In the last message, I discussed monetization. An online private social network always has the potential to make money but a cash flow isn’t the only benefit that an online community can bring. Those benefits aren’t always as easy to measure (or spend) as money but they are valuable.
You don’t want your customers to buy once and disappear. You want them to keep coming back. That means keeping in touch with them and ensuring that they always feel close to you and will buy from you as soon as they’re ready to make their next purchase.
If you’re used to wasting hours each day answering customer emails that often ask the same question, an online private social network gives you an easy way to address issues publicly. And when the community weighs in, you’ll have even less to do.
Launch a new feature and you won’t need to survey your members to find out what they think. You’ll be able to track the discussions on the community and see what people are really saying—to each other as well as to you.
This is the big one. An online community gives you a platform to give your product an identity and make it a part of your customers’ lives. That’s invaluable.
When you’re trying to squeeze money out of your community, you’ll have to make an effort. These other benefits though should come naturally from a community that’s popular, thriving and growing.
That’s all for now! Next time, I’ll explain why your community isn’t growing as quickly as you’d like.