If you want your business to stand out you need to set yourself apart from your competitors. This year has been difficult for many business owners who have been trying to navigate through the chaos and adapt the brand to meet the needs of customers. One thing that has been crucial for brands during these uncertain times is the need to stay connected to customers.
For the most part, everything has been up in the air, and communication between a business and its consumers is one way to ensure that both parties are on the same page. Some brands have chosen to stay connected to their customers through social media platforms or via their website, but there is another way you can keep in touch and this is through implementing a community platform.
What is an online community platform?
An online community platform allows you to connect with your audience anywhere, at any time. It allows you to manage a space where open discussions with like-minded people who have joined your community can take place. Whether it’s to come up with new ideas, use as a private social networking tool, distribute any news or updates, or to just increase customer engagement.
How is a community platform beneficial for your business?
With community platform software there are a host of tools and features that can help increase and maintain engagement. You can build a successful community through push notifications, direct messaging, likes, comments, live streams, and polls. This can be beneficial for your brand as it will give you a better understanding of what your audience likes, wants, and needs.
There are tools available that can help you moderate your community and you can use analytics to help it grow. You can brand your online community to suit your business logo, fonts, and colours. Community platforms are GDPR-compliant so you don’t have to fret about breaching data, as you will own all of it.
More brands are likely to set up their own community platform as a way to stay connected to their consumers. Another benefit of a community platform is that if a customer has a query or an issue it’s more likely to be resolved quicker via this method than telephone or email.
Although businesses will continue to use social media for engagement and brand awareness, the use of things like Facebook Groups is likely to decrease, with people switching over to community platforms instead. This eliminates problems with privacy and security and the control of data.
What features are available?
The great thing about community platforms is that it’s similar to social media channels but you are more in control and can make it a safe space for you and your customers. There is a range of features that are useful for your business.
You can use the analytics feature to gain further insights into your audience and allow you to get to know them better. This is useful for brands that are looking to update a product or service based on the needs of their customers and can help them improve their engagement.
There’s a poll feature that you can implement to gain a better understanding of your customers. You can put polls up to find out what it about your business they like, areas you could improve on, or what they’d like to see from your brand going forward.
You can create unlimited private and public groups that can segment your audience by their interests or where they’re located and members of the community can follow and engage with one another if they have similar interests.
There’s also a content library feature that enables you to upload and store assets and share them with your audience. So if you have videos, images, or blog posts that your audience may find useful, they can find them all in one space.
To keep your community safe, there are also moderation tools where you can verify members, report people should you need to, as well as shadowban members. This type of feature allows you to ensure that your community is well protected.
Is a community platform right for your business?
Your business can benefit from implementing a community platform, and it is one way to get your brand to stand out against your competitors if you are putting effort into creating a tight-knit community with your audience. Building a community can increase leads and improve brand loyalty. There are a host of benefits as to why this may be a great option for your business, but only you can decide if this is the right direction to take your brand.