Online Community Management and How It Is Useful in Business

Safalta Expert Published by: Ashish Kumar Updated Sun, 17 Dec 2023 12:50 PM IST

Highlights

In order to create a vibrant and welcoming online community, online community management focuses on encouraging positive engagement, settling disputes, and upholding a welcoming environment for members.

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Understanding how to create an online community is essential whether you run a Fortune 500 firm, an eCommerce store, a B2B enterprise, or an online school. Among the many benefits, online communities can drive traffic to your website, strengthen your relationships with customers, and increase your business's revenue. An online community allows people to connect with brands, the people working on them, and other like-minded people who are passionate about a certain topic. 
In this article, you'll learn how to build an online community.
 

Table of Contents:

 

What is online community management?

Simply put, an online community is a shared space where members connect. Typically, online communities are created based on members' common interests, ideas, or goals.

The type of community you create depends on your business goals. For a fitness coach, a community might look like a private Facebook group for members of their fitness program to share knowledge and transformation stories.

Source: Safalta.com

For a photographer, it can be an open forum to gather thousands of members, share resources, and provide feedback on others' photography.

Whatever your platform of choice, online communities are a powerful way to build meaningful connections among your followers because they allow your audience to:
  • Discuss topics that interest them
  • Connect with a brand, online course instructor, or another leader
  • Learn together
  • Collaborate on personal projects or course goals
  • Share advice and related news
 

Why create an online community?

As a business owner, online communities bring your audience or students into one place where you can ask questions, see their progress, and get helpful feedback.
For brands like Thinkific, an online community is a way to bring our current and potential customers in one place to share ideas, discuss strategies, and get actionable feedback on our product.

 

Benefits of Online Community Management:

Regardless of the size of your team, there are several common benefits of creating an online community:
  • Be seen as a leader in your field. Expand your sphere of influence by increasing your network and audience.
  • Create brand ambassadors. Increase referrals to your business through brand evangelists.
  • Feedback from your audience. Communicating regularly with your community helps you improve your products and services and serve them better.
  • Financial growth. A community can encourage more involved followers and improve retention, both of which can lead to a rise in sales.
  • Respond to market changes. Digital communities help you maintain touchpoints with your audience when it is not possible to be in the same physical location.
  • Digital entrepreneurs naturally fit into online communities. Two of Thinkific's most successful course creators didn't launch the course on day one. He began creating exclusive professional learning communities on Facebook.
 

Common Types of Online Communities:

Of the many different types of online communities, we've isolated the six we think you'll encounter most. they are:

Interest: A group brought together by a common interest or passion, such as Thinkific's Facebook group for online course creation.

Action: Communities that come together to create change. For example, Black Lives Matter activists form a group to plan rallies.

Place: Community within geographical boundaries. For example, one Facebook group focused on activities to do while visiting Vancouver, Canada.

Practice or profession: Also known as a community of practice, this is when members of a particular profession come together to share professional development tips and learn how to excel at their jobs. For example, teachers form a group to further their professional knowledge.

Learn: These are communities that prioritize common learning objectives. Those goals can be related to a profession, but also to a hobby or non-professional goal, such as learning to roller skate.

Brand: Communities are focused on a common mission, goal, or lifestyle supported by a business or brand.
For course developers, learning communities and brand communities are the most beneficial of these six community types.

 

How to make online community management:

At the very least, every organization needs a committed community manager. This is a common reason why communities falter – a lack of active management. Communities need someone to take care of them. That said, a small community might not require a community manager permanently. But a larger organization with a lot of customers, members, or users will likely do so.
The bottom line is this: it's less about the number of hours, as it is about the experience level of the person who is managing the community, whether they know the right tone to use, and how to interact with others. Do, and how to handle situations. Maturely. Ultimately, you need someone with a specific skill set, and to do it well, additional abilities are needed.
There are a lot of moving parts and people involved in developing and optimizing your online community management strategy! But once you get it moving, all the pieces will fall into place, and it will be worth the effort. If done right, it's the best way to connect your brand to your customers, and it will help create deeper connections between your brand, the people you work with, and the people you serve.

What is online community management?

The activity of supervising and encouraging constructive interactions in an online community to guarantee a friendly and encouraging atmosphere is known as online community management.

How will you manage your online community?

Encourage optimism, control content, deal with issues, encourage community involvement, and guarantee inclusivity.

How do online communities work?

Establish connections, trade interests, engage in digital communication, cultivate connections, and exchange data.

Why is online community management important?

Fosters positive interactions resolves issues, and builds supportive environments.

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