Engaging Consumers with an online branded community

An engaged, branded community can be the ultimate asset for your company if done correctly. We are living in the “Age of the Customer” and Telligent’s technology helps you engage with your consumers in a more meaningful way.

A branded community gives your organization the opportunity to increase customer reach, add value through-out the customer journey and improve existing customer relationships.

Here are three suggestions you can use to engage your customer through your community:

  1. Tips, Tricks & Best Practices

Your community needs to provide a place where consumers are able to share tips, advice and stories with other likeminded individuals.  Customer interaction needs to be looked upon as the gateway to communication and not the ultimate goal.  A community can be a great brand advocate if it provides the ability for follow through and implementation of popular ideas when the consumers post. Publishing this kind of content isn’t just a good idea, our research has shown that unique content is one of the best practices found in successful communities is unique and relevant content.

  1. The 90-9-1 Rule

A community’s true success is equated to the number of members that are constantly active, engaged and willing to contribute their time and information in order to share and grow the network.  Your community needs to be focused on enabling your users to connect and share content first and foremost. Your community needs to focus on encouraging feedback, advocacy and support in order to have a thriving community.  Global reach across all users is important and helps build brand loyalty which will allow your org to thrive and be viewed as an open, transparent and trustworthy organization. Our research has identified that successful communities aren’t just about members publishing content, but also about community members consuming content. The 90-9-1 rule simply means: 90% of your audience will be passive ‘consumers’, 9% will be contributors (asking questions, rating, ranking, voting and sometimes commenting) and 1% will be active contributors that answer questions and help create new content.

  1. Empower your Customer

An online community is a great resource which allows consumers to easily find answers to common troubleshoot problems. When users have questions, being able to interact with additional users and find quick, easy answers is the key for future purchases and business wins.  It allows for other users to build up their questions and your community becomes a comprehensive resource! However, don’t be tempted to immediately answer every question asked by your customers. Give other experts in the community time to answer questions or share their feedback too – then come back through and validate their responses. Our research shows that a successful community is one that is led by customers that can answer questions and help other customers. This is a leading indicator of a successful community.

There are many, many additional factors which can help your community thrive. Depending on the business purpose of your community you may choose different KPIs to track. However, utilizing these three key points in the beginning will help you tremendously.