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.
It has come to our attention that online communities, well, are just a waste of time and money. We understand you may have spent months or years building your community. Let us help you destroy it in just a couple of days! Here are 3 ways to destroy your online community in no time flat.
You have a product, resource or tool you know the world wants but they just don’t know about it yet. Old fashioned marketing efforts are dead, and rather than telling your potential buyer/user what they want, you listen. Listening is a key contributor in how companies direct many aspects of their business efforts and road maps. There is no better way to listen than by creating an engaging online community.
Listening helps you:
- Gain information from your users on how they perceive and interact with your product.
- Develop trust by interacting and letting the user know that you are present and communicative.
- Maintain your reputation. If a customer is not receiving the level of quality or service expected regularly, it can tarnish your brand's reputation.
- Reduce conflict by being proactive. Spotting a potential issue whether it be product related or within the community helps enforce your brand's presence and integrity.
Listening is incredibly important, but so is engaging, sharing, creating conversation and letting others (your customers) advocate for you. But they need a reason to do so. Senior Reporter, Marisa Peacock shares, “Anyone can set up an online community, but what will make it worth joining is if it accurately reflects the culture of your organization and provides meaningful incentives to members.”
Inversoft would like to share with you Creating & Engaging Online Communities 6 Key Elements of Successful Communities Infographic.