Build it right and they will come

Posted on 24th Jul 2012 by Sylvia O'Hagan in Blog

Much is discussed about the need for brands to have a social media presence and engage on networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. More and more companies are also seeing the value, and ROI, of building and nurturing their own online communities.

Companies like Ikea, Kraft Foods, Harley-Davidson and Procter & Gamble have made major investments to create their own company networks as a way to strategically engage with consumers, existing and potential, and foster brand relationships and loyalty.

In fact, nearly half of the top 100 global brands host their own networks.

A report in Strategy + Business on a working paper titled “Social Dollars: The Economic Impact of Customer Participation in a Firm-Sponsored Online Community” published by the Ross School of Business studied the ROI on creating and curating online company communities and found the effort worthwhile. Authors of the paper found revenue from members of the community increased by an average of 19% after they joined the brand network, the result of “closer ties with other customers and more engagement with the company”. The authors noted that this increase was significant to note and set an example for others interested in creating an online community network as “it more than covers the fixed cost of setting up the community as well as the variable cost of operating it.”

Just as in the case of a favorite social network site, website, blog etc., the key to drawing traffic to a brand network, as well as having visitors engage and become an active member and participant of the community, is providing compelling content and inspiring interaction, commentary, engagement and sharing. Consider the following tips from online community designers before launching your own company network:

This blog was originally posted on, Contributor, Sylvia O'Hagan:

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