At Crowd Hub, helping people build thriving digital communities around brands and products is what we do. Not to brag about it or anything, but we've been around the block a couple of times. Along the way, we've learned a few crucial things about communities and what makes a real difference in one.
Actually, it would probably be more accurate to say we've learned a lot about communities along the way. We could talk about the fact that a 5% customer retention increase can lead to a 50% boost in profits, or the fact that 89% of Crowd Hub community members are return members, but today we'd like to focus on other things (though you can see more nifty stats like that here).
- PEOPLE build communities made of PEOPLE. Digital marketing execs love to talk about the power of an online community in boosting profits, and they have good reason to do so. Investing in such communities brings huge returns to a company. Sadly, too often those communities can be seen as a collection of dollar signs instead of a collection of people with lives and loves and dreams. When someone comes to us and wants to build a community, we've learned that the first step in building that community is finding out who that client is, where they want to go, and then figure out how to help them connect with other people with the same goal.
- Communities want to be engaged. Don't be afraid to form a real connection with your community. Too often brands (and people, too) never get to enjoy the real benefits of a strong relationship because they are too afraid to let it strengthen in the first place. If you keep your community at arm's length, they'll keep you just as far away.
- Digital doesn't mean fake. The internet is full of people talking about things they did "IRL" (in real life). Somehow the idea slipped in somewhere that these digital communities are somehow less real than the ones we can walk through. That isn't the case. We found while working with Habitat for Humanity that an online community with a social media driven hashtag helped generate almost $125K for "IRL" community projects. Don't forget the huge impact your digital community will have in "real" life.
These are just a few of the things we've learned as we've helped people build communities around their ideas, products, and brands. Get in touch to find out more about what we've learned.