It's true! Social media has become more than just a platform for sharing pictures of adorable pets or drool-worthy food. It has evolved into a bustling virtual realm where people from all walks of life can unite, share their passions, and form communities that transcend geographical boundaries.
It's a space where 76% of internet users participate either through blogs, forums, groups, and vlogs across all devices. And most importantly, it's become this powerful platform where ideas are shared, support is offered, and collaborations are born. Thus from brand communities to customer support, the growth of social communities is insane!
Yet there is still a lack of clarity among most marketers about the specific benefits of online communities that they can capitalize on. For those still in some doubt over whether an online community is a worthwhile investment, let us convince you to check out the plethora of benefits it has to offer. Trust us, the benefits are truly remarkable!
To help you clear your cloud, we’ve put together this list of their 10 biggest benefits that will leave you feeling motivated and ready to embark on your own community-building journey.
Types Of Social Media Communities
When it comes to building your online tribe, there's a whole array of communities just waiting to be explored. From niche groups to broad networks, the options are as diverse as the people who inhabit them. With Facebook (29%) and Slack (23%) being the top preferred platforms by most organizations, let's dive right in and discover the other exciting types of social media communities you can be a part of!
Based on purpose and interest, social media communities can be of the following types:
- Brand Communities: If you're a die-hard fan of a particular brand, you might find yourself in a brand community. These passionate communities gather to discuss, promote, and celebrate their favorite products, creating a tight-knit circle of brand enthusiasts.
For example, Glow Recipe and Glow Gang have a brand community that gives customers a platform to engage with each other and develop a firm bond.
- Support Communities: Sometimes, life can throw curveballs, and that's where support communities come in. Whether it's mental health, parenting, or a specific challenge you're facing, these communities provide a safe space for sharing experiences, seeking advice, and finding comfort in the company of others who understand.
For example, Uber has support communities on Facebook where customers can also express their concerns and get solutions to their problems.
- Interest-based Communities: Are you crazy about cooking, obsessed with travel, or an avid bookworm? Join interest-based communities where you can connect with like-minded individuals, share your passion, and get inspired by others.
For example, Netflix has interest-based communities on Facebook where members share and recommend the movies they have liked and watched.
Professional Communities: Looking to expand your career horizons? Professional communities on platforms like LinkedIn offer a hub for networking, job opportunities, and industry insights. It's the perfect place to connect with professionals in your field and stay ahead of the game.
Discord Communities: Whether you're seeking a place to discuss your favorite games, share your creative works, or simply connect with like-minded individuals, Discord communities offer a vibrant and engaging space to chat, collaborate, and forge friendships.
These are just a few examples of the rich tapestry of social media communities out there. Each one offers a unique experience where you can find your tribe, learn, grow, and make lasting connections.
Offer Enhanced Support And Social Media Customer Service
Imagine having a group of people who genuinely care about your well-being and are always ready to offer a helping hand. That's the beauty of creating a community on social media.
In fact, buyers are more interested in connecting with humans for their queries rather than watching a how-to video. And who’s better than another buyer in this regard? These social media communities not only provide a premise for connecting and helping each other out but also encourage brand conversations.
It is the best place to surround yourself with individuals sharing similar interests, hobbies, or even the challenges you face. From seeking advice on a DIY project to finding emotional support during tough times, your community will become your go-to support system.
Besides, with 59% of organizations using online communities to provide customer support, it has not only become an effective avenue for quick and efficient customer service but also for gathering product/service feedback to understand your customer’s expectations of a brand.
Who’s doing it?: Without any doubt, the LEGO community is a fantastic platform to interact, resolve queries, and engage with each other collaboratively and creatively. LEGO enthusiasts can participate in forums, social media groups, and dedicated websites where they can ask questions, share their creations, and seek advice from fellow community members.
The above image is all about users actively interacting with each other, providing solutions, and sharing their expertise. It's a space where imagination thrives and connections are formed.
Decreased Support Costs
The advent of social media platforms has provided companies with a unique opportunity to offer enhanced support and deliver exceptional customer service. But here's the fascinating part: while doing so, businesses can actually experience decreased support costs.
But how does that work? Let's talk about it! As a business owner, you know that providing top-notch customer support can be a costly endeavor. But here's the good news: creating a community on social media can actually help you reduce those costs.
