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Why should a company create an online community?

Lena Beeg | Lena Beeg / August 13, 2021

Our need for communication changed a lot in recent years. We want to choose where and on what platform we connect with which users. There is no need to exchange ideas with the whole world, just a certain community of interests that knows what we are talking about. We want to connect with them and share our content, opinions and knowledge. This way ensures a lively and successful exchange on the same level. Such communication platforms can be used beneficially by companies to position themselves and expand customer service. To do this, basic questions must first be clarified:

What is an online community?

This term describes the connection, exchange and communication between internet users using various platforms. The key point is the exchange of the community on a specific topic.

What types of online communities are there?

First of all: There is almost nothing that does not exist! Communities exist for every possible topic or subject of interest. From general topics like gardening up to subject-specific topics such as sensor technology. There are basically 4 types of communities:

  1. Service community
    A service community focuses on service or assistance. This can, for example, be created by users for users according to the motto “help for self-help” or provided by companies in order to expand their service. 

  2. Knowledge community
    These communities focus on sharing knowledge and information. Users can actively participate or access the knowledge of others. Companies can take on an expert position and share their expertise on specific topics. 

  3. Product community
    In this community, it is all about a product or a product group. Users talk about experiences, product details & services or share entertaining information about a product. Here it’s possible for a company to provide a platform and monitor the community. 

  4. Passion community
    This community is all about a special passion, such as gaming, gardening or marketing. Here one can exchange information about services, products or certain knowledge on the specific topic.

How can companies benefit from online communities?  

The different types of online communities already show how much potential there is for companies. As such, you have the opportunity to offer the platform for exchange for all 4 types and take over the moderation – of course, subtle and understated. Especially within the first 3 communities, companies can discreetly apply their products or services and position themselves at best. In this way, an online community can serve as an extension of customer service, an alternative knowledge base or a place for entertainment, information and further education. 

With a successful setup and an optimal strategy you can use online communities in many promising ways: lead generation, positioning, extension of customer service, for sales promotion, for cooperation with other companies as well as for brand building and much more.

Do you need support setting up or managing your online community? Our experienced marketing team will be happy to assist. Contact us now!

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