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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : September 16, 2014

Report: Online communities growing in importance

When the Internet was first growing, online communities and forums were how consumers 'met up' with one another. More recently online communities have been seen by some to be old school and not as important, but one new survey indicates online communities are still important for online brands.

by Kristina Knight

Over the past two years most (60%) of company support staff, marketing and product teams surveyed by researchers with Get Satisfaction have implemented an online community while about one-quarter have plans to implement a community infrastructure over the next year. Not only than most (77%) say their community is 'a key component' to their customer support strategy.

"This survey shows customer communities are delivering impressive business benefits," said Rahul Sachdev, CEO of Get Satisfaction. "The findings point to the support ROI, marketing effectiveness, and product innovation benefits that online communities offer. Communities delivery a very fast time-to-value - they can be up and running in as little as a day, and at a very reasonable cost."

Some interesting takeaways from the report include:

• 49% report online communities help them save money on support operations
• 60% say their community helped to create a more engaging website
• 74% say communities drive organic search traffic
• 50% say they'll use a community to up-sell customers

The research also underlines the fact that user generated content is growing more important every day. According to a recent Dailybreak Media report consumers like to share their own content - images, video, reviews - about products. The Get Satisfaction report indicates 62% of the execs surveyed believe the same - that UGC hold more credibility than produced media.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: branded community, ecommerce trends, Get Satisfaction, online community

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