Analytics & Digital Marketing Tips

Social Communities Build Brand and Business

October 26, 2008           Digital Marketing


I recently read a great article in EContent Magazine (November 2008, Volume 31, Number 9) called “Build Community to Build Brand and Business” by Joe Dysart. Below are the highlights of the article that validate our contention that transparent online reviews and social communities foster trust and affinity.

Online Reviews Influence Purchasing Decisions

While web marketers have long been tracking the growing online consumer reviews, a study from Opinion Research released August 2008 has found the influence of these reviews has reached a tipping point.

“The Art of Engaging the Customer: Proactive Steps to Delivering a Differentiated Customer Experience” found an eye-opening 83% of all respondents said online evaluations and reviews now influence their purchasing decisions. Moreover, another 32% said they had personally posted feedback or a review on the web after an experience with a product or service.

Be Transparent & Earn Respect

Smart companies have realized that embracing “transparency” by allowing positive and negative reviews on their site earns the most respect from savvy web users.

Community Users bring Experience, Enthusiasm, Content and their Friends

“…Millions of people have learned the value of being a part of an online community, and they’ll bring experience, enthusiasm, content and their network to your online community,” said Don Philabaum, CEO of Internet Strategies Group.

Not sure what kind of functionality makes for an online community?

Online community features allow your customers to join your community and create a profile or blog, share photos and files, post audio and video, send private messages, add friends, create and participate in conversations (forums), chat live, take surveys, and other similar services as found on sites such as Facebook and MySpace.

Community fosters Brand Affinity

82% of community members said they were more likely to recommend a company since joining their community and 76% said they felt more positive about the company after joining its community.

Harness the Buzz!

Be it positive or negative, the internet is buzzing with conversations about products, services, content and companies in general. Harnessing the buzz and making it work for your organization is becoming one of today’s essential business tools.

It’s Okay to Hurry!

Here is an interesting email I received from Costco today that shows mainstream companies are jumping in at a rapid pace.




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