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Online Branded Communities: Best-Practices, Top-Performing Brands and Sectors

November 13, 2012
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Over the past year, America's top brands have made few improvements in how they use online branded communities to reach their customers, according to a report released today by ComBlu.

Among some 219 online communities managed by 92 US brands, a dwindling proportion is using a strategic approach to social engagement in 2012, and most have recorded static or falling engagement activity levels, the report found.

Among the industries studied, Telecom recorded the highest activity levels across all brands, while the pharmaceutical industry recorded the lowest activity levels.

Below, additional findings from the fourth annual "State of Online Branded Communities" report, issued by ComBlu.

Community Activity Levels


Among the 219 online branded communities studied:

  • Engagement levels have been fairly healthy in 2012, but static: 43% of communities enjoy high levels of activity, up 1 percentage point from 42% in 2011.
  • The proportion of brands with low activity levels grew to 23% in 2012, from 16% in 2011.

Many brands have not used their community managers to stimulate engagement and to consistently showcase what's new or interesting inside the community. In some communities, managers have failed to respond to forums or discussion threads, diminishing the value of the community as a go-to place for ideas, tips, and brand relationships, according to the report.


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