Written by Grace Smith

July 14, 2022

4 ways social listening can help you to build a successful online community by ten bear group social intelligence analysts

If you use social media, you probably belong to at least one form of online community – whether you know it or not! Online communities provide a space for people to connect based on the things they have in common. These digital environments break down geographical boundaries to enable like-minded individuals from across the globe to share interests, views, or goals. Discord, an open source discussion platform (loosely) categorises them into six types: brand, support, learning, social, networking and fan.

The Six Types of Online Communities

  • BRAND: A successful brand identity will allow the desired audience to connect with your company. Brand communities help these like-minded individuals to connect based on their common appreciation for what you do.

  • SUPPORT: Ever done a quick review search before buying something online? Many users take to social networks such as Reddit to ensure they’re making the right choice. Companies with their own support communities are able to provide the best-quality advice to customers.

  • LEARNING: Many get the most out of learning when with others that also want to grow. Therefore, a learning community creates an opportunity for students, teachers, and staff members to come together to discuss a shared goal.

  • SOCIAL: A virtual soiree of sorts, social communities provide a place for people to discuss all sorts of topics: politics, music, fashion. More specific social communities exist within this category, such as spaces for music-lovers to discuss their favourite artists and songs.

  • NETWORKING: Networking communities are for users who are actively seeking to connect with people like them, such as professionals seeking others within their industry, or patients diagnosed with the same illness.

  •  FAN: Fan communities form around common favouritism. This could be for a book or movie, or musician or YouTuber. While most groups are usually open, some creators are using their fan base to build privatised online communities in platforms such as Patreon.

Four Ways Social Intelligence Can Help You To Build A Successful Online Community

Each of the above categories requires so much more than just a social media presence. Here are four ways that social intelligence can help to build your online community:

1. Identify Key Influencers

Who is driving the online conversation around your chosen topic? Identifying key influencers will help you to understand what motivates your target audience. It’s important to point out that influencers aren’t always celebrities or famous bloggers. Nano and micro-influencers, users with much smaller followings who are not-so financially incentivised, are also great for generating engagement within a community. Influencers that have a genuine interest or connection to your community are invaluable for building it up. By providing an environment for them to thrive in, they will work with you to grow it.

2. Find New Trends

If something happens in your area of interest, your community should be the first to know about it. For that reason, it’s essential that you keep up-to-date with trending topics. This, combined with your existing knowledge and experience, will allow you to position yourself as a thought leader. It sounds terribly cliche, but even online communities are built on trust. Therefore, your members need to see that you have something to offer them in return for their engagement.

3. Locating Your Audience

To identify your audience, you must first find out which countries and regions are talking about your chosen topic most. This kind of analysis allows you to gain insight into how wants and needs change depending on location. In turn, it will help you to guide growth and targeting strategies, ensuring your marketing efforts aren’t wasted on the wrong audience. Being aware of different groups that exist within your community will help you to best serve all members. 

4. Boosting Engagement

A successful community is an active one. You shouldn’t just let your members do all the hard work, either. Boost engagement by encouraging members to share content, such as competitions or memes, on their own social media – and don’t forget to reward them for their activity! To create shareable content, you need to know what your audience is most responsive to. For example, what they find funny, or what prize is worth it. In addition, it is always helpful to find out what your audience members consider to be an acceptable repayment for their buy-in.

How Ten Bear Group Can Help

If you want to build an online community but don’t know where to start, our social listening analysts can help you! To find out more about the services we offer, get in touch.

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