Well, think about it this way. When you have a vibrant and engaged community, you're not the only one responsible for providing support. Your community members become an active part of the support system.
Basically, it's like a win-win situation! They help each other by sharing their experiences, offering tips, and answering questions. It's like having a group of dedicated customer support representatives, all working for free!
This collaborative environment not only reduces the burden on your support team but also allows them to focus on more complex issues. In fact, it's the word of Marketing Insider Group that 49% of businesses with online communities record cost savings of 10% to 25% yearly.
Well, it's basically how your community members become your brand advocates and support system and resolve each other’s queries at minimum to no cost.
Who’s doing it?: While all these are hard facts, let's see how beauty industry leader Sephora actually leverages these benefits in reality!
With a whooping follower count of 21.4 million followers on Instagram, this retail chain does an amazing job of connecting customers with its online community, Beauty Talk.
Being a well-organized forum where users can ask questions, share ideas, and have their beauty quagmires solved by other enthusiasts, this Beauty Board decreases support costs besides up-selling and generating new contacts.
Users can share relevant blogs, links, pictures, and information, making these communities a go-to resource for comprehensive solutions.
Increased Engagement And Brand Visibilty
When you build a community, you're not just broadcasting your message to the world; you're fostering a two-way conversation. You're creating a space where your audience can actively engage with you and with each other. And let me tell you, this engagement is like fuel for your brand's visibility.
Think about it: When your community members like, comment, and share your content, it's like a ripple effect. Their actions expose your brand to their connections, reaching a wider audience. Suddenly, your carefully crafted posts are gaining traction, and the internet is all about you!
But it's not just about the numbers; it's about the genuine connections you're building. When your community members engage with your brand, they're not just passive consumers. They become active participants, sharing their experiences, asking questions, and even providing feedback.
This engagement builds trust and authenticity. Your brand becomes more than just a logo; it becomes a relatable and trustworthy entity in the eyes of your audience. And that, my friend, is how you stand out in the digital noise.
Who’s doing it?: Let's talk about this herbal tea brand, Traditional Medicinals, that offers an online space for wellness enthusiasts to know everything about tea. Their Plant Power Journal is worth reading, with community members sharing their DIY hacks, recipes, and herbal lore.
*Source: Traditional Medicinals *
As you visit their website, you can see how it is specifically designed to feature tea reviews and encourage online feedback that acts as an all-important social proof. Indeed a unique way of increasing brand visibility and engagement. Worth taking inspiration!
Better Collaborative Opportunities
Two heads are better than one, right? Well, imagine the power of multiple heads coming together within your social media community. In fact, Oracle agrees in their “Socially Driven Collaboration” report that 96% of companies see the value that customer collaboration presents for the marketing department.
Connecting with individuals with complementary skills or shared interests opens the door to incredible collaborative opportunities. You can collaborate on projects, share resources, and tap into the collective knowledge of your community. This is one of the main reasons for the popularity of community creation on socials!
If designed properly, they enable you to identify and involve the members in a mutually relevant way for co-creation or even leverage crowdsourcing efforts to drive members towards a common goal.
This collaboration not only leads to innovative solutions but also helps you expand your brand reach and achieve your goals faster. Together, you can achieve greatness!
Thus, irrespective of the type of community you manage, keeping it engaged can sometimes become tedious as you grow gradually. While we are sure, you are competent enough to manage it to your best ability, knowing a thing or two about community management can help you take the long road.
Remember, it's all about enhancing your understanding and getting a fresh perspective. Feel free to harp on our thoughts about community management and learn how Statusbrew can be your Avenger in that!
Who’s doing it?: Building a thriving SaaS community takes a significant investment of time and resources, but SaaS Alliance is simply nailing it with its Slack community, an invite-only group with over 1,000 SaaS founders as members.
It not only creates a space available around the clock for customers, suppliers, and employees to share ideas and collaborate but also learn more about key topics such as onboarding, remote work culture, sales tracking apps, marketing automation, and all things SaaS-centered. It is a first-hand inspiration for SaaS startups and founders’ communities!
Fosters Brand Loyalty
While talking about brand loyalty may sound generic, it isn't! It's essential and one of the most crucial benefits you cannot skip. Let us present a different perspective to help you clear your cloud.
