Streamlining the burgeoning cloud of online communities

By : |June 20, 2016 0
Image courtesy

Till about a decade ago, online communities were more to do with social life, like a community for a residential colony, or say a college dance group, but today they have grown into a strategic enterprise asset and a substantial industry in their own right. The majority of organisations—65 percent to be precise—have deployed some or the other form of community platform to help employees, and in a lot of cases for the consumers-management interaction.

Exploiting this form of communication is beneficial also to the enterprises, to gather customer loyalty, capturing their ideas, and enabling them as advocates, among key use cases, all in a highly cost-effective yet easily scalable manner. It’s inclusive and renders a personal touch.

The social business industry is the front runner in deploying community interaction online, and the usage is expected to increase with a compound annual growth rate of 26 percent through 2019, to become a $23 billion industry. This is a significantly higher growth rate than the entire big data industry, to put things in perspective.

Although the industry fares well in the entrepreneurial space The Community Round table, which has been tracking the growth of the industry for years, in its State of Community Management (SOCM) report of 2016 has noted that community practitioners tend to use the data that they have, often directly from the built-in analytics tools in their community platforms, rather than the data they actually need to demonstrate business impact and value. To satisfy the increasingly intense executive scrutiny community practitioners must focus investment and time in capturing their business value story.

Last year, the report highlighted the operational need for communities to invest in advocacy programs for their best members, giving them real rewards for their very real contributions to the community. But this year, the report insists that community managers must attract and enlist members of all kinds to be ambassadors by providing training, education events, content schedules, program-style resources, and operational support. Enabling a community member to voice their opinion on a forum where it will be valued, without overstepping any social boundary, is the most important thing to do. The more the members are channeled and restricted by what they can do in the community, the less personal value they perceive in it.

Consequently, to succeed, the report strongly recommends that online communities must bring both the members and the organization together to achieve something worthwhile out of the community.

The SOCM report also found that mobile experiences for online communities are generally poor, and will hinder adoption, usage, and access to value as mobile devices continue to increase their share of screen time. Community budgets are continuing to be strained the report notes, as communities grow but resources aren’t allocated at the same speed.

No Comments so fars

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.