Social networks are a fundamental part of the strategy of the companies, but the fact is that brands no longer just used the ‘traditional’ social networks when they want to reach consumers. Increasingly are becoming interested more for brand communities, that is, social scenarios that are not dependent on popular social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, but have been created by the company to focus on an item or a reality to them interested.
Brand communities can be in many ways and many types. There are brand communities focused on specific products, which can afford the brands that have crossed the line and become an item for fans; others focus on specific areas, such as those allowing exchange recipes under the protection of a brand power; or serve as a guide to the problems, a kind of collaborative customer care. The formulas are varied, but all have in common a few things. They are a good format for profit for the company.
Some studies indicate that the ROI of social media brand is quite high. The return on investment stood at 20%, generating better ratios than investing in a social network of third its own profile. But that’s not the only benefit.Brand communities provide a number of advantages.
Brands have more control
Corporate social networks and brand functions as a closed and bounded environment in which they are the ones who put the rules and controlling what is happening. One of the great problems of social networking, at least as far as relationship with brands is concerned, is that, although a stage with values that can serve to bring great benefits for brands, are also a stage in which companies are completely vulnerable to the decisions of others.
Facebook is a great example of this reality. Since brands have entered the network and since have become users of the same (enthusiastic users of it, it should be added) have seen the rules changed on more than one occasion.Facebook has been adjusting its decisions and activities to what interests them: every algorithm change has a direct explanation associated with the commercial interests of Facebook. But these changes will not only modify what Facebook serves its consumers, so does their position in companies.Brands have seen how the rules changed again and again as they had no choice but to adapt to it. With a community, the rules are not variable and changeable. They lay themselves.
Brands have control data
But the list of things you can control and use social networks prevents third parties are not only the rules and how they modify the relationship with consumers. There is also a very important thing to keep in mind and that is access to information element. The data are crucial for companies in the XXI century and one of the issues that companies want to look in more detail to achieve element connecting with consumers. Data, information, is the key to know which products interest them and what they expect from brands. Using Facebook or Twitter to reach consumers, these social networks are those who stay with the information and data, while in a brand community information never leaves the control of the company.
Helps you improve and give visibility to the work of the company
Brand communities are not only a response to the not always desirable conditions imposed by social networks. In fact, when they did not born they marked by that element but rather by another reality, that of collaborative intelligence. Brand communities appeared at the dawn of Web 2.0 as a scenario in which manufacturers could interact with consumers and create a much closer relationship and receive feedback. Brand communities were a kind of first outpost of engagement, in which consumers could give their opinions and offer alternatives or ideas.
One of the first examples and one that is often observed regularly on how branded networks can help improve the relationship between brand and consumers generating solutions and products that interest them is My Starbucks Idea, the Starbucks brand community created to listen to consumers. The goal was clear from the beginning. Starbucks wanted consumers should tell them how to improve the brand and they wanted it and they were committed not only to listen to these ideas but also to carry them out when they were achievable, interesting and beneficial. The firm has and the platform became a kind of nursery ideas.
A coup for the SEO
But these communities not only learned the customer needs and provide new tools to brands, but also work well with other key levels on issues of branding and online presence. Brand communities are a great ally in SEO, because consumers typically addressed in these issues that concern generally (i.e. are talking about elements that are actually keywords and highly sought terms) and are always kept updated. The content is always flowing and is always updating, which is in the end, what is sought in SEO.
They are a key to more efficiently manage any incident
Another major pillar on which brand communities stand out is the customer support and troubleshooting. Many companies have boosted the creation of forums and other scenes of conversation in which consumers speak freely of service incidents or their attempts to improve their use of the products. The company is involved offering solutions and providing answers, but the truth is that it is the consumers themselves who become managers of problems and carriers of the solution. Consumers use their ideas and experience to solve problems.