With most interactions happening online, it has become crucial for businesses to offer users a superlative experience. And what better medium than online communities to delight the customers, engage them, and boost ROI.
But with consistent technological advancements, what more can brands offer to their customers to keep them hooked to the community?
Community experts from across the globe touched base on the topic ‘Innovation in Community Culture’ in an insightful panel discussion at Community (re)Focus, 2021.
Our distinguished guests for the session were:
- Todd Nilson – Digital, Community, and Workplace Experience Strategist, Clocktower Advisors
- Tina Amper – Founder, Community Management Institute
- Varun Luthra – Country Manager, ANZ Region, Grazitti Interactive
Let’s dive deeper into all that the experts covered during the session and unfold what’s trending in the community space, shall we?
Changes in the Community Space in Terms of Tools and Methods
A brand community is a crucial part of an organization’s innovation engine. Beginning the session, Varun mentioned that many organizations agree that communities have had a major impact on their business processes. In reference to this, he asked the experts about the transformation in the community space over the years and the advancements in tools and methods.
Todd explained that he’s witnessed a lot of interesting and inter-related changes that have happened in the community space. Organizations are now showing a renewed interest in resilience. Social developments have played a big role in shaping the foundation of online communities as customers prefer to engage with brands via social networks.
Todd also mentioned that mobile-first experiences through communities have become crucial to delivering a stellar customer experience. He discussed that the evolution of communities can be divided into parts, namely – Table Stakes and Cutting-Edge. Table Stakes communities are those that deliver a basic experience via communities and cutting-edge communities are those that incorporate new advancements, the creation of apps, AI, Blockchain, and more. Earlier these experiences had to be built from the ground up. Today, it’s turnkey to get a community up and running.
Adding to this, Tina explained that the community industry has grown considerably and community management has become a very popular tool. She mentioned that for enterprises, an online community can be used to fulfill the needs and demands of their customers.
The Added Value That Brands Experience With Online Communities and How Communities Benefit With Game-Thinking Strategies
Moving on, Varun asked the experts an interesting question about what added value do brands experience with communities. He also asked about how gamification makes communities more cutting-edge. Answering this, Todd discussed that brand communities may benefit by incorporating game-thinking in a similar way as they design the platform experience.
He explained that gamification is a deeper implementation of different engagement strategies. And brands use engagement strategies to provide members with a more immersive community experience. Brand communities are definitely making use of gamification by recognizing super users, privileges, ambassadors, and more. However, fields such as crypto, NFT’s, and more still have to be explored.
How Community Adoption Will Change as a Result of Technology Disruption
Varun mentioned that technology is the largest industry that is representing the community space today. He asked the panelists about what more changes we can expect to witness since the adoption process has become much easier.
To explain this, Todd said that if we rewind a little, brands perceive that social is the only medium to foster B2C conversations. But B2B was quick enough to explore the benefits of social and leverage it to their advantage. Communities are branching out into different sectors such as healthcare, education, and more. And these have certainly become a popular medium for all industry types to stay connected with customers.
Moving on, Varun asked Tina about how brands manage communities with so many available options? To this, she replied that communities co-create with your brand. Listen and ask your super users about what’s challenging in the community and what their needs are. As a brand, you will only be able to grow if you co-create with your customers.
Wrapping up the session, Todd also mentioned that a brand knows who the engaged community members are, and AI is something that can give us more insights into customer behavior. And we need to explore more analytical tools that help identify true community fans and super users because they are the real marketers of the community.
Technology is playing a key role in altering how users interact with a brand and how they make purchase decisions. Online communities provide brands with immense options to know their customers better and offer them services that are advanced and tailor-made. Not just this, with the use of evolved technology in communities like AI, Blockchain, etc., brands can make their operations more efficient and boost ROI by crafting killer strategies.
Learn more about creating advanced online communities. Talk to us!
Popular Blog Posts