In this world, which is run by internet, building an online community for your purpose is as important as any other plan you wish to succeed in, online communities serve as a great platform for introducing ideas, for letting out thoughts, pointing the pathways, building strategy, marketing etc. These can be used for multiple purposes, depending upon your goal.
What is an online community?
There is no definite terminology which can reasonable explain what is an online community. Generally speaking, it is a wide field of technology. People interact with each other directly or indirectly over various issues, for different purposes for achieving goals. The purpose and goal of a community defines to what extent the power of an online community extends.
For example, if you need online presence as a part of your business strategy, you can create a platform where your business and its customers meet. Also, if you want to create a community for raising social awareness about a topic, it can be done through different social media platforms. The power of an online community depends on people who come together, share their opinions, feel connected and valued with it.
What is the importance of an online community?
We have already mentioned, that power of an online community knows no bounds. If a group of people come together, and share something which is close to them. Also they create a strong bond, which turns itself into a cohesive relationship. When you build communities for business purposes, it helps in interaction, development and strategic points. If treated properly and forwarded with enthusiasm, it knows no bounds, and it can reach to places its members never imagined of.
It is very important to know people who share same values as you, interact with them. It relieves people and helps in mental peace to surround themselves with like-minded people. Knowing people with same background or interactions help you go further up on the ladder of professionalism.
Is an online community powerful enough to bring a change?
Yes, the power of an online community if directed into the right direction can give birth to a movement, a campaign, a mass event etc. We have seen various instances where influential groups, changing the sociology of a place were earlier just an online community who ultimately grew and increased their presence all over the country. Furthermore, there have been NGOs that rose to fame and potential only after a successful online outreach programme.
Power of an online community should never be underestimated, specially at this stage where internet is taking over the world. All successful movements today starts off as a internet campaign. Furthermore, all big business companies are able to expand their reach all over the world only by building an online community.
What is the future of online communities?
Measuring the power of an online community will only give one answer, that they are likely to grow and outgrow all other sources of community handling in the near future. Since their presence is increasing day by day, their power continues to grow. Small groups from local towns have become internationally acclaimed for their goals, methods etc. Even singe individuals have seen themselves rise to exponential fame within a few months, by creating their online presence.
All this above only indicates, that in the near future. If you have to expose yourself to the world, online community building is the best way to do so. It provides you with a way to connect to your audience, know them, talk to them and be with them. It enables you to tell them about yourself, and the message you want to convey.
Is online community good for business?
It is effective not only for personal reasons. Strategic display of online communitarian pattern will lead to increase in the efficiency of a business since it leads to better customer-business interface and interactions. Their solve problems in a better manner. They feel acknowledged and cared for. Power of an online community with respect to business is increasing. Since it is providing a platform to the business to expand their reach beyond their territorial limits.
All you need to do is know what kind of interaction you wish to achieve within a business module. And also approach the online platform in that manner, increasing awareness in the online community you create can also lead to competitive advantage to you.
How to build an online community
After knowing the power of an online community, it is extremely important to know how to build an online community which serves your purpose. The mist important step is to start small. Do not intend to abruptly feel the presence as soon as you start with it. Make sure that you have a guided plan in action mode before trying to work on building a community.
Chose the platform you want according to the needs. Secondly create a focus group over which your initial steps will be targeted. It will make it easier for you to gain presence. Thirdly, create certain guidelines for the community, and always ask for feedback. This helps the people in your community to fell obliged and cared for. You can also put to your advantage, the power of an online community.
All you have to do it follow the steps and ensure your message is being conveyed properly to the focus group you have created. So, over time you will feel that your group is growing and marking its presence if done in the right direction.