Communities have long been one of the best ways to bring people and connect them, whether they have the same interests or the same goals. As time passes, communities also evolve; from the traditional communities, we now have online communities, far surpassing traditional ones. Let’s find out the advantages of online communities.
RELATED: 5 Benefits of Building an Online Brand Community
In This Article:
- The Difference Between Online and Traditional Communities
- More Participants & More Insights
- More Research for Your Budget & Time
- Multiple Segments
Top 5 advantages of Online Communities
The Difference Between Online and Traditional Communities
First and foremost, you might need to understand the differences between these two kinds of communities.
This kind of community is also known as a focus group. In a focus group, individuals are invited to share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas about a product, service, or another issue of interest. Discussions take place in a relaxed, open-ended environment where everyone can speak freely with each other and the moderator. A typical focus group lasts two hours, with 8-12 participants from a single section, and is held in person at a central location (or online).
Qualitative research in the form of an online community, known as a “Market Research Online Community” (or MROC), can also gather information on a product or service or any topic of interest. More than 50 to 150 people participate in online communities that the last one to two weeks (often from multiple segments). Interactive research activities, including polls, picture markups, discussion boards, and multimedia exercises, are used to ask questions to the whole group of participants and one-on-one exchanges. Participants communicate with one other and the moderator via their computer, tablet, and mobile phones.
More Participants & More Insights
One of the biggest advantages of online communities is the number of people you can reach. Compared to a single focus group, an online community may draw in 5-10 times as many customers. A focus group of more than 100 individuals is unfeasible, but with an online community, it’s a cinch. As a result, a single online community may yield ten times as many insights as a ten-person focus group.
More Research for Your Budget & Time
In-person meetings need to travel to a central place and manage all the costs and logistics that go along with it. Focus groups take a significant amount of time to conduct. Travel expenditures might go into the tens of thousands of dollars for a single participant when focus groups are held outside of town. A succession of focus groups in several areas and cities (or even countries) can significantly increase travel and time expenditures.
Online communities eliminate travel and cost. Participants, moderators, and observers may participate in the online community from anywhere in the world and on any device. Additionally, because most community “tasks” or engagement activities are asynchronous, users can offer their comments whenever they choose. For the same or less expense (and time) as a single focus group, a single online community may give insights from 50-150 members and five or more parts.
Next on the list of advantages of online communities is the average number of participants in a focus group is 8-10, all drawn from the same demographic. One online community can give more insight than five focus groups, because of this. On the other hand, research including online forums can draw in 50-150 participants from 4-5 distinct demographics. Once you’ve established your online community, you’ll be able to simply compare the thoughts and ideas of all of your customers.
While not all studies target Millennials, the internet is the most effective way to reach them. Online and mobile are the finest options, too. A central focus group facility isn’t what Millennials are looking for. Even if they did, it’s not their native environment. In their minds, they are all about the internet, digital technology, and smartphones. It’s easy for them to interact with you in various ways in an online community.
The last advantage of online communities is accessibility. Nowadays, it’s essential to make your community accessible as more and more people tend to use their mobile devices instead of laptops or pcs.
They have the freedom to express their thoughts and ideas at any time, from any location, using any technology. Unlike in-person focus groups (or online chat sessions), their feedback doesn’t end after two hours in a conference room, unlike in-person focus groups (or online chat sessions). Multiple benefits are available to marketers and researchers who wish to better understand their target audience. It is possible to engage people when they are consuming a product or service at a store or at any other relevant place with an online community.
So if you are planning to build your online community, the time is now! To develop an online social environment, you need phpFox, an open-source, self-hosted community software.
phpFox’s social networking capabilities are on par with those of the most popular social networks. For developing specialized social networks or online communities, the phpFox script is the ideal option because of its extensive social features and user-friendly management area. In addition, the software can be tailored to meet the needs of its users in terms of features.
With phpFox, community builders and their members can work together to achieve amazing things. Thanks to our current technological platform, community members may interact, communicate, and work more efficiently.
Contact us and let us know how we can help you with your online community!