4 Reasons Why Millions Are Joining Online Communities and Leaving Social Media

In 2019, 76% of internet users accessed some form of an online community, which has been steadily rising over the years. Yet people are still wondering why they would start an online community if they already have a social media presence. 

Creating an online community can feel like a major undertaking. It requires commitment and demands full support from your team, not to mention the work of doing it alone. If you are still undecided whether building an online community is for you, the list below will provide you with the advantages of having an online community that make people leave social media. 

In this article, you will learn:

  1. What is the difference between online communities and social networks?
  2. Why do you need an online community?
  3. 4 benefits of having an online community 
  4. And many more…

What is the difference between online communities and social networks?

A concept like "online community" might become lost in a sea of buzzwords around social networks and platforms, especially for people who don't use them daily. 

Newcomers to the business are sometimes baffled by the distinction between social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn and online communities.

Simply, an online community is a group of people who meet online to pursue a similar goal, interest, or vision. Chat rooms, mailing lists, and forums are the most common means of communication in online communities.

Hobbies, unique interests, artists, influencers, and even brands and their products are all common discussion topics in online communities. They can take on various shapes and modes of expression. Some even have in-person events in addition to their online counterparts.

Interaction and connection are ways social networks differ from online communities. Typically, social networks are founded on a shaky concept of connectivity. You're letting the world in on your innermost ideas, feelings, and experiences, and the world is responding. 

However, the relationship is more passive than active. An online community is developed with a specific goal and strategy to facilitate connections between people. There are, therefore, more methods than just sharing knowledge to get highly involved in a virtual community generally.

Despite their reach, social networks are often unable to develop genuine connections. It is common for people to share only the best parts of their lives on social media. This results in unhealthy relationships since people tend to compare their lives to what they see online. 

In contrast, creating an online community aims to establish a place where individuals can genuinely connect around what the community stands for and why it exists. Authentic relationships can begin to grow in this carefully designed and maintained environment.

Why do you need an online community?

Although social media is a powerful broadcast tool that can be used to share information with the masses and advertise to the target demographics, its emphasis on promotion and sales can often fall short of meeting the requirements for genuine customer engagement. This is where communities come into play.

Spark Meaningful Discussions

Online communities give you the ability to control the discussion surrounding your personal and commercial brand and the opportunity to recognize and reward the members that are most active in that conversation.

People talk about your products and services all over social media, from your biggest admirers to your harshest detractors. A dedicated online community gives your business a secure place where you can control the conversation rather than merely chiming in on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit. 

Additionally, your brand's social media posts must navigate an ever-changing algorithm to get traction and highlights. With online communities, you no longer have to worry about it since the messages, actions, and topics with the most impact can be highlighted and prioritized when managing the community.

Engage Your Members

With the power to build and implement your unique events and activities, community owners can meet the needs of their businesses. What sets online communities apart from social media platforms is the ability to manage the involvement of members of a community in a specific task and how they participate.

It is up to you to decide how much work community members require to participate in different events. Quick questions, polls, and quizzes are examples of simple yet engaging activities. You may want to do surveys and public discussions if you prefer low-effort tasks.

 Using a variety of participation options in online communities will enable you to meet the needs of all of your members and genuinely engage with them. 

Generate and Use Data 

Even though interactive polls and instant chat plugins are now commonplace on social networking platforms, most user-brand interactions still take the form of a simple like button. Although social media can be used to stimulate involvement, it is difficult, however, to use the information gathered from these activities in any meaningful way.

To benefit both your audience and your brand, you should build an online community. Owning a community means seeing each member's specific actions and responses, down to the particular poll question. This allows you to generate and use data for your next marketing strategies. 

Brands trying to better understand and connect with their most engaged customers will find this level of visibility highly beneficial. If you're looking to get the most out of your data, Backspace can help.

4 Benefits of Having an Online Community 

Your target group's hard-core problems and issues can be properly dealt with through an online community. You can use it to connect with consumers and potential customers deeper, allowing you to provide solutions to their problems. 

Below is the list of some benefits of having an online community: 

You may set yourself apart from your competitors

According to research from the Temkin Group, an average of $775 million in additional revenue may be expected over three years for companies that invest in customer experience. 

Internally, online communities can perform a wide range of tasks, from content generation to marketing intelligence. Plus, they can also have a significant impact on the quality of the user experience. 

In order to stand out from the competition, you can use an online community to respond to inquiries and satisfy your customers, either in real-time or by designing products and services that meet their demands.

Great tool for lead generation 

An online community is a terrific place to start if you want to create more leads or acquire more members. Why? A community makes you discoverable. Plus, since you are already offering value to them you can encourage them to follow your content. 

Additionally, an online community platform can help companies and content creators increase their return on marketing investment. 

Google indexes user-generated information from public communities, such as discussion boards, articles, and updates. By appearing in search results when potential customers look for solutions to their problems, you raise awareness of your community. Increases in search authority, content, and relevancy are all benefits of growing your community. 

Improve customer support 

With an online community, empowering your customers and members to self-serve is one of the greatest benefits, aside from promoting customer-focused communications.

You may help your members help themselves by providing them with new ideas, expert articles, and solutions to frequently asked problems and issues. At any time, struggling users can use these tools to ask questions in forums or discover solutions in videos and blogs.

By sharing problem-solving and product-use content, you may help your customer support team by reducing their workload and giving them new and better ways to improve their service. 

Increase sales and revenue 

You may increase your revenue by improving brand awareness and engagement, as well as by enabling more data-driven sales with an online community that bears your company's name.

Members of a community have an opportunity to learn about the course, product, and service you offer by participating in conversations with other community members. More importantly, community involvement provides opportunities for sales teams to locate prospective new members or clients.

When you establish a community for your audience and customers, you give them the ability to participate in conversations about your company's products and services. Millions of people are increasingly turning to alternatives to social media as a primary means of communication when engaging with a brand, especially for content creators and business owners. 

Clearly, social media platforms do not give them all the tools they need to achieve their goals. Luckily, there are online communities. When used properly, online communities like Backspace can help raise awareness of your brand and foster connections among community members.

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