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TalkingMaybe you’ve stumbled onto us by accident. Maybe you’ve been looking for a way to start a digital community. Perhaps you’re frustrated with what you’ve seen on traditional social media networks. The possibilities are endless. However, one thing remains true: we’re glad you’re here.

We believe strongly in social media’s power to connect communities, and, furthermore, that communities are the most valuable assets of any organization, brand or association. We believe that active, engaged communities lead to growth and measurable results.

But, maybe you need some more convincing. Whether you see social media as a wasted effort or just aren’t sure about whether a digital community is right for you, we’re determined to prove to you that it is; that you could benefit today by starting an online community. It doesn’t stop there…check out the 20 benefits of digital communities that we’ve outlined below. Hey, we were considering a top 100, but value your time…I promise, I’ll keep it short!

General Stats

1.       53% of brands claim social media is the top driver for relationship building and brand engagement, more than twice as much as email and four times that of traditional websites.

2.       27% of all online time is spent online. This means your target market is likely familiar with the concept of social communities and actively engaged.

3.       100% of business decision makers use social media for work purposes.

4.       Online Communities remove barriers to engagement: 46% of an Organization’s active members say the Internet has helped them become more active than they would have been otherwise.

5.       Internet users rely on support from their social ties through social media – including ties with businesses, brands and organizations – more than any other source.

6.       33% of individuals cite social networks and online communities as their main way of discovering new brands, products, activities and organizations.

Marketing

7.       Is there a better way to reach a target market than by gathering them all in one place and communicating across the board? Probably not.

8.       Digital communities create opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences in a way that is natural and personal.

9.       Online communities that are branded – like Social HubSite – remove distractions and provide an easy way to distribute information that is authoritative and valuable.

10.   Because your audience is likely spending the majority of their time online, and because traditional marketing through hard-copy mail campaigns and other sources have become so expensive, digital communities offer an affordable alternative that meets your target customers where they already are.

11.   Digital communities make it easy to gauge customer feedback and satisfaction. It doesn’t have to be a guessing game, why not go right to the source and course correct accordingly?

12.   Generating excitement can be a challenge, especially with the busyness and chaos that so often seems to follow us. However, through targeted community interactions, you can generate excitement, launch products or announce events, without the hassle.

Customer and Member Benefits

13.   Customers are looking for a way to connect with brands. They don’t want to be another number, they don’t want to be just another sale, they want something deeper. Digital communities make this possible.

14.   Your target market likely has questions relating to your industry or product line. Going through traditional channels – long phone hold times, emails that don’t get answered, etc. can take time and effort that’s not worth it on their end. Digital communities streamline the process, easing frustrations along the way.

15.   If you’re a service provider, you likely have documents, tools or other pieces of information that your customers and clients rely upon. Digital communities provide a level of consolidation that keeps necessary information in a single place and simplifies many, otherwise-difficult processes.

16.   Members of associations and customers alike want recognition. They want to know that their opinions matter.  Digital communities allow for personalized interactions that provide this level of customized recognition.

17.   Your customers don’t just want to connect with you. They want to talk to each other, to others in their industry, to others facing similar challenges or to others with similar interests. Online forums can be frustrating and general social networks can be a risk. However, in a brand-sanctioned environment, safety becomes less of a concern and conversations can flow naturally. Connections are a natural by-product.

Relationship Building

18.   Relationships matter. If you don’t believe that, you wouldn’t be reading this. But, have you taken that relationship building mentality to the next level? Online communities provide a sense of customer satisfaction and allow brands to monitor what’s happening in their target markets while building strategic relationships.

19.   When a customer feels connected to a brand, loyalty results. Loyalty leads to long-term business relationships, increased referrals and lowered marketing costs. Digital communities enhance opportunities to build loyal customers.

20.   Digital communities offer a break. They give you something to focus on that goes beyond the day-to-day operations that you’re faced with and give your customers or members a break from their own day-to-day lives. That’s why social networks are successful in the first place.

Why not create an environment that your members look forward to signing into? That provides a place to voice opinions and to be heard? That helps your marketing efforts and that provides true member benefits? It’s not hard. It can be done in just a few minutes. Take the first step by signing up for Social HubSite today – with a 30-day free trial, you have nothing to lose.

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