Let’s analyze it from this angle: We have only 24 hours daily. This goes into sleeping, work, and other miscellaneous chores, and the balance of hours is minimal. If your customer chooses to take time out and engage with your community on priority, you’re privileged! With so many options out there, choosing yours means you are doing it right. It means they feel a part of something bigger than just a transactional relationship with your brand.
And that is what needs to be achieved because competition isn't waiting for anyone. You need to start now if you haven't, as chances are you'll attract many enthusiastic and passionate members who believe in your values.
Trust me; people want conversations! Good and valuable ones! And if your community succeeds in offering the support and content they need, my friend, you will reach new heights. In fact, 85% of marketers and community builders believe that having a branded online community will improve the customer journey and increase trust.
This trust and dependency will lead to an emotional bond and repeat business.
Who’s doing it?: You must have heard about Gymshark, I bet! It is one of the fastest-growing fitness apparel brands in the world, and this incredible growth is largely fueled by the strong community they have built around its brand.
With a follower count of above 6 million on Instagram, Gymshark has a strong value-add marketing strategy where it has handpicked each of Gymshark’s athletes and influencers to represent the brand to their communities. The moto? To individually engage with their loyal fans personally and make them resonate with the brand's purpose.
Besides, the Gymshark Central blog is worth mentioning as its articles are loaded with tips, tutorials, and exercises - a treasure trove for fitness enthusiasts.
Builds Real Connection
In the vast digital landscape, feeling disconnected from others is easy. When you build a community, you create a space where people with shared interests, passions, or experiences can come together. It's like finding your tribe in the vast digital landscape.
These connections go beyond the surface level. They involve meaningful interactions, shared experiences, and a sense of belonging. It's like having a virtual support system or a group of friends who just "get" you. It's a space where people can be authentic and feel understood.
And the best part? These connections often extend beyond the digital realm. You might meet with community members in real life, attend events, or even collaborate on exciting projects. It's like turning virtual connections into real, lifelong friendships.
Now you might be wondering how your brand benefits from it. Well, my friend, when your community members feel a genuine connection with your brand, they become more than just customers. They become brand advocates, cheerleaders, and loyal supporters. In fact, 85% of online businesses state that communities have positively impacted their business.
- Humanize your brand, making it relatable and trustworthy.
- Community members become your strongest advocates, spreading the word about your brand to their networks.
- Gain valuable insights and feedback.
My opinion? Don't just aim for superficial interactions on social media. Dive deeper, and listen to them. Because feedback, whether positive or negative, is valuable to an organization. Use it well!
Who’s doing it?: PlayStation Plus has one of the biggest communities of elite gamers that consists of eSports fans, enthusiasts, and leading influencers in the industry. This advocate community builds connections with its members in the most valuable way by rewarding them with recognition and providing a space for sharing tips and scheduling online play sessions.
Encourage Diversity And Global Reach
Have you ever thought about the incredible power of diversity and the vast global reach that can be achieved through online communities? Have you ever pictured customers from all walks of life, hailing from different corners of the world, coming together in one virtual space? How amazing is that?
It's clear. In a diverse online community, the possibilities are endless. You get exposed to a myriad of cultures, perspectives, and experiences that broaden your horizons and challenge your own beliefs. It's a melting pot of ideas and a treasure trove of knowledge. In fact, the average global market growth rate of online communities is 13.9% CAGR.
With the immense potential for collaboration and innovation, you can tap into different skill sets, gain fresh insights, and discover unique approaches to problem-solving. Moreover, the global reach of online communities means you can connect with people from every corner of the globe, transcending geographical boundaries. You can engage in meaningful conversations with individuals who bring their unique flavor to the table with a global exchange of ideas, cultures, and perspectives.
Who’s doing it?: What's better to explain this besides stating the initiatives of Sabin Vaccine Institute and its online community “Boost”? To better support immunization workers worldwide, the community has expanded its reach to bring together experts across different boundaries to tackle urgent vaccine challenges.
Working at both national and sub-national levels, Boost has increased its community’s diversity, particularly in Asia and Africa.
Generates Leads And Acquire New Members
Well, this is one of the most important sections you are looking for, right? We know. That's why we will present not only the “why” but the “how” as well.
