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What are the types of online communities?

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posted May 30 by Chandrashekar Sarang

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4 types of online communities and the top benefits of each

  1. Social communities include public social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Brands use social communities mostly for marketing purposes, broadcasting information, building brand awareness and reaching greater audiences for campaigns and messaging. Social communities are useful for tracking what your competitors are up to and identifying broad consumer trends. Ninety-three percent of large companies use Facebook, according to a 2015 Social Media Examiner report.

  2. Support communities enable members to offer product tips to other customers, helping companies reduce customer support costs. Compared to social communities, this category provides a more structured way of gathering innovative ideas because support communities allow brands to track product- and service-related conversations. According to a 2015 Forrester Research report, 81 percent of companies have a support community of some kind.

  3. Advocate communities allow brands to mobilize their most passionate, loyal customers. Also known as advocate marketing software, this community type often rewards members for writing a testimonial, posting about the company on social media and doing other similar activities. According to Laura Ramos, principal analyst at Forrester Research, branded customer communities of this type can help boost positive word of mouth.

  4. Insight communities are made up of carefully selected groups of customers who maintain a long-term relationship with brands. These communities allow companies to gather continuous, high-quality feedback from engaged stakeholders like customers, partners or employees. Already a mainstream market research tool, this category is quickly finding its way in marketing, customer experience and innovation.

answer May 31 by Digvijay Khanapurkar
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