition: lead generation – identification of leads & conversion to clients through business activities or testimonials within the community
- reduced marketing & service costs: the online community can answer questions or provide content that explains them faster. This way, users don’t have to contact customer service
- reduced costs for market research, innovation, and recruitment
- and many more
The action plan
The action plan contains individual activities you want to implement in order to reach your goals. It defines which actions you want to realize at which time frame, who has to carry them out, and what is necessary to do so. It is advisable to plan this long-term and in detail, to define buffer activities, and to leave room for spontaneous upcoming new content. Possible actions can be expert interviews, how-to video tutorials, or the provision of hero content.
Once you have created a guide with goals and an action plan, it is time to choose the right platform. Should the community be created internally in your company, does an external provider take care of the setup or do you already have an existing solution? In addition, it must be clarified which interfaces the community should have, for example in most cases a connection to the CRM is recommended.
Furthermore, the following questions arise and influence the conception of the community:
- Which interest groups should be in focus?
- How much content does the company provide?
- What content should be offered? (Texts, images, videos, white papers, …)
- What significance should products and services have within the community?
- Which interactions are desired? (between business-users and users-users)
- How should the community be advertised?
- and many more
A comprehensive concept with all relevant considerations for the setup of a community is an important basis and significant for the success of your platform. If you need support with the conception, setup, or maintenance of your online community, please do not hesitate to contact us!