Get involved in online communities
Written on the 2 July 2010
What is an online community?
A great way to encourage and facilitate feedback and knowledge about your products/ services / business from customers and prospects is to get involved in online community groups.
An online or virtual group is a group of people that primarily interact via an online presence, making individual contributions by knowledge sharing. By getting involved in online communities it will also help to strengthen your relationship with your existing and potential customers.
There are many different types of online communities, including:
In order to make online community groups a successful brand building strategy for your business, it is important that you understand the key figures in these groups:
Strategies for getting involved
A word of warning - the people that use online communities are generally very accepting of new ideas but they resent their groups being used as for free advertising. So if you do become involved in these groups, make sure your contributions are valuable, relevant and interesting, not just thinly-disguised marketing messages.
If you build a reputation as an expert in the group, the other users will visit your business website and spread the word about your brand. But, if you just use the group to blatantly promote yourself, the group has the word of mouth power to damage your brand.