By Barton Goldenberg
Using Social Media communities to interact online is a venue for people to talk with one another. The need to interact with others is an important way for people to share ideas. Behind the success of Social Media is online communities. These online communities allow people to get information, opinions, solutions and ratings. Such online content is received directly from other people, than from organizations.
An outgrowth of the Social Media community phenomena is Branded Communities. Branded Communities are defined as: A digital customer community, controlled and managed by an organization that leverages community platform software to promote business goals while providing members with information, support, interaction, and comradery. This digital customer community is the direct result of a Brand Community: A group of ardent consumers organized around the lifestyle, activities, and ethos of a brand (Harvard Business Review)
In this blog post, I would like to discuss into the value of Branded Communities to any organization.
Why Create A Branded Community?
Here are the key reasons why organizations create Branded Communities:
- Grow revenues– Research has shown that Branded Community members are more engaged with the organization sponsoring the community. Consequently, they are more likely to buy products/services from that organization than non-members.
- Decrease costs – Engagement via utilizing a Branded Community is cheaper than the price of similar engagements. An online private community will disseminate private information to customers and prospects.
- Increase constituent knowledge– A Branded Community can be used to exchange information between customers, prospects and distributors. Branded Communities provide active organizational Subject Matter Expertise.
- Optimize the sales pipeline – A Branded Community helps optimize the sales pipeline as customers participate in the community. Customers will read other comments concerning the organization’s products/services before making a purchase decision.
- Secure a regular flow of leads/new customers– A Branded Community provides a forum for prospects to learn more about the organization’s products/services. Prospects will also communicate with the community members.
- Minimize customer churn – A Branded Community can minimize customer churn by keeping an organization’s current customers engaged. It also provides a customer service, customer recommendation and comment forum. Use of a Branded Community should lead to an increase in customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- Drive product innovation – Branded Communities drive product innovation via community tools like ‘ideation’ and ‘crowd sourcing’. Branded Communities also reinforce product/technology leadership.
On Wednesday, Oct 14 at 2 PM EST, I will present with Mike Merriman of Mzinga, the Webinar: How Your Organization Can Benefit from “Branded” Social Communities. During this Webinar, I will discuss the main benefits of a private Branded Community. I will also discuss KPIs to evaluate community success and other relevant issues. Mike Merriman will present real-life case studies of Branded Communities.
To register for this Webinar, please click here
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Barton Goldenberg, is the founder and president of ISM Inc., customer-centric strategists/implementers serving best-in-class organizations globally. As a CRM leader for 30 years, he was among the first three inductees in the CRM Hall of Fame. Recognized as a leading “customer-focused” author, his latest book, The Definitive Guide to Social CRM, is hailed as the roadmap for Social CRM success. Barton is a popular speaker on “maximizing customer relationships to gain market insights, customers and profits”. He is a long-term columnist for CRM Magazine and speaker for CRMevolution and frequently quoted in the media.