Benefits & challenges of online community building

During Digital Marketing class we had the opportunity to interact with Jas Dhaliwal (@Jas). At the end of the class we talked about the benefits and challenges of online community building for marketers. We exposed our ideas to him, he analysed it and complement it with his opinion and experience.

This is the result of the interaction:

Benefits

  • Reach more people
  • Electronic word of mouth
  • Real time
  • Personalization
  • People help peers
  • Feedback (Free!)
  • Become self-sustaining
  • Creating and rewarding brand advocates
  • Product management – quick feedback
  • Reduce advertising costs
  • Support from key fans – advocates
  • Increase customer loyalty
  • Prioritise problem solving based on community feedback – which problems are affecting most people
  • Humanize the brand

Challenges

  • Dealing with real-time “follow the sun” but this gets harder to manage as the community grows
  • New social media tools to connect with more people/regions
  • Localization & “Tropicalization” (Different people from different culture)
  • Education in how to use the tools appropriately (especially internal)
  • Manage negative comments:  bugs and philosophical
  • Issues of scale – response times may fall as size grows
  • Measuring success (awareness and reach!)
  • Manage the Knowledge Base
  • Incorporating new technologies such as mobile, iPhone apps, etc.
  • How to prioritise your time between the different channels
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