Jun 30, 20162m read
Why Online Social Interaction Can Make or Break your Community
We have long established the need for online publishers to cultivate online communities. The benefits of doing so are almost endless: you increase engagement, user-retention, and most importantly–develop bonds between your audience and your brand, creating lasting loyalty. Since we have seen the success of online communities ranging from social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and others as well as online forums such as Reddit, bringing the same social benefits to other websites should be a no-brainer.
Read on to discover the main ways online social interaction can strengthen your community and help you develop stronger relationships with your users:
You provide a social outlet
Obviously, people crave social stimulation both on and offline. We love meeting friends for coffee, attending parties, and meeting new people over drinks. The internet hasn’t changed our social nature, rather it has transported it and made it more versatile. Now, we can connect with people near and far on the basis of similar interests.
As an online publisher, this is one of the main benefits of creating online social interaction. Because you are the vehicle allowing for members to get in touch about particular subject matters which interest them, you help people gain new perspectives and support from individuals who would never have the opportunity to connect in real life.
This of course, leads to people formulating relationships, so they stay onsite for longer and continue to come back for more.
Conversation leads to knowledge
They say knowledge is power. Your content is the ultimate tool for your users to gain knowledge on topics they care about and continue to explore them further. Conversation is essential for learning. That’s why in classrooms all around the world are discussion based. Moving this discussion to your site gives your users the irreplaceable opportunity to learn from other users.
Just like in a classroom, by having real-time social interaction on your site you encourage users to teach one another, offer new perspectives, and gain greater confidence in their opinions. As a result, they become more informed on the topics they love and gain greater appreciation for the community you have developed.
Creating lasting ties
As we have established, conversation is the building blocks for formulating solid relationships. By giving people the simple opportunity to engage with others in a manner that is natural and easy, you open up a world of social possibilities to them that might not be accessible otherwise.
In essence, this is the main power of community. By establishing bonds between your users, you also get them to engage in your brand. Through this social connection, you build a genuine relationship with your users on an individual basis, giving them a great reason to stay loyal for a lifetime.