It’s clear why customer engagement is always a top priority for brands and companies. Keeping customers engaged throughout their purchase journey leads to better brand awareness, higher customer satisfaction, more customer advocacy and loyalty, and larger revenue. But what isn't always clear or easy is how to best generate and improve customer engagement.
Over the past few decades, we can see the significant impact of digitization, and how social media has accelerated this change. Online communities hosted on platforms like Facebook and Instagram have emerged as a practical approach for nurturing, encouraging, and enabling customer engagement.
But times have changed today and social media is no longer as effective as it used to be, especially if your goal is to increase engagement and monetize. Regular algorithm changes, privacy issues, competitive attention space, spammy content, and no data ownership are among the many reasons that made it much more difficult to build and grow a community on Facebook in particular.
Our recommendation? Move away from social media and rebuild your community in a platform specifically designed for **communities. Based on today’s changing customer behavior and organizational needs, here are the top reasons why you should rebuild your community somewhere else:
When you build your community on a public social media channel, you don't truly "own" your community, and are therefore bound to the decisions these companies make. Not only do they limit your access to data that’s valuable to your organization and future business decisions, but they also have full control over algorithm changes, content moderation, and information use. This makes it difficult for you to reach more people and forces you to unexpectedly pivot your strategies from time to time.
In a private platform, you own your data and have the right to use this for advertising and targeting purposes (with permission, of course). A private community is also an extremely efficient way to share exclusive content with your members, improve trust, and foster rich discussions. You can enable your community members to have well-organized and purpose-driven conversations, without them having to worry about privacy concerns.
Social media is a distracting place with a fierce attention economy. You have notifications from multiple groups, pages, friends and family members, recommended content, news, and finally online ads. We’re bombarded with huge chunks of information on our feeds on a regular basis, and it’s an absolute nightmare for entrepreneurs, creators, and businesses whose goal is to build an engaged and loyal community. It’s definitely not the experience you want for your community if you’re looking to bring customers or members together to interact with you and each other.
When you try to compete with other content, you’re limiting your ability to connect with your customers, and engagement will go down as a result. There’s always the option of buying ads, but they’ll cost you a lot, and there’s no guarantee you’ll get good results. When you build your community on a private platform, you can easily create targeted content and manage discussions that are more focused and relevant to your members. This boosts engagement, supports community goals, and leads to overall community growth.
As easy it is to set up your community on social media, they unfortunately have no means of letting you monetize your community. Most public platforms do not offer any built-in options for donations or subscriptions, so you can’t charge membership fees. If you want to expand your revenue streams or accept donations to sustain your community, it means you’ll have to look for alternative solutions to run a paid membership or sell any form of paid content.
If your community is driving exceptional value, consider choosing a community platform that lets you monetize with online courses, memberships, and/or subscriptions. This will let you offer more value to your members, while keeping the community sustainable.
Google’s algorithm doesn’t take much information from social media accounts when crawling the web. In other words, Google most likely does not index your social media posts and the overall SEO weight they have is minimal. Your likes, shares, and followers (however high the numbers are) also do not influence your SEO or rankings. This means you’re losing out on driving valuable traffic to your community when bots fail to discover and index content, or send any organic traffic your way.
Build your online community in a private platform where members can share their personal experiences and learnings, and you get premium quality content that people won’t find anywhere else. Your members will add hundreds of pages of great content to your site at almost no cost to you at all. This boosts your website’s credibility and turns the heads of search engines.
With public social networking groups, member engagement is usually limited to the content posted in the community. The best community management platforms provide unique solutions that are designed to strengthen engagement among members.
Gamification is one of the most modern and effective solutions to growing a successful and vibrant community. Games are incredibly appealing, and they help us feel positive emotions like curiosity, perseverance, and creativity. Several exploratory studies across the world have also proven the potential of gamification in shaping user behavior. In Beam.gg communities, our highest level of impact comes from using gamification to drive platform engagement and increase member retention.
Beam.gg is the only community platform that automates engagement through gamified experiences. Try it for free!