Types of Online Communities - dummies

By Deborah Ng

Many different types of online communities exist, but the mechanics and inner workings are similar. Although the focus of each online community may be unrelated, the personality types are universal. After a while, these personality types are easy to identify, even if you’ve moved on to another community.

Online communities are hosted on a variety of platforms, with different purposes each. In fact, platform and purpose are the two most important determining factors before starting an online community.

For example, if a community platform is the corporate blog, the purpose may be to offer news and updates to the community while receiving feedback in return. So before you start your online community, think about why you’re bring a community together and what platform you want to use to host your community discussions.

Before deciding your community’s function, think about what type of community you’re looking to host. Knowing how each type of online community works and the benefits of each will eventually help you decide what role your community should play in your business.

Online communities take several different forms. Some brands have a presence on all the different social networks, while others choose the one or two platforms that will best represent what their trying to achieve. For example, they may have a corporate blog for updates, news, and niche-related tips, but also a Facebook page for conversation that isn’t so deep.

You don’t have to have a presence on all the social networks, but you do want to be where the people are, so it’s best to visit each of the different platforms to see what works best for you.

Over time, you may find that one platform works while another yields no results, so it’s better to work on something that’s working than to beat a dead horse. Try a variety of different social media tools, take them for a spin, and see which ones yield the best results.