Communities are built to listen to what people want and let them drive the evolution of what it is. The idea is to listen to what they are looking for and provide them the tools they need and facilitate the change. Listening is the best thing you can do. Organizations often create online communities as a way to bring people together around a shared common purpose for expansive online collaboration and growth.
Unlike 20 years ago, where resources were not as accessible and well-developed, an online community establishment in this day and age allows people to navigate through challenging decisions, analyze what is the best platform and best tool, and/or simply analyze how to integrate A with B. It allows for ease of access to a limitless world to connect and exchange knowledge with like-minded people. Other benefits include the following:
Despite the number of benefits online communities have to offer, there are still barriers that prevent some organizations from diving into the online community trend. Three common obstacles can be:
An online community has three main components:
Online communities are more important than ever given the Covid-19 epidemic, which has forced companies to switch to a work-from-home culture. Attending conferences and networking events is no longer feasible, so creating an online community serves as a perfect alternative. As the world of organizations continues to shift, more companies will adapt to a WFH policy and require the establishment of a community where members can collaborate, network and continue to learn from each other.
The key to a successful online community is engagement through a distinctive and beneficial user experience that allows every member to create, function and innovate. An online community is about creating meaningful relationships that are nurtured with feedback, thoughts and engagement among customers or members. This translates into greater brand loyalty and better long-term relationships, as well as opportunities for the entire community.
Source: Forbes - (Steve Richmond - Founder and CEO of Projetech, Inc.)