Social networks have eaten the world, yet people are now realizing the limitations and dangers of those technologies. They crave deeper, more meaningful connections, and they are willing to put in effort to build them - they just need the opportunity.
One underused tool to help brands lead in a more complex world and build collaborative knowledge are branded communities.
In fact, a recent Forrester survey commissioned by Khoros supports this:
Communities are extremely valuable -
of consumers say brands offering an online community is an important driver of their brand preference.
And yet, at the same time…
Visited a community in the last 6 months
So how do we as community builders overcome this challenge?
Our answer is that there isn’t enough community in every part of the customer journey. Some companies are doing this in some places, but nobody is really doing it everywhere.
What we mean by "everywhere," is throughout the entire customer journey.
Most people think of communities as support forums, so that is how they get to communities. They generally answer one question and then leave. Communities grow organically when some of those visitors stop, look around, and decide to pitch in to answer more questions or participate in more conversations.
Everyone could enter a community at any point in their journey from discovering a problem through becoming an expert in solving it.
This month, we released a collection of features to help encourage brands to build more community everywhere.
First is Community Syndication with Product Associations . We have been developing these capabilities for a while, and many customers have used parts of them. We also have a lot more to come, including more discussion types and simpler syndication tools. The quick summary is that it is now possible to easily embed community widgets, without code, that can extend your community into any digital channel.
Watch this short video about Community Syndication
Next is using Group Hubs to increase engagement. Creating more groups makes it easier for any customer with any special interest to connect with each other and share content that is the most relevant to them.
Solving customer problems has become more difficult as the world has become more complex. At the same time, we have never had more tools to connect with peers and build collaborative knowledge than ever before.
Khoros has built over a thousand branded communities over nearly two decades in providing community software. We have seen great success and some failures, but mostly we have seen communities transform businesses. We are building a way for brands to quickly build and embed communities into their entire business in order to expand that success, and we would love to help you do the same.
We would love to hear your feedback! Comment here or head over to the Product Ideas section of Atlas to tell us what you want us to build next!
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