It’s common knowledge that online communities and online games have loyal fans and critics alike. Many web sites utilize social media management tools, moderation services, as well as profanity filters to weed out as many inappropriate comments and behaviors as possible. But when it comes to online games, the stakes get even higher for performance. Usage stats from various sources report that online game players spend 22 hours a week playing the game, despite the fact that half of the players have full-time jobs, are married and nearly one-fourth have kids. Surprisingly, only one-fourth of players are teens. The majority are college students, early professionals, middle-aged homemakers and retirees. Sixty percent of players have reported at least 10 hours of continuous play.
You would think this kind of fanatical devotion to online games would mean loyal customers for life and customer satisfaction levels through the roof. However, companies have to work more diligently than ever before to keep performance as near to 100% uptime as possible in order to avoid massive backlash from their fans.
Double - Edged Sword
Online game producers need to deliver content patches faster. Players have become much more adept at finishing new content and many gaming companies have struggled to keep up. This may be a double-edged sword - the need for speed of content development may improve user satisfaction in the short term, while at the same time increasing the probability of bugs and poor performance. Satisfying customer demand for content could contribute to a company’s downfall since poor game performance directly correlates to negative player experiences and ultimately abandonment as a subscriber.
Inversoft is pleased to share the following guest blog from Jaime Morocco, "Why Community is Essential in the B2B SaaS World." Jaime shares insights on how a community builds value for brands and their customers and also offers some questions to consider before building a community for your brand's following. This post originally appeared on the Bluenose blog and is reprinted here with permission.
In an age where we have the ability to be more connected to each other than ever, it can also often seem that we are missing the human part of connection. No matter how advanced technology becomes, or how dependent on technology we are, we will never lose our need for human-to-human interaction.
We are living in the age of the empowered consumer. This is an age where a consumer will almost always ask for advice from peers before making a purchasing decision, and an age where a dissatisfied customer will let the world know their state of unhappiness over any and all social media platforms. We value our peers, their opinions, their approval, and ultimately, we seek a feeling of connection to things/topics that we consider to be of high importance.
Is Facebook Doing the Job?
When many businesses think of establishing an online community the platform that comes immediately to mind is Facebook. With well over 1 billion users, that seems to make a lot of sense! But how many of those people can you really reach? Even if you get a million people to “like” your company’s Facebook page do they see your content? Recent research: Has Facebook become too big for its boots by throttling organic reach? - shows that you may only be reaching 4% of your Facebook fans. That has to be a very sobering thought for any business.
So is Facebook really the place you want to put your online community?
Branded Online Community
An alternate solution is to create a community on your company’s website. Your own branded online community. You can still do all of your regular social media interactions to engage with your community (e.g., Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest,…etc). Rather than including a link to your Facebook site, replace that with a link to your company’s website.
Children are vulnerable when participating in online properties. Fortunately, companies like Disney take extraordinary steps to protect children online from unwanted user generated content such as profanity or bullying language. The use of filtering technology blocks this unwanted content from offending or marginalizing their visitors.
There are some critical challenges that must be addressed, especially when managing online communities for children. The community managers must select technology that is both highly sophisticated and flexible. They must combine the technology with intelligent, clearly defined rules along with human moderation to discern the context of content shared in their communities. The ultimate objective is to protect children while providing an entertaining and wholesome branded online community where they can interact with other children.
Disney in recent news
There was recent news of a child named Lilly who tried to express gratitude for the things she values most on the Disney Channel website (a branded online community). The things Lilly was most thankful for: “God, my family, my church and my friends.” It turned out Disney was using its filter to prevent the word God from being used in its community, which resulted in Lilly’s post being blocked. Most people think a company is filtering to keep out profanities and other similarly offensive content, but protecting children online is a far more complex endeavor.
The 2014 State of Community Management Report is a resource on the current trends and the progressive health of online communities and how they help drive attainment of your business goals. With over 160 different online communities surveyed, it’s a wealth of information everyone should consider when attempting or implementing an online community strategy for their company.
It is the collaboration of The Community Roundtable that brings this relevant data to light. With the report in its 5th year, it is now possible to dig even deeper into the true value of online community and the strategies necessary for it’s growth. Here are 3 brief takeaways from the 2014 State of Community Management.