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Untapped Opportunities for Online Communities

December 11, 2009

Companies tend not to understand what people want from online branded communities––or the role that the brand plays in fulfilling those needs, according to a study by ComBlu.

In addition, most brands lack a cohesive strategy for integrating their online communities with each other and other social media initiatives, and they offer only a limited number of ways for members to engage––overlooking the variety of participant types that interact online.

Below, additional findings from ComBlu.

Overall, most companies are in the early stages of implementing online branded communities:

  • 47% are in the social-marketing experimentation stage; the elements of their social media activity have with little connection or integration with each other.
  • 24% of companies have community ghost towns, void of members, engagement, or recent visitors.
  • 20% have a cohesive, integrated approach to their community and social media programs.
  • 9% show evidence of community overload, which most often occurs with brands that have multiple products targeted to the same or similar market segments.

Nine out of ten brands have an official presence on popular social media platforms and 56% integrate that presence with their branded communities.  However, only 32% of branded communities are integrated with social media.

Summary of Best-Practices Audit

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