Online communities are now an integral part of many businesses and many large organisations already have communities. But what are they and what value they bring in? Let’s have a look
Support Communities: Global biggies like ‘Apple’ have a support community which enables customers to discuss issues.
Brand Advocate Community: It allows businesses to leverage their most passionate customers to get more brand advocates. Members of these communities are rewarded for participation as well.
Insight Community: It consists of customers, partners, employees, fans, donors, etc. They are meant for getting valuable feedbacks.
Having an online community for a business serves many valuable purposes. It’s a place where you will want your customers, brand advocates, employees and other stakeholders to ‘interact’ and do what they could not do elsewhere!
For instance, while making discussions with customers, your team can lay a foundation for next updated version of the product which already has a latent demand.
Wondering how to create one?
There are many platforms to facilitate online engagement and foster social interactions with customers. Here are some leading online communities and social business software.
An active community can do wonders for your business, but keeping it active is a challenge. To make sure your community members remain engaged, it should offer basic functionalities of easy interaction amongst the users.
CometChat’s chat integration platform does just that. At CometChat, we make sure that the users of your community can connect with each other in multiple ways including real-time text chat, voice & video calling & conference, collaborative Whiteboard & document and much more.
Integrating chat in your community is easy
The purpose of having such a platform is to let various stakeholders communicate freely. CometChat helps you achieve this by giving them a platform to share their ideas, questions, and thoughts.
With products like CometChat you can easily integrate chat into your existing website/app with the help of our mobile and web SDK.
CometChat’s web and mobile SDK are ready to integrate and work right out of the box on every major platform including :
Community Builder: CometChat can be integrated into your Community Builder website using our ready to integrate chat component. You can have CometChat up and running in minutes.
EasySocial: Use CometChat’s ready to integrate chat component to integrate CometChat into your EasySocial website within minutes.
JomSocial: CometChat’s ready to integrate chat component integrates into your JomSocial website within minutes and with minimal effort.
SocialEngine: Integrate CometChat into your SocialEngine website using our ready to use chat plugin within minutes.
SocialStrap: CometChat’s SocialStrap chat component is easy to use and integrates into your website within minutes.
SocialScript: With a ready to integrate, robust and dedicated SocialScript chat component you can add CometChat to your Social Script website within minutes
Boonex: CometChat’s ready to use and robust Boonex chat module integrates with your current Boonex website within minutes.
Ning: A dedicated Ning chat component allows you to add CometChat to your Ning website within a few minutes.
PHP: CometChat readily integrates with your PHP based website using our dedicated and ready to integrate PHP chat software, you can have CometChat up and running within 5 minutes.
Social Biz: Integrate CometChat into your SocialBiz website using our dedicated and ready to integrate SocialBiz chat solution. You can have CometChat up and running on your website within 5 minutes.
But is it worth the pain?
Chat options are not new to websites, and social communities like Facebook already have them. Going by the popularity of the instant messenger, it is evident that chat app is a must have.Once you have integrated chat to your community:
User engagement and user retention increases on your website.
Users can now connect and communicate in a more personalised and interactive manner.
Users get access to better Collaboration tools allowing them to get more done whilst staying on your website.
You get access to better monetisation tools to generate revenue from your website more effectively and efficiently.
Impeccable features that chat integrations offers
Chat Integrations are feature-rich and bring life to your community. Here are some with their usage scenarios:
• Group Chat: One-on-One chat is prevalent, what brings difference is the availability of group chat.
Use Case: Community members gather in a single place using group chats, here members share thoughts and discuss ideas. Groups can also be made exclusive by creating password protected and invitation-only groups.
• Voice & Video Calling & Conference: User can make video calls and also create a virtual hangout space by using the voice & video conference feature.
Use Case: Any satisfied user can discuss the benefits of your product or service with other customers who are willing to buy from you. It facilitates word of mouth marketing.
• Broadcast Message: This feature, allows users to send across a text message to multiple users at the same time. Increasing your outreach and roping-in attention of all your users.
Use Case: Your community members are having an issue with the product or service you provide. You find a resolution; now you can inform all your community members about the same at the click of a button.
• Real-time Language Translation This feature translates all incoming conversations to the language of your users choice in real-time allowing users from all over the globe to connect without any barriers.
Use Case: Your community members may be spread across the globe and using this feature, they will get the messages in the language they understand. They can also send the translated message to other members without having to know that language.
• Collaborative Whiteboard: A virtual whiteboard allows users to sketch their ideas and share them with other users within chat. With the whiteboard feature users let their creativity flow.
Use Case: There is an online forum for Interior Designers here Designers from all over the world get together and discuss ideas and projects. Sara shares her new project on the group chat using the virtual whiteboard to get opinions from group members on her latest project.
• Collaborative Document: Users can use this feature to create a document/report collaboratively. They can make edits, save revisions, and even export files with this plugin.
Use Case: Your online community may have all the stakeholders, including your brand advocates. Say you request them to write a product review; they can use this feature to write the same.
• File Sharing: Users can share pictures, files or documents, spreadsheets and more within the chat in a snap creating more engaging and interactive conversations.
Use Case: A brand advocate in your community wants to share some specific images of your product. He or she can share it instantly with other members.
How can you monetize your community member base?
Once your community has grown sufficiently, and there are many brand advocates for your products or services, then you can even think of creating categories of customers.
So your premium members get to use all the features, and free users have limited access of CometChat. You may even make CometChat earn for you by adding custom advertisements! Make the best use of following features:
Role-based access control helps you grant access to certain features to a particular category of users. You can easily restrict CometChat features for each role allowing monetization opportunities for you.
Credits deduction feature allows you to deduct credits from user accounts when they use audio, video, and text chat features.
Custom advertisements: Generate additional revenue on your website by adding custom advertisements to the chat windows whenever you like.
Still waiting? Here are some eye-openers…
74% of large companies have established online communities.
72 % of companies with an online community use it to gather product feedback.
71% percent of companies believe that an online community significantly improves brand exposure, awareness, and credibility.
$1.2 Billion size of online communities market by 2019.
86% of marketers believe that having a branded online community benefits core business operations.
85 % of marketers think it will improve the customer journey.
Summarising the article, chat integrations are gateways to increase user engagement, user retention, and drive monetization to your website and now you are set with all the resources that you need to create, power and grow your community.