The Best Platforms for Online Communities

The Best Platforms for Online Communities

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The correct online community for your business is paramount for your business development. Many of these platforms have multiple features including the ability to obtain feedback from users, peer support, user-generated content, and a knowledge base, plus the ability to optimize your networking and build relationships with your users. If you are unsure about which platform to use for your online community, we can help. Read on to discover the best platforms for online communities.

The Best Online Community Platforms

The Best Online Community Platforms

Slack is one of the most popular collaboration tools for business messaging. However, many use it as an online community for professionals. Slack has many great features including real-time communication, a member directory, video calling, file browser, and the ability to create channels for discussions and categorize channels into sections.

Facebook Groups is one of the best platforms to acquire new group members. On this platform, you can create specific dedicated groups for people with any common interest. Businesses can use these groups to discuss your products and services and boost brand awareness. Highlights include the ability to create learning modules to educate members about your product, member surveys, real-time chat, and reporting and analytics.

Tribe allows users to participate in the community both on the internet and on mobile browsers wonderfully. Tribe also allows you to fully customize your community to fit into your branding strategy. The key features of this platform include the ability to embed widgets to add social media components to the site, great search engine optimization (SEO) that optimizes your community to get indexed by search engines, and powerful notification tools that will keep your members engaged.

Mighty Networks is a user-friendly platform that encourages engagement from your online community. The platform allows you to create articles with a content management system (CMS) and enables you to embed images, videos, and sound files. It also gives you the ability to post questions and polls to members. Other important features include direct private messaging, personalized activity feeds, and a custom domain.

Thinkrific has a multitude of great features that make it one of the best platforms for building an online community. The platform allows users to share many varied types of content including videos, courses, articles, and much more. Other key features of Thinkrific include customizable website themes, a drag-and-drop website builder, e-commerce capabilities, and social media integrations that allow you to market and sell a wide range of products and services.

Discourse is one of the oldest and most popular online community platforms. The multitude of features on this platform include link unfurling, plug-ins, infinite scroll, powerful API, a dashboard, personal messaging, and the ability to translate content into 45 languages. The platform has three subscription plans that include standard, business, and enterprise, with costs starting at $100 a month.

Promotora Systems Inc. can help you choose the best platform for your online community to empower your success. Contact us so we can be your guide to building profitable relationships with online communities.

3 Ways Online Communities Foster Networking

3 Ways Online Communities Foster Networking

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Today, online communities are as popular as traditional business communities. In many ways, they are even better since you can grow your business significantly in less time. These communities can also help you stand out from your competition and increase your overall customer satisfaction, engagement, and brand loyalty. In this article, we will tell you three ways that online communities foster networking, build win-win relationships, and help find new clients.

How to Optimize Your Networking with Online Communities

You Can Identify Relevant Connections

Online communities create a link between quality connections and your business. This is a wonderful way to build relationships as your members will feel like they have a place where they are heard. Your users can communicate with fellow members in various ways such as posting questions and participating in discussions, where they will expect to receive a response from another member of the community. If your online community is able to create, share innovations, and function with each other, it can significantly empower your success.

It Drives Referrals Significantly

Customer advocates can help you find new clients with great lead generation strategies through referrals. If you implement online community advocacy, it nurtures those advocates and it acknowledges the value these individuals are bringing to your organization. You can recognize these brand ambassadors in many ways including badges to put the advocate’s contributions in the spotlight.

You can also give these advocates information in advance where they will be knowledgeable about your upcoming products and services coming. Then you can encourage these advocates to connect with their peers and other communities to begin discussions and help people find the best solutions to their problems. This personalized relationship strategy will build loyalty for your brand and encourage consumers to keep purchasing your products or service.

Online Communities Empower You Success with Shared Growth

You can grow your business by developing relationships with your online community. According to a recent study, branded online communities offer an incredible return on your investment with effective network management. When you have consistent and ongoing engagement with your online community, you can create meaningful interactions with your customer base.

Promotora Systems Inc. can show you why networking is important for business growth and how to make your business profitable through networking. Contact us today to get started with our network management services.

Run an Effective Community Meeting on Zoom with these Tips

Run an Effective Community Meeting on Zoom with these Tips

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Online meetings on Zoom took precedence during the lockdowns of the coronavirus pandemic. Many people that had rarely, if ever, used virtual meetings needed to adjust to this new way of meeting communication. On the other hand, leaders of these Zoom meetings had to make accommodations and adjustments for these novices. Zoom has many features and options that meet various business needs. If you are unsure how you can run the most-effective meeting on Zoom, we can help. Read on to learn great tips for productive Zoom meetings.

