BRANDED ONLINE COMMUNITIES INCREASE COMPANY VALUE BY BOOSTING REVENUE, CUSTOMER SATISFACTION & PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT.
During the late 90’s, way before Facebook, large corporations would build online communities for their brands to engage with their customers, employees and partners. An active brand community can drive innovation, provide better customer support and ultimately achieve sustainable growth, a better ROI and increase customer loyalty. Within the past year branded communities have experienced a comeback and they are growing rapidly for large and medium companies. Smaller businesses should think about creating their own branded communities as online community software is becoming more affordable.
Today many entrepreneurs are utilizing large public social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Yelp, etc... to then find out that it is better to have an engaged audience of a thousand than a non-qualified audience of a million. Having a branded community is cost effective as it is and always will be free to communicate with members of your own community, and this is no longer the case with Facebook, LinkedIn and other mega social media networks. Within your own online community you will be able to control your brand reputation and convert customers into advocates that will grow your brand awareness through social engagement.
Another advantage for a company to own a branded online community is that they will have an updated daily customer and prospect database, as well as the ability to conduct live research on consumer behavior and opinion about your products, services, loyalty and re-purchase cycles. Your company will also have access to proprietary data to conduct big data analysis that will allow you to create innovation in products and services.
In regard to client retention, an online branded community provides customers with the following: 1. Engage with other customers to resolve issues on products and services. 2. Discover new products and services at their own will (no pressure or interruption marketing). 3. Submit their opinions and feedback with online quizzes and other media for product innovation. 4. Receive product information and support 24/7/365 without overwhelming your customer support department and simultaneously cutting company expenses.