What is meant by an online community?
An online community is a social or professional network where a group of people with common interests can communicate and interact. Members of a virtual community can ask and answer questions in real-time, discuss topics, share content, access resources, and work together to achieve shared goals.
What do online communities offer?
Online communities offer members a way to connect and share with other like-minded people and get help with challenges. They also give members a sense of belonging and shared purpose.
Depending on the purpose, community management may use online spaces to
- Improve the customer experience, build brand loyalty and brand awareness, drive referrals, and boost customer retention and revenue.
- Market products, courses, etc. to a receptive audience.
- Add value for their users through resources and peer-to-peer knowledge.
- Generate revenue streams from gated content.
- Cut customer support costs by complementing the in-house support team with a peer-to-peer support community.
What are examples of online communities? What is the difference between an online community, a forum, and a blog?
The main difference between an online community, a forum, and a blog has to do with the amount of interaction and engagement.
A blog’s an informative piece of content published online, which may or may not have a comments section.
A discussion forum allows people to ask and answer questions, learn, and get peer-to-peer support, but lacks additional features to facilitate engagement.
An online community is a group of people with shared interests. It may include blogs and forums, plus other sections like job postings or resource libraries. Online communities take longer to set up but offer an all-in-one solution to add value and keep their members engaged.