Tips for Effective Community Meetings on Zoom

Establish a Leader for Every Zoom Meeting

To keep your meeting organized, you must establish a host for your meeting. If there are many attendees, it may be a wise idea to have several co-hosts. These persons would be in charge of various meeting controls such as the ability to mute microphones of unruly attendees or even an eject button. The host(s) will also have an agenda for the meeting topics and can make sure the transitions between topics occur so all content is discussed in the allotted time.

Secure Your Zoom Meeting

You need to secure your Zoom meeting for hosts and attendees. If you enable the “join before host” option, this could lead to spam or other issues in the meeting links. Therefore to keep your Zoom meeting secure for all and turn off the “join before host” option. This way, only the account holder or someone with the account password will be able to begin the meeting.

Monitor and Control Audio

The audio element in a Zoom meeting is just as important as the video element. The most important feature you need to know about is the “mute all” button. This option only allows the hosts to be the only ones heard in the meeting. At the bottom of the participants’ dialog box is this “mute all” button. A good idea is to mute these mics as attendees first log onto the meeting, so you know their background noise cannot be heard. You can set up a Q&A session during or at the close of your meeting where participants can type in their questions, which is still much more organized than many people asking questions all at once on their respective microphones.

Control the Video

Spend some time thinking about your meeting space and how you can use it to make the best impression. Imagine what your attendees will see through the webcam behind you during your meeting. You should also preview beforehand how you will look during the meeting and adjust any harsh lighting from a window or a lamp in your meeting space.

If there are no reasonable ways to modify your meeting space, consider using a virtual background feature for your meeting. You can use basically any image you wish with this feature, so you may have some fun with it, too.

Control All Screen Sharing

The meeting host should control all screen sharing in the meeting. Occasionally, people have clicked the wrong button and have shared something accidentally that they did not intend for others to see. To prevent this, change the screen sharing setting to “host only”. This is helpful especially for the presenter, as it allows them to mute other participants.

Keep the Meeting A Little Social

Of course your Zoom meeting is about work, but don’t forget the social aspect of these meetings. As with face-to-face meetings, people still need to connect in some way. Take some time to have a little chat among the attendees to break the ice and introduce themselves. You can do this as others are joining the meeting. This helps increase long-term engagement among hosts and attendees. After introductions are made, the host can then begin the meeting in earnest and get into the business at hand.

Promotora Systems Inc. has many coaching programs that can help the small business entrepreneur with their business development. Contact us today to empower your success.

10 Ways to Generate Engagement Within Your Online Community

10 Ways to Generate Engagement Within Your Online Community

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Have you recently noticed a decrease in engagement with your online community? If you are unsure how to re-establish and increase online community engagement, we can help. You can grow your business by developing relationships with your online community through several different methods. Read on to learn about these relationship management tips and lead generation strategies. 

10 Ways to Generate Engagement with Your Online Community

Ask-Me-Anything Sessions

The ask-me-anything sessions are a forum where your users can ask any question they wish. This is the perfect opportunity to increase engagement as your users like it when they can get the information they are looking for. They can receive this information from either other community members or an expert in your industry.

You should have these AMAs as a regular event on your content calendar. You can also tailor these sessions to events happening such as the promotion of a new product. Another way is to study your community metrics, past popular discussions, frequently used search terms, and other resources.

Provide A Special Time For Industry Tips

Another way to engage your community members is to provide a specific time that provides content just for industry tips. Provide a how-to content item at a regular interval on your content calendar. For instance, in this forum, you can share technology tips for interacting with the community.

Besides providing information, you can also increase engagement from your community members. You can ask your community members to complete any action that can benefit the community as a whole. It can be something as simple as updating their profile picture, making a recommendation, or responding to a thread. Any action on the part of a community member is engagement.

Provide Seed Content

Seed content is content containing resources or questions that the community manager posts on behalf of the community. This content intrigues members to respond and creates organic interaction between community members. The best way to establish your seed content is to study your most active community members and their actions in your online community, and base the content on their actions. When your community needs an increase in engagement, you can post this content that will drive engagement from these members.

Have A Community Member Spotlight

Periodically, you should put one of your most active community members in the spotlight. These members will appreciate the chance of recognition and love the chance to learn about other members. This is one of the best ways to build relationships with your community and add value to your network. For instance, your spotlighted member may have their own product or service to promote, and this rule of reciprocity will add value to connections and increase engagement.

