The B2B online community may be the forgotten partner of the glitzy, headline and spotlight-grabbing B2Ccommunities at the center of the social media revolution. In social media land, there is nothing more eye-catching than a community for a popular TV show, a cool consumer-facing site for coffee lovers or a sports team. Not to mention the tantalizing sound of the word “monetization!”
OK, the B2C communities are big, often flashy and backed by recognizable brand names. They’re fun to talk about, as compared to the ho-hum business of building communities that help customers find solutions to core business issues in areas like technology, manufacturing or insurance. But let’s look at this a little more closely.
There are three primary models used to build both kinds of online communities based on three kinds of member needs:
1) Information Dissemination
2) Shop Talk
3) Professional Collaboration