Online communities, private social networking, social CRM, member engagement, and social business are amazing, awe-inspiring, life-changing, and the new way that organizations do business. Why wouldn't you want these tools and strategies? Now, ask yourself, why DO you want these things?
Many organizations still see these emerging technologies as a checkbox for managing customers or members in the age of
social media. However, the most successful companies and associations, that are experiencing a lasting impact on their organization's key performance indicators, build their communities around established business goals.
Based on years of working with companies, associations, and user groups, here are 6 prevalent reasons why businesses and membership organizations create online communities for customer or members:
We have written before about setting goals and metrics for your online community. Companies and associations must build their social business strategies on "traditional" business objectives.
To succeed, my organization needs to ____________________________________.
Tip: Make sure your declaration aligns with your organization's core goals.
Good Examples of Reasons to Create an Online Customer Community:
Bad Examples of Reasons to Create an Online Customer Community:
You'll notice that all of the bad examples don't touch on major organizational goals. Companies and associations must dig deeper. Why do you need more engagement? What will a private member community do for your organization? Which major goals will social CRM help you achieve?
Tip: Evaluate your reason for wanting an online community by asking 'why' until you run out of answers. Real-life example:
"To succeed, my organization needs to increase member engagement."
Why is this important?
"More engaged members remain members."
Why is this important?
"We have been losing members over the past 2 years and need to improve member retention."
See how asking 'why' got this membership professional to move from thinking about the tactic to the underlying strategy linked to concrete organizational success factors.
A tangible, purpose-driven approach to building community is essential to creating lasting value for your company, customers, members, and other stakeholders.