Re-Engage with Inactive Users

If you notice a lull with some of your community members and they are not as active as they once were, find ways to engage them in your community again. To do this, study your inactive members and try to understand why they no longer participate. Are they inactive because they don’t know how to participate in the community? Target these users with a specific call to action (CTA) such as updating their profile information or participating in a quick poll. You can also create smaller, more specific discussion groups or find ways that can make them participate in the larger discussion groups that are not intimidating to them.

A Quarterly Newsletter

A community newsletter sent to members is another great way to generate engagement with your community members. This is a highlight of all your community’s activities and enables you to recognize some key members. The recognition will likely increase your community engagement. This creates a value-added connector framework by providing members with their value and increased awareness of your brand.

Engage with the Company in A Mutually Beneficial Way

A Company Corner is an opportunity for your company’s departments to engage with community members that mutually benefits both entities. This also gives your company the chance to nurture your organizational relationships. You should feature each department in your company at least once a year, while some others, such as product development, can be highlighted several times a year.

Create A Personal Sub-Community For Members

This is a dedicated thread that may run once a week where your community can share their professional and personal updates. This is more of an informal thread that can keep engagement going through effective community moderation. You members can get to know each other on a more personal level through this space specifically through more personal discussions.

Hold A Special Promotion or Contest

A surefire way to increase community engagement is through promotions or contests. You can do this in many ways including a trivia contest where you can ask users to guess industry-related facts about your company. You can also increase engagement with referrals. This is where you ask members to refer someone to your community and both of you get entered into a promotional contest.

Establish Community Leadership Programs

Take your most active community members and designate them as community leaders. Ask these leaders to begin community discussions and offer them the opportunity to promote their own initiatives in the thread. This engagement tactic is a great way to lead to many more organic discussions as the community members interact more with each other.

Promotora Systems Inc. can assist you with all your network management needs. We can show you how to make your business profitable through relationships. Contact us today to begin the next phase of your business development.

5 Reasons Why Building an Online Community is Important for Your Brand

5 Reasons Why Building an Online Community is Important for Your Brand

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A small business entrepreneur must start an online community to build relationships and establish brand awareness. Many companies today rely on social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn to engage customers. However, if your company has a website, a technical team, and a marketing department already in place, there is no reason why you cannot create your own online community to build profitable relationships.

There are many benefits to having a thriving online community. In this article, we will tell you the reasons why building your online community is leading your brand to the next level and will empower your success.

5 Reasons Why Online Communities are Beneficial To Your Brand

It Reduces Your Support Costs and Increases Revenue

Online communities decrease your operating costs while increasing revenue. This is a win for any company. Leaders in the industry report that an online community reduces their support cost by enabling members to reach out to each other to solve any problems instead of racing out to the company’s call center for help.

Increased revenue for your business happens when community members spend an average of 19% more than people that do not engage in these communities. These community members are usually willing to pay premiums for products and services, as well as an increase in interest to purchase products.

It Increases Online Engagement and Retention

Consumers love to connect with a brand and other online community members. This builds loyalty to the brand, and therefore this loyalty increases retention. Your customers also want to know that they are being heard. A direct response from the company about their concerns is enough to increase the customer’s loyalty. Even if a community member’s suggestions are not adopted, the consumer will appreciate this acknowledgment.

If an online community influences a minimum of a company’s revenue by 16 percent, an average of 64 percent of community members will have strong engagement. If a company influences less than 15 percent of the company’s revenue, the engagement will decrease to only 26 percent. This is the primary reason why these online communities are the best forum for customer engagement and retention.

Product and Service Feedback

A community forum for your customers to provide product feedback is one of the best ways to increase brand awareness. Consumers love the fact that they can provide feedback directly to a company about their products or services. In these forums, your customers can tell you exactly what they want from your product or service. This feedback can help you tweak your product for even better sales.

Another great aspect of community forums is that they are cost-effective. When you try to obtain customer feedback through surveys, market research, or direct calling, it can be quite an expense for your company to obtain that information. You can get the same results by cultivating your online community.

Promotion of Future Products and Services

When you build a branded online community, you can establish a virtual marketplace. You already have engaged community members as well as paying customers. Your online community gives you a place to promote your new products and services.

