Brand communities are making a comeback. Where companies once relied on their own message boards and communities to get their messages out, social media sites took over to a great degree--but now the tide is slowly turning the other way. According to Forrester's "Predictions 2015: Marketing Leaders Mix Data, Content, and Insight To Craft Brand Experiences," written by Luca S. Paderni and Shar VanBoskirk, branded communities will enjoy a resurgence in 2015.
"Marketing leaders will also come to terms with the fact that their brands' Facebook and Twitter messages simply don't reach or engage their audiences," the report says. "We expect the brand community, often neglected or deemed too difficult to activate and maintain, to be poised for a comeback in 2015. In fact, communities can support every part of the marketing plan."
Social media marketing doesn't just drive conversation, it propels readers to take action--to "like" a photo, to leave a comment, or to click a link to learn more. Yet while today's brands use social and digital communities to tease great content, success is increasingly being measured by actions taken off of these channels. Understanding how social engagement impacts awareness metrics such as site traffic, page views, and so on is critical to growth.