Strategies for online communities

How can companies interact successfully with consumers in online communities?

For a lot of people, if not all of us, our opinion depends on those in our social context. Whether unconsciously or not, we want our choices to reflect who we are and that we belong in a certain community with similar interests, preferences and beliefs (Churchill and Halverson, 2005; Miller, Fabian, and Lin, 2009; Swann, Rentfrow, and Guinn, 2002). Online communities are not necessarily different. Even though it can be anonymous and it is more accessible than face-to-face meetings, the opinions posted there can be equally or even more influential in the choices that you make. And people are spending an increasing amount of time online, so a lot of the opinions that our opinion is based on, are coming from online communities.

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“Less hassle, more music” – Gigstarter

Imagine you want to arrange live music for a wedding. First, you need to decide what kind of audience and what kind of music you want for the wedding. Thereafter, you will need to find and contact agents, and compare different quotes of bands and musicians to find your best options. As you can imagine, it can be a hassle to arrange live music for an event. The founders of Gigstarter wanted to facilitate this process and lower the threshold for live music. As their slogan states:

Less hassle, More music”.

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“Drink Socially!”

Let’s face it, most of us like to share our positive experiences with our friends, and we like to use social media to reach as much of them as possible. Companies try to help us fulfill these needs with social media plugins or applications. The subject of this blog is a social media application. It is a combination of sharing your experience, rating the product and recommending (or not!) it to other users of the application. The best thing about it is however the subject: BEER! I am talking about the application Untappd, a social media app that enables its users to share and explore the world of beers (Mather & Crunchbase Staff, 2016).

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Who Started It? Customer and Firm Initiated Contact


Let’s assume after graduating from BIM we have just begun working at a newly formed Online Marketing Department for an online retailer and our boss wants to use digital analysis to better understand our customers. Secondly, we also want to give back to our customers by correctly interpreting the valuable data they produce for us. Together with their data and our insights, we want to  co-create a better shopping experience for our customers.

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The power of social video engagement on social media platforms

At one point, you are really working hard on your business idea report for ccdc, but then you accidentally click on your Facebook tab and start scrolling your timeline. Facebook has implemented the great feature that it plays videos automatically when you scroll near them. At the end you are hooked, watching videos on Facebook voor several minutes. I am sure this happens to almost everyone.

According to Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, every day more than 100 million hours of video content is being watched on Facebook worldwide. This video content ultimately leads to more engagement on the social media platform. People are liking and sharing video content with their friends. This creates online conversations and a increased popularity of the platform and more time spend on the platform. Which ultimately leads to more value creation for the platform.  Social videos might be the new social media trend in 2016.

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Same day delivery with ‘crowd logistics’

Over the recent years, (almost) all the large e-commerce retailers started to offer same day delivery to their customers. These services are generally carried out by third party logistics providers. With the emergence of same day delivery, new third parties that provide this service also emerge. An example of such a company is Deliv. The goal of the company is to close the last mile gap between retailers and customers. The main way in which Deliv differentiates itself from competitors is that it crowdsources same day delivery. This is done by using a network of on-demand drivers. This creates the advantage for the company that the investments are relatively low in comparison to large competitors. An example is Amazon, which has to invest in expanding the network of distribution centers to enable same day delivery. This while Deliv has no inventory and no fleet of vehicles. This is the reason why Deliv is able to provide the service for $5, which is a relatively low fee in comparison to competitors. Another way in which Delives differentiates itself is that it sells the service to stores and malls instead of directly to customers. Deliv partnered with malls because over 85% of the largest retailers are located in malls. By doing this, Deliv created its own distribution network (Halzack, 2012).

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How about finally having a weekend?

Have you ever considered how you should do so many small tasks at home? You need to clean the house, you need to unpack, and you need to assemble an IKEA cupboard. Also, you might need to pick up your clothes from dry cleaning, do groceries and cook. Also you need to send a package, walk the dog, iron the clothes… Find a wedding photographer, tax lawyer and delivery guy. Since the list can go on and on and the time does the same, on Sunday evening you ask yourself where did your weekend go and feel horrible about lost time to life duties.

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