There are also lower acquisition costs associated with an online community. These communities are easily accessible through search engines like Google. This is also another way your online community can facilitate lead generation strategies that can help you find new clients.

Better Overall Impressions For Your Brand

An online community will give your brand the best overall impression to consumers. When your customers visit your community, they will read positive feedback about your product. It also provides quality information to all members and allows the community to communicate with each other.

An online community will also increase brand loyalty. Your company and brand will benefit from the buzz your customers will generate online. Customer advocates will be your most active participants in the community and will show the most loyalty to your brand.

An online community is the best way to build relationships with customers and even find new clients. This power of relationships will enable greater loyalty to your brand and foster continuous engagement. These online communities also make it possible to sell a product or service without the usual hard-selling tactics that are usually implemented with traditional marketing techniques. This makes your brand more approachable when consumers are looking to buy.

Online communities are how to make your business profitable through relationships. They have become an integral part of creating a relationship strategy with consumers that facilitates your business development. If you cultivate your online community, it can lead to increased revenue as your online community grows.

Promotora Systems Inc. can help grow your business and create a relationship strategy with your online community. Contact us today for all your business development needs.

Building an Online Community: Where To Start

Building an Online Community: Where To Start

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One of the best ways to promote your business and brand is through an online community. Despite what you may think, starting an online community is not difficult. The social media platforms of today have made it easy to create an online community for your brand. Read on to learn how you can establish your online community through social media platforms.

How To Build An Online Community

Stakeholder Relationship Management

The first step in building your online community is to identify your key stakeholders. Just like you have a hierarchy in your business, you will need to have a dedicated team that will conduct specific tasks. Pick a trusted team member and designate them as your community manager. This individual will handle all things related to your online community and see that everything runs smoothly. The specific duties of this manager will include branding your product and/or business and identifying ways that it can be improved upon. This person will also be the one that will work closely with the community and the customers.

Other members of your team can work with your community, too. For instance, your marketing manager can create a content calendar. This content can encourage community members to be first-time buyers, convince them to buy an alternative product, or even encourage them to upgrade and purchase a product in a higher tier.

Define Your Online Community Goals

After you have assigned your team members specific duties, you need to define the purpose and goals of your community. Ask yourself: “What experience do you want to give your customers?”, and go from there. Once you have determined your purpose, you can give your community access to expert information, tips, and hacks that can make their online experience the best it can possibly be.

Select the Best Platform For Your Community

The next step is to choose the appropriate platform to host your online community. The platform you choose depends on how many members you ultimately wish to have. For example, if your community will be smaller and more intimate, you can create a chat group on an application such as WhatsApp or a direct message group on Instagram. If you desire to grow a community of more than 100,000 people, social media platforms such as Facebook or LinkedIn are better suited to enable you to create an online community through a group. 

Create A Member Profile

You want to grow your online community with your target audience. Therefore, you need to define your prospective community members through their interests and lifestyles. Once you have defined who your target audience is, you need to ask yourself a few questions. These include:

  • What can my community give them that they didn’t have before?
  • How did the community members feel before joining?
  • How did they feel after joining?

The answers to these questions are your member persona. This will determine what content you can use to convince them to become a member of the community.

Set Up Your Community

Now that you have found your prospective online community members it is time to launch the community. You can set up the community as one large forum or you can categorize them. You can categorize the community based on your products or member interests, and decide what products are best for them.

Don’t forget your community and your brand are synonymous, and your members should feel that way, as well. Fill your profile with your logo and brand colors. Besides the brand design, you will also want to be consistent with your brand’s tone in all your content including posts, comments, and videos that you have established in your community.

Promote Your Online Community

Now that your online community is set up, you need to promote it. Just like promoting your product, you want to promote your community so people will want to join. The best ways to promote your community are:

  • Partnering with Influencers
    When you team up with a social media influencer, it exposes your community to the influencer’s community. This is a sure way to find more target members that you are looking for.
  • Invite your Contacts
    When you invite your contacts into your community, you are opening up the gates for a whole new list of prospective members. Your business and social media contacts also know many people. If you inform your contact list about your community, they will be able to spread the word about your community and brand to their contacts.
  • Referrals
    You can also promote your online community through referrals. Your referrals can be many types of a reward including gifts, discounts, or prizes. This will also influence your present community members to spread the word about your product and your community.

Promotora Systems Inc. can show you how to build profitable relationships through an online community. Contact us to enroll in one of our coaching programs that can help you find new clients and grow your business by developing relationships with an online community.