The advantages and disadvantages of an online community
An online community is a contemporary platform that enables interaction and collaboration between individual creators. All kinds of people are investing in building online communities, which complement their traditional consultation, methods of imparting knowledge, or interaction methods.
Today, online courses and related services are using intensive collaborative technologies to connect, engage and extend the efforts of employees and to enhance the creators’ reach to customers, partners, and suppliers.
Online communities have a strong influence on higher education, and other verticals, which drive goals, objectives, and audience needs.
Why create an online community
To ensure success, online communities are created, which have become the right approach for creators:
- It aligns with the end objectives. Integration is amplified, which is the key to driving success.
- It helps you investigate what your audience needs, helps identify your key stakeholders and define their pain points. An effective online community will meet your individual needs and objectives while improving the user experience of your guests and members.
- It creates an activation and engagement strategy, which can harness the power of your internal and external audiences to improve your processes and results.
The value of an online community for Individual Creators
Online communities don’t let the creators lose their identities and it builds a global audience for them. These are essential value-adds and thus are extremely crucial for creators to:
- Build a Brand that helps in the expansion
- Attract new people and generate leads
- Create a premium experience for additional income
- Drives retention and loyalty
- Helps to serve communities and adds value
Pro(s) and Con(s) of having an online community
The benefits of having an online community
Social networks have value in your customer experience. An online community provides enhanced access to data, a user-tailored design, and control and integration of the creators’ processes.
An online community allows organizations and individuals to access data, content, and analytics and to control their own user experience.
1. It helps to reach a broader audience
The majority of people are online, so an online community helps to reach more people and students and diverse voices. It’s really important to have that diverse view by interacting with a massive audience, so you don’t just talk to the vocal minority, but you talk to the silent majority as well.
2. It is Cost-effective
By adding online engagement, you can cost-effectively target many more people who are curious about your area of expertise and which encourages them to participate more than ever before.
Using traditional engagement methods can get very expensive, which include hiring venues, printing, and postage costs. Using online consultation, individual creators can easily update and monitor information and reach a larger audience.
3. Allows for Deeper Engagement
Online engagement has increased prospects for both, creators and the audience. Digital engagement can provide a better user experience, build interactive content through Videos, offer Virtual and augmented reality, and help uncover peripheral issues or ideas.
For example, interactive mapping can help visualize a proposed plan and provide a holistic experience.
4. Data-driven outcomes
Online communities enable evaluation, report creation, data analysis, and also make giving feedback at any given time. Online engagement can combine data collection tools with value-based interactions that benefit both the creator as well as the audience.
5. Builds trust
Individual creators have realized that to get better prospects, it is better to engage online and thus decrease marketing costs. Online communities build sustained participation and are the result of a carefully executed strategy, solid design, and patience.
For example, Anna Buss and Nancy Strauss, authors of the online community handbook stress the significance of the same
The Disadvantages of Creating an Online Community
Creating an online community requires the audience to have basic IT technical and content writing skills. It is expected for the consumers or students to have access to a computer, and a solid network.
For example, in the Philippines, many don’t have access to a sturdy internet connection
- The communities are formed purely through text-based interactions, which may not always be an authentic reflection of the people involved.
- There are very few built-in restraints, so content can only be filtered once it has already been submitted to these online communities.
- Provides a sense of anonymity, which can encourage fraud, identity theft, lack of security and authenticity of data, etc.
Today, individual creators are investing in online communities and digital engagement because of their ability to create a controlled, moderated and targetted environment. It is in the best interests of the community with endless benefits, especially if both online and offline community engagement is propagated.