If you wish to build a long-term business and strengthen your brand, an online community management software is something you will want to invest in. Here are the reasons why.
Community management is more than social media management. While it is undoubtedly a significant component of social media strategies, managing a community becomes more vital as you grow your customer base.
Relationships and how you seize opportunities to engage with your online community is at the heart of community management. Thus, if you think community engagement software won’t have a significant impact on your business, considering that it is limited to small interactions, think again.
According to the latest edition of the State of Community Management Report by the Community Roundtable, online communities empower individuals. The study showed that 3 in 4 people come to an online community mainly to ask questions. Yet, the report noted that their tendency to come checking back and asking questions depends on how the community manages to create an engagement cycle that will keep the community running.
In general, businesses which lack B2B community platform miss out their chances to:
- Standout in the comments section,
- Obtain valuable feedback on products or services,
- Network and partner with other brands,
- Win over potential clients and influencers,
- Convert consumers into loyal customers, and
- Address customer complaints.
Several industries are using a community management system to achieve particular business objectives as their features can be configured to focus on specific community aspects. An earlier study by the Community Roundtable found that many are dedicating budget to move their online communities forward more effectively.
Below are ways how technology is revolutionizing community management with all the benefits that come with SaaS business model.
1. Customize the platform to suit the needs of your community
A community management software can help you ensure your platform is user-friendly by allowing you to customize the features to match your community. Depending on your goals, it can, for instance, enable you to configure how users can join and login to your community. Is it an open network or invite-only? Will users log in via an SSO, a social network, or an e-mail?
Moreover, your platform must be flexible enough to accommodate the way you want your landing page, banner, menu, and other essential content are presented. It also provides access controls to particular website sections and content. Who has the privilege to access and who are those restricted?
A community management tool also enables users to upload photos or text and even allow non-technically minded users to edit files online and create functional pages. More importantly, it makes it easier to download updates as well as delete, edit, and distribute web content. All these you can do without having to learn PHP, HTML and other programming languages or outsource the work to a webmaster.
2. Engage members whenever and wherever they are
Engagement is a community management strategy that you shouldn’t ignore. A tool that features various engagement opportunities that anyone can access anytime and virtually from anywhere can effectively strengthen customer relationship management.
If you want your own brand community platform to become the place for members to meet and talk, you need to find ways to encourage them to network with one another. Keep in mind that they will more likely come back, take part in discussions, and stay engaged when they are getting more value from your community.
Interactive maps, surveys or polls, discussion boards, and the like can help your users make the most of your platform. At the same time, they open an arena for constructive dialogue that can, in turn, result in increased engagement. As a company, you may benefit from being able to address concerns, measure satisfaction, and establish stronger relationships with the members of the community.
3. Improve Content management
Managing content is essential to ensure business success. A great feature of any excellent community management software enables businesses to create engaging posts for the website, and at the same time, helps them track how users respond to each content. It must also allow you to weed out conversations and comments that do not add value.
Updating content instantly is also now possible. With the right tool such as these solutions listed here at FinancesOnline, you have full control over how you want to manage and structure your content in real-time. You no longer have to wait for a website developer or an administrator to do the necessary changes. You can now be sure that everything is fresh and up-to-date.
4. Manage members’ database
The members of your platform are the strength of your online community. A growing number of members will not only ensure that your community does not stagnate and will continue going over time. It also enables you to get fresh perspectives from members continuously.
A community management tool can let you create profiles and maintain a database that you can, later on, use as a valuable source of information. A powerful tool comes with filtering and targeting options that are well-integrated with dynamic web content. These features enable you to update and repurpose information as necessary. Simply put, members’ data are not coded into web pages but are instead generated from the database that authorizes users can easily maintain.
5. Compile recurring reports and analytics
There’s plenty of information coming out of the online community, from inquiries to articles shared. You may configure your community management software to present you recurring reports organized according to your online community’s performance. The reports usually include information like website interactions, user engagement, and shared content.
These pieces of information all empower you to track the results of your work. The ability to do so is essential in providing you a clear picture of what works for you and your company. Imagine your company without an analytics tool in place. You would certainly be clueless of what brings positive or negative results. Which of your activities are effective and deserve more push? And which ones need to cease so you could focus on more valuable initiatives?
6. Improve communication
Most online engagement software comes with a built-in notification system that could result in having a productive workforce and more engaged users. The system allows you to send messages to users regarding events, brand promotions, updates, and a lot more through email, in-app messages, or via short messaging systems. It creates a digital space that allows for more collaboration and teamwork.
7. Manage events seamlessly
A critical feature of an online community management tool is that it enables organisations to promote events to their targeted audience. It has functions that support online registration with various types of tickets, online marketing, and sponsorship management.
8. Streamline online payments
Consumers have many reasons to be vigilant over paying bills online so make sure your platform is safe from frauds and other risks. A community management system can do just that. You can also save time by integrating secure online payments on your platform for paid membership and events as transactions are done in real-time.
Should you invest in community management software?
Finding ways to spark conversations and grow your online community is vital in building a long-term business. Community management tools can present your brand to your targeted market as an amiable, knowledgeable organization that others cannot help but want to interact with.
At the same time, it creates opportunities to drive discussions regarding you and your products or services. Invest in efficient and customizable software, and you will build a loyal customer base that will campaign your brand on behalf.