Spotlight- Digital Communities (A Growth Division sub-department)

So let’s start with a couple questions for this one.

What is a community and how do we define it?

Simply put, it’s a group of people who communicate, share ideas, and develop relationships around a common interest.

What’s the difference between an online community and a social network?

Online Community:

  • Members usually do not know each other in “real life”

  • Most communication is based around a common interest or characteristic (fitness, cooking, sports, etc.)

  • “Nested structure” with sub-communities, threads, etc.

  • Social Network:

  • Formed around pre-existing interpersonal relationships (family, friends, coworkers)

  • Interaction is much more diverse, not always based on commonalities

  • “Webbed structure” where each person has their own social network that can overlap someone else’s (i.e. mutual friends/followers)

Following so far?

Sitting under our Growth Division, our digital community’s department focuses on the communities already within our organization’s ecosystem. These are individuals who communicate, share ideas and build relationships around a common interest. For example, we have millions of members who belong to our DIY (do-it yourselfers) digital community, who share tips and ideas on a variety of home improvement and building projects.

The objective for our digital community department is to grow and sustain these integrative communities that provide a unique and inclusive member experience, encourage participation, and ultimately build brand identity, loyalty, and advocacy for our programs, products, services, and affiliates.

Our goal is to give members a way to communicate and build relationships across our ecosystem in a more conversational environment. Aggregate consumer feedback and insights. Create a sense of belonging for members, resulting in stronger brand awareness and advocacy. Provide a place to integrate partner programs, journeys, and other ecosystem related entities to unique target audiences.

So what does our digital community group focus on day-to-day?

  • “Seed” communities by posting relevant content

  • Engage with active members to encourage discussion

  • Community moderation – make sure everyone follows the rules

  • Track community trends and sentiment

  • Increase awareness, participation and loyalty