The question is do you really need to build your own community? Some private groups can become large and successful enough to provide a built-in feedback source for vendors and can position the community as an important source of customer support.
With the popularity of social media channels, people start promoting networks such as Ning. I see people create communities in a snap of a finger but after a few months, activity is relatively slow. Some of these may just be positioning themselves for the “in case” scenarios or some just do it for the heck of having one.
Communities are powerful and each has their own personalities. If you join one and start talking like a salesman, your chances of being accepted will be like a playboy centerfold entering a monastery.
So, which community is right for you?
Special Interest Group (SIG)
- This type of community is also known as advocacy or lobby group. People in this community build consistency around topics of interest that may not directly relate to specific products or cause and influence decisions of the principal.
- This is one of the fastest growing areas of Social Media yet gets a little attention because of confidentiality. Private communities are confined groups that provide businesses with feedbacks. We can also look at this community as a big focus group.
- These were the early types of communities. I remember being a member of 6 different support forums when I was at the Genesis of my career. Support forums as simple to start and it’s easy to build momentum for it to become self-sustaining. Typically, customers rely on their vendors for product support so, if you’re a business selling products, this is the easiest option for you.
- This, if done correctly can transform into a support forums. Members of this community can expand their discussion to other areas of common interest. We often see these communities give advice; exchange tips and promote the best deals in town.
Technically, creating communities is easy. With a few clicks, images and fancy widgets, you’re done. But the not so hard part is to determine your goal. What is this community for? Why am I building this community? Like what I said in one of my previous post, the more channels you open, the more you should listen.
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