Digital Community

Community building can be of a benefit to both customers as well as organizations. Community can be based around either location or a particular interest. Communities are characterized by the similarities among its members, by the differences between its members and its surroundings, and by the boundaries, which separate the community from the rest of the population.

Three qualities of community are tolerance, reciprocity and trust. Social networks are great tools for creating online communities. The common features of online communities are a shared purpose or common interest; participants’ interaction; user-generated content; the existence of clear boundaries that define the purpose and practices of the community and a unique communal culture.

 

 

There are two types of communities that are being leveraged in business: internal and external. The internal ones consist of internal stakeholders, while the external ones are composed of the communities outside the company, located at the social networks etc. In attempt to build a community, we can leverage the AIDA marketing model. It describes the stages in launching a new phenomenon, be it a product, service or a community. It starts with creating an awareness, continues with igniting an interest, supporting a decision and it ends with incentivizing an action.

Another important factor to include is the usage life-cycle of a software. The stages are as follows: unaware, interested, first-time use, regular use and passionate use. A digital as well as any other community must be based on two- way communication and exchange. Share communities now more often substitute corporations in providing information and services.

The power of pull is a new concept presenting the idea that companies shouldn’t draw from the customers what they want, but instead they should facilitate a community and allow customers to share opinions there. Company can then easily contribute from that.

As in the traditional meaning of community, in the online community we distinguish two meanings of the word. Digital community can be perceived either as an online space, where people meet, share and interact, or as group that is bound by a common interest.

The barrier between the interest stage and the first-time user stage can be solved by a simple graphic, showing how easy it is to sign up.

Clean Currents is a company, which operates in the Mid-Atlantic region. Their predominant focus is on providing electricity yielded from the wind energy. To promote themselves, they leveraged social media and incented a growth of a digital community. Members of this community advocate for the firm and spread the Clean Currents’ message.

Sephora builds its digital community on Facebook by regular cool offers that launch every Friday. That brings its fans regularly to their profile, looking for the newest original discount etc.

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