FAQ: What Is an Online Community and Why Are They Important?

As the world becomes more connected through technology, it is no surprise that online communities are growing in popularity. An online community is an online forum for people to gather, discuss, and share ideas. These communities offer a unique sense of connection and belonging that is not found in traditional social groups. Whether it is a small group of friends or a large network of people, an online community allows members to interact and engage with one another in ways that are not possible in physical locations.
Online communities are becoming increasingly important in today’s society. They provide a platform for users to interact with people who share similar interests and passions, and offer a safe space to explore and learn new things. Online communities offer a diverse range of topics and discussions, and can be a great way to stay up-to-date on the latest news and trends. Furthermore, they can serve as a great source of support and advice when facing difficult times.
In this blog post, we will explore

What I Learned Building Online Communities for Airbnb, Etsy, Google, and More – Adam Howell

How is a branded online community different from a community on social media?

An online community that is managed and monitored by a business or brand is known as a branded online community. While a brand may have a social media community, its authority over that group may be subject to limitations or restrictions. The following are a few significant distinctions between branded online communities and communities on social media:


With social media groups, you have less control over the privacy of your members than with a private company page, which is one of the main differences between using a social media platform and a private company page for your online community. A social media page’s parent networking site can see user activity and data. You can manage member information and put particular community protections in place with a branded online community page.

Access to customer data

While some social media platforms allow brands to access valuable data and key performance indicators (KPIs), the networking platforms themselves are the only ones with access to customer information. The data is typically only accessible for a fee, and some websites may have data sharing restrictions. When businesses launch their own pages, they frequently gain access to a greater variety of customer data, which they can use to create particular offerings or appeal to particular groups.

Community control

Online communities that are present on social media platforms must also adhere to their rules. While a group page administrator could keep an eye on posts, they don’t have full control over user activity. Companies frequently have more control over activity within their groups with a branded online community. Additionally, businesses frequently lack adequate control over and notice of major changes made by social media or networking sites, such as updates to their user requirements, community rules, or content organization. They run the risk of losing their communities or having their pages drastically changed without their consent.

What is an online community?

A group of people who use the internet to connect with one another and who have common interests or goals is known as an online community. Online communities include, for instance, social media groups, gamers on platforms online, and communities that provide support for software. Online communities have the special ability to bring people together from all over the world and across demographics. Creating a branded online community can be a great way for businesses to interact with their members and customers in long-lasting, impactful ways.

Branded online communities may be exclusive clubs that require invitations and certain qualifications to join. You could also create a community that everyone can use and access. Alternately, you could create a community that combines these two strategies and reserves some features for credentialed members only.

How does a strong online community promote stable business?

Here are some ways online communities can help business efforts:

They allow businesses to reduce their support costs

Online communities can be effective platforms for members and customers for support. You can crowdsource support for your product or service by inviting community members to answer queries or assist with troubleshooting. This can lower your support expenses while also boosting support for your members.

They help grow brand awareness

Online communities can be a great way to increase the visibility of your business. The more active or outspoken members of your community can frequently turn into ambassadors who increase referrals and strengthen your brand. Your community can also be a lead generation tool, enabling you to increase the number of members or profit from particular member activities. In-community marketing provides an additional incentive because you can alert current members to exclusive discounts and deals.

They give brands direct access to customer feedback

You can interact with clients more skillfully if you have a strong sense of community. You can enhance your offerings by reviewing frequent problems, customer requests, and feedback from customers. It is crucial to understand your customers’ experiences in order to build your brand and increase customer satisfaction.

They help companies provide positive customer experiences

Making use of the online community as a resource can be a highly effective way to forge sincere connections. You can contribute to making a responsive, comprehensive, and strategic environment. This not only provides you with useful customer insights, but it can also make it simpler to provide your customers with satisfying experiences. This can assist you in standing out from the competition and retaining fans.

What are the characteristics of a successful online community?

You may notice that many successful online communities share common traits if you examine some of the most popular ones. Here are some examples of what businesses can do to guarantee the success of their communities:

Prioritized engagement

You can increase brand engagement by encouraging communities to support one another, offer feedback, and participate in group discussions. Your community can be a valuable resource for both new and existing members the more active it is. Be sure to speak up in the community, letting people know that your brand is there and paying attention.

Emphasis on customer experience

Establish a vibrant online community with helpful tools and content. The more beneficial newcomers perceive your community as being, the more likely they are to remain and participate. Try to create informative content, offer interactive tools, and make it simple for members to interact online.

Careful moderation

The rules you apply to your site are also important. You can make sure your space is constructive and encouraging by keeping an eye on member behavior. Creating community rules can assist in establishing the tenor and expectations of your community. Consistency in your moderation efforts demonstrates to members that you care about their experience and want to give the group the best resources.


What are examples of online communities?

The six types of online communities you should know about
  • Knowledge and learning communities.
  • Expert networks and advisory communities.
  • Event communities.
  • Membership communities.
  • Brand communities.
  • Communities of action.

What is meant by online community?

You can benefit from online communities in many ways. They give insights into the preferences and needs of customers, can boost customer loyalty and retention, enhance reputation and thought leadership, lower support costs, and enable more collaborative working styles, such as crowdsourcing.

What are best online communities?

According to a recent study by PeerBoard, there has been a significant 81% growth in the engagement of online communities since the start of the Covid pandemic.

What are online communities called?

10 Challenges To Scale An Online Community or Social Network
  • Rising levels of spam and abuse. …
  • Declining quality of discussions. …
  • Declining sense of trust/community. …
  • Participation inequality. …
  • Highlighting quality and authority. …
  • Answering questions at scale. …
  • Privacy, security, and legal threats.

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