Since recent research has stated that companies with online communities boost their returns on marketing investment by almost 35%, it is important to understand why an online community is one of the most sustainable places to generate new leads and find active members.
When you create a community on social media, you're creating a magnet for like-minded individuals who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer and eager to connect with you.
Sharing user-generated content and fostering meaningful conversations naturally attract new members who resonate with your brand. These individuals are more likely to convert into leads because they're already engaged and receptive to what you have to offer. Besides, there is a high chance of your community appearing in the search results. So it's simple! As your brand's search authority grows, so do your leads.
And the benefits for your brand? Well, let's count them! By generating leads and acquiring new members through your community, you can:
- Expand your customer base
- Increase your sales potential
- Boost your brand's growth
- Become a powerful referral engine
Who’s doing it?: Ah, Ahrefs, the master of SEO and online community building! The Ahrefs Insider community is the knowledge hub of discussions and valuable insights that attract like-minded individuals who are eager to improve their SEO game.
It has leveled up its lead generation game through its content marketing strategy with high-quality blog posts, video tutorials, and case studies that provide immense value to its target audience.
Drives Revenue Growth
By now, it's clear to you that creating a community on social can turn those engagements into tangible dollars!
And if we talk about revenue growth, with an online community, you get a combination of 3 things:
- Data-driven sales enablement
How? Well, when you build a community on social media, you're not just creating a fan club; you're building a loyal customer base that is primed to support your business. And guess what? That support translates into increased revenue.
Here's how it works. There are basically 5 ways to do this:
Within your community, you have a captive audience already interested in your brand and offerings who can discover new ways of using your product through discussions with other community members.
Sales teams can detect potential new members and loyal ones through community activity and approach them accordingly.
Advertise your sponsors or business partners within the community for that added revenue.
With an engaged and loyal audience, you can showcase new offerings, exclusive deals, and limited-time promotions.
Upsell or cross-sell to existing customers by understanding their needs, preferences, and pain points.
While increasing revenue is important, analyzing it cannot be ignored as well! And if you are looking to track the impact of your community-building efforts on your revenue, Statusbrew can be of great help. It's not about promoting! We really want you to capitalize on your efforts, and our advanced analytics and reporting features can genuinely help you out in that.
So what's that you get? You can:
- Measure engagement
- Track conversions
- Analyze the ROI of your social media campaigns
- Streamline and save time and resources
- Efficiently manage community interactions
- Engage with potential customers
- Drive them toward the purchase funnel
Sounds great, right? Book us up, and we’ll guide you through!
Upgrade Customer Lifetime Value
Last but not least, CLV. With rising customer acquisition costs, extending customer lifetime value (CLV) is imperative as you're not just focused on short-term transactions; you're in it for the long haul.
The ability to boost your CLV is one of the most significant benefits of creating a social media community. And you can imperatively avoid customer churn, what we call the ‘leaky bucket’ analogy.
How? Well, within your community, you have a captive audience of loyal fans, emotional and interactive, who already love your brand. By continuously engaging with them, offering exclusive perks, and delivering exceptional experiences, you keep them coming back for more. They become repeat purchasers, and their lifetime value shoots through the roof, reducing the pressure to acquire new business constantly.
Who’s doing it?: Netflix has a very clear idea about its customer psyche. They know that customers are impatient, and most of them cancel because they don't like to be kept waiting. This is why they added a feature where you could stream movies on the web, not only satisfying your movie urge but also keeping you busy while waiting.
By tracking the stats, they found out that the lifetime value of a Netflix customer is $291.25, and they have reduced their churn to 4%. Great indeed!
We hope that's a lot of benefits to capitalize on, and by now, you are convinced that it's worth creating! Thus, if not yet, you should start investing in creating a community on social media because, if leveraged right, these benefits will give you a run for your money.
Don't be afraid to experiment, be patient and try new approaches, as Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your community. And if you're looking to maximize these advantages, we have got your back!
With Statusbrew, you can streamline your social media efforts, engage with your audience, and nurture your community like never before. With its intuitive interface and dependable features, you can effortlessly manage multiple social media platforms, schedule posts, track analytics, and collaborate with your team. It's the ultimate solution to take your community-building efforts to the next level.