During COVID-19, we discovered the value of creating and sustaining an online community. No matter your industry or inspiration for creating a community digitally, an open-minded, engaged online group is beneficial both personally and professionally. Our agency created the Marketing Professionals of NWFL Facebook group when the pandemic began, and it has proven to be a valuable outlet for industry professionals to share knowledge and inspiration throughout these difficult times.
Here’s why we believe an online community adds value to your organization.
Geography isn’t a factor.
With a community fostered on the internet, you find people you connect with all over the world. Physical location is not a detriment when it comes to creating and fostering an online community, so it takes away one important hurdle that often occurs when trying to meet and build relationships with others in-person.
It is constant through the unexpected.
We know the global pandemic took a toll on in-person events but what we’ve learned is that an online community can support your audience and customers without being able to see them physically. Online communities prove to be a great alternative to meeting in person while we aren’t able to do so. Although COVID-19 caused us to learn that an online community is valuable through the unexpected, the pandemic isn’t the only factor affecting face-to-face meetings with your audience. An online place to communicate with your customers is there for you no matter the weather, time of day, or global conditions. Online communities will sustain beyond COVID-19 because they are a constant way of communication with your supporters no matter what unexpected events arise.
It fosters relationships.
The majority of people have some form of social media presence, so it is an easy way to build relationships with people where they already spend their time. Whether you want to create a more professional group on LinkedIn or a more casual group on Facebook, there are many outlets where you can create an online community appropriate for your audience. These communities allow individuals to build relationships with one another without the need to meet in person.
It brings online and real-world together.
Although it may feel like the world is permanently changed, one day we will be able to meet in person freely again! When that day comes, leverage your online community for in-person events as well. An online community gives you a built-in audience of like-minded individuals that you can seamlessly create in-person connections.