We’ve helped many brands and influencers to create online communities and we’ve seen how much they’ve benefited from strong engagement. The benefits of online community engagement are really endless and we want to share some of them with you.

Increase customer retention

When it comes to benefits of community engagement customer retention always comes to mind. Engagement is what keeps your community alive. Without engagement, there’d be nothing to keep your users, fans, followers and friends coming back to wherever it is that you host your community. This is known as retention.

Retention is vital to any community because it is an essential factor for growth. Attracting new members to your community is really important for initial growth. But, retaining your existing members by keeping them happy and engaged, whilst bringing new people into your community, is the key to sustained growth and the lasting success of the community you’re building.

Retention is a really important measure of how well your brand and community is doing. It essentially measures the percentage of people who are returning to your community. The higher your retention, the more engaging your community is there’s something that keeps people coming back for more. So this is super important.

Building engagement levels within your community is a great way to increase retention. If your community is a fun, engaging and exciting place to be, your members are much more likely to keep coming back. So make sure your community is adding unique value to your members. Something they won’t find anywhere else.

That’ll keep them coming back. And that means they’re much more likely to think of you and your brand the next time they’re looking for whatever it is that you do best. And that association will set you apart from your competitors and build a loyal, engaged community around you.

Find opportunities to earn more money

Building engagement will create great opportunities to make money from your happy and engaged members. Giving them access to your exclusive content or running competitions, for example, will ensure that your brand maintains its presence within the minds of your community members.

This is often referred to as Customer Relationship Management, which is the discipline of managing your customer’s relationship with your brand and ensuring that your brand is always present in the minds of your audience. By keeping your brand, product or community in the minds of your current and potential customers, you can create excellent opportunities to sell your products or services to them. For many brands, this is one of the top benefits of community engagement

People who love your brand will buy more from you. People who engage regularly with your brand values and messaging are more likely to choose your brand when they’re making a decision on where to make their next purchase. This is one of the most important benefits that community engagement strategies can bring.

At Disciple, we offer a range of monetisation options: subscriptions, sponsored, in-app purchases and e-commerce. Our community platform gives you the tools you need to gather, engage and monetise your most valuable community. You can find out more here.

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Skyrocket brand loyalty

Establishing a brand community gives your customers so many more touchpoints and reasons to come into contact with your brand values and your messaging.

Normally, customers only come into contact with your brand when they’re purchasing or using your product or service. But, if they join and actively participate in a customer community, they’ll be thinking and speaking about your brand much more often.

This is known as lifecycle marketing. And the more your customers come into contact with your brand, the stronger presence your brand will have in your customers’ lives.

Brand loyalty is one of the key benefits of community engagement.

Build up brand advocacy

Gathering a customer community of your most engaged customers, fans and followers, will almost inevitably result in great advocacy. Advocacy occurs when customers are so pleased with the products and services they receive from a brand, that they essentially go and market that brand to all of their friends. For free!

Advocacy is a great thing for any brand because people are more likely to believe their friends than any of your marketing material. It is similar to peer-to-peer marketing because there is already a level of trust established between the advocate and the listener. You’ll be amazed at how beneficial advocacy can be for your business.

And building an online brand community is an awesome way to encourage advocacy. Gathering together a group of your most engaged customers, giving them amazing content and conversations to be a part of will ultimately lead to brand advocacy.

Improve customer support

Building a brand community will give your brand more identity and make you stand out from the crowd. Every brand says that they really care about their customers, as every brand should. But, not every brand cares about their customers enough to take the time to build an online customer community for them. But you do.

That already speaks volumes about your brand and how much you care about your customers. By bringing them all together into a brand community, you show your customers that you listen to them and want to give them a space to discuss your brand, the lifestyle your brand helps to create and any issues surrounding your products.

This essentially turns your customer community into a customer communication management tool. Similarly to a feedback loop, you’ll be able to see customers posting about how great your products are, but also, any issues they’re having with your products. This gives you the ability to be proactive and tell your brand community that you’re aware of the issues and are already resolving them.

Get consumer insights

Data is everything now. And one of the greatest benefits of community engagement is that you can turn your community into a focus group. Your online social network can give you really useful insights into what your customers want and the challenges they face. This is vital information for you and you use that information to inform everything you do.

When marketing your product or service, position your messaging so that you’re solving a particular problem. One that you know your customers are facing right now.

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What is community engagement?

It’s becoming increasingly understood that the true value of a user base lies not in its size, but rather in its depth of engagement. As such, a new trend is emerging. One in which companies and brands place community building and community engagement strategies at the heart of their marketing strategies.

The benefits of online community building and community engagement are endless. It’ll drive more leads, improve brand loyalty and increase user retention. Also, having an active and engaged community is more cost-effective than spending thousands of dollars on Facebook and AdWords in order to drive more leads.

In a nutshell, community engagement strategies are a process of building and nurturing your customers, users and/or fans. However, it’s essential to understand that there are different types of community and each of them have their own values and interests. So, in most cases, there is no one-size-fits-all solution and community engagement strategies often vary.

Before, we dive into the 10 community engagement strategies you need to know, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of online community engagement.

What are the benefits of strong community engagement strategies?

data dashboard from the Community Hub

How to measure community engagement?

There are two key metrics you can use to measure community engagement:

Measure retention

Retention measures the percentage of your community that comes back after subscribing or visiting for the first time. For example, let’s say that 10 people subscribe to join your community on Monday. Of those 10 people, 7 come back on Thursday. This would give you a 70% rate of retention over a three-day period.

Retention is also commonly referred to as “stickiness”.

Measure churn

Churn is the exact opposite of retention. It measures the number of people who stop coming back to your community, or drop off. So, let’s use the same example we used for retention. 10 people subscribe to join your community on Monday. Of those 10 people, 7 come back on Thursday. This gives you a churn of 30%. So this means that 30% of your community has stopped engaging with you and your community.

Churn is also commonly referred to as “drop-off”.

Disciple professional community management platform helps people build independent, valuable and trusted communities in a safe space that they own and control. Get your own community app today!