These days, any organization can have an online community within few minutes. But, creating one of the best and most successful online community usually takes much more time. If you really want to have an efficient online community,then it needs to have potential for driving a good sales ratio, improve loyalty, reduce cost of service and build trust. So, to solve your query here are some of the key features that your online community must have.
1. Why moderation?
Moderation ensures that your community consists of robust engagement, appropriate user behavior and relevant contributions. Good and effective moderation comes by keeping a balance between proper maintenance and allowing your customers to drive into discussions and engaging with one another. To establish a successful online community, it is highly important that you clear purpose of community, behavior expectations, document tone and more. Always share such documents which explain outline of terms and conditions, establish modern guidelines and online etiquette.
2. How relevant segmentation is?
Nobody wants their customers to search here and there to find something in your community. For example, if you list number of products and your customer is not interested in assuring time and digging things out through discussions, what you can simply do is segment your content wisely. But, members of your community need to have some understanding about who all are seeing their discussions, responses and questions so that customers feel more comfortable.
3. Is better engagement important?
For having successful online community, it is vital that engagement should be advanced and in good ratio. There are so many community management processes which you can put to make customers move through engagement funnel as it is the lifeblood of healthy community. These processes are something very well planned and can be adjusted from time to time continuously so that a new customer transited into regular visitors to volunteer leaders to contributing members.
4. How vital is having a right plan?
Are you working towards motivating and boosting discussions without having any long-term goal or objective? Customer engagement is one of the best indicators of a healthy community, but it can’t be taken as real time goal. So, you must consider the actual purpose of your community. There are many things that has to be planned like are your interested in having new members or want to have focus on existing ones? Are you planning for membership benefit or looking for business intelligence? So, if you are launching a community then must choose a well deserved and concrete goal towards which you can work and then make a plan on how to achieve actual goals. In case, if your goal is customer retention the you must work on improving customer service or simply perception can be improved of organization in mind of members.
5. Should it establish and enforce guidelines?
To ensure better sense of culture should remain maintained, you have to publish guidelines and above all that, correct members. This help in getting rid of bullies and trolls, but you cannot get rid of negative feedback to organization. As community starts developing it become self policing as well.
6. Should it identify business goals?
Successful communities are meant for long period of time thus they need to be properly aligned for identifying and achieving business goals. Few years ago, there was time when focus was completely on technology and everyone use it for their own benefit. But if you are planning for an online community then you have to keep that it should be designed keeping business objectives in mind.
7. Should it be home for Visitors?
To have a successful online community it is important that you should put out a welcome mat to create open, fulfilling and safe environments. Along with this, one must set boundaries for what is accepted and what not is accepted. Always treat new members as family in neighborhood. In case, if you are new in this then what you can do is send personal messages from a host or community manager. The message should be short, personal and most importantly sound that it is sent by a human being. Volunteers and work placements if way for doing this task.
8. Why do it have rich user profiles?
Along with online better communities, people nowadays want incredible comfort and value for interacting with other members of the community. They want such profiles which will display them as highly experts so that better brands can be established. One of the great ways of achieving this rich user profiles is integrating with social media. Improving rich user profiles is mostly known as single sign on or SSO.
9. Should it have Email notifications?
One must always remember that people are never notified by platform, but by email especially when any discussion is going on and they receive a response. They read response and then reply it. The individuals that reply are then notified and they visit to reply and in this way the cycle keeps continuing. In fact, this way visiting platform becomes a habit soon. So, it can be said that notifications speed up the community and it is one of the few best ways through which you can have a successful online community.Instantly many people even click on notification to assure what response they have received.
10. Why robust reputation system?
Attracting a large group of visitors towards your community is one of the most important piece of puzzle. For success of your community, you must find an effective way of motivating users and empowering them to know each other and have trust. This can simply be done by having a robust and reputable system. This system is basically a structure which recognizes users for participation to build better reputation and trust. Always keep in mind that reputation system works 24*7 hours and recognize users who participate in it.
To build successful online community usually takes lots of time. In this case it is important to use time purposefully and do things that are really useful.