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Your Online Community Strategy is a Product Strategy

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 28, 2011 at 12:45 PM

Creating an online community that focuses on helping members or customers become more successful in their jobs, businesses, and lives is much more that a social strategy - It is a strategic imperative for all mid-sized and large companies and membership organizations.

Solve Your Customers' Most Important Problems

There is a direct correlation between the growth of a product or service and the importance of the problems that it solves. Most products solve problems. However, the solutions that don't solve customers' most critical problems quickly move into the "I can take it or leave it" category in your customers' minds. These products often get passed over as other priorities arise, resulting in slow or no growth for your organization.

Online Community Takeaway

Take advantage of the features, functionality, and flexibility of your private online member or customer community to solve your customers' URGENT, PERVASIVE problems that they are WILLING TOI PAY TO HAVE SOLVED.

Treat Membership Like a Product

Your Online Community Strategy is a Product StrategyYou can make membership in your organization a must-have for your market by applying simple product management processes in your organization. Whether you are an association or a for-profit membership organization, how is membership in your organization providing something that your target audience can't get anywhere else? It is critical for any organization, for-profit or non-profit , to find ways to differentiated their product and how they deliver it from both direct competition and in-direct alternatives. Â

Online Community Takeaway

The range of member engagement features and cost effectiveness of an enterprise online community platform make it an ideal solution to place at the center of your value position. The flexibility of the software allows organizations to shape their private community around their members' biggest problems.

Don't Be Afraid to be Exclusive

The strength of your membership as a product relies on the demand for access to the people and information associated with your organization. While it is important to increase your organization's standing in the industry, reach, and awareness, keep in mind that your members and prospects won't need to join or remain members of your organization if they can access the experts and answers the need without signing on the dotted line.

Online Community Takeaway

Use teaser content on your website, email campaigns, and public social networks to drive members and non-members back to your private online community on your website. Example: A teaser blog post on your public blog can circulate around the web on public social networks and drive people back to your private community to read the full white paper on the topic.

Tips for developing a great online customer community strategy.

Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, Online Community

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