Humans have been grouped in “herds” since the beginning of our species and with the arrival of digital technology, specifically the Internet, this need to form tribes migrated to this space.
Below we will show you what a virtual community is, its main characteristics, the types that exist and the advantages of belonging to one. Stay with us!
What is a virtual community?
These are groups in which interactions between several people are promoted with the aim of sharing opinions and experiences on a particular topic and, in some way, making them feel part of something.
Of course, these interactions are carried out through digital and electronic means or channels.
What are the characteristics of a virtual community?
These spaces, despite being communities, have differences with those that present physical interactions between the members. Specifically, they have these characteristics:
1. Geographic location doesn’t matter
The place of origin of the participants is irrelevant, they can be part of the community even if they come from different parts of the world, social groups and even different languages.
2. Participants have specific roles
Its members are organized according to their level of participation:
Leaders or community managers
Community managers are the ones who often raise new topics and establish the rules of the community.
They are the ones who ensure that all participants respect the rules, that is, they maintain the correct operation.
They are those who actively participate in the conversations within the community, contributing their opinions, leaving questions for the group, qualifying the comments of others and leaving “likes”.
These act as a kind of ghost within the community, since they read everything that is spoken within the space, but do not participate in any of the conversations.
Now that you know how a digital community is made up, which of these are you?
3. It is anchored to digital media
Although the members of a virtual community are close to each other, what really provides a satisfying experience is to carry everything through the Internet.
Therefore, everything is about some digital service or web page.
4. Allow members to feel part of something
The sense of belonging that develops in these groups is equal to or stronger than that found in traditional communities.
Which means that physical contact, regardless of whether it is present in the equation or not, is not necessary for this type of group.
What types of virtual community exist?
Social platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, allow their users to connect with others who have the same interests, through groups, hashtags and other tools.
So they serve to interconnect people and stimulate the formation of communities around the same topic.
social media kit
Leave your email and receive the free kit!
Applications like WhatsApp or Telegram are some of the clearest examples of platforms that allow real-time communication between two or more people using mobile devices.
At the same time, they offer the possibility of creating groups among several members to share texts and multimedia material among them.
Places on the Internet associated with web pages in order to create spaces and encourage the interaction of many people on various topics.
There are millions of them on the net, to talk about almost any topic that exists.
They are web pages that allow their users to read and edit information about different concepts.
They mostly also contain forums where members discuss and debate about these topics.
Well, these websites have the particularity that they are constantly updated with new and relevant information in the form of posts or articles on various topics.
On blogs, readers can share their comments and can also receive responses from moderators or other users.
So, you already know the types, now it is opportune that you know the advantages that these spaces have.
What are the benefits of virtual communities?
For a user with no professional interest, the reason for belonging to these communities may be to feel part of something or simply to learn about and share their interests.
If we see them from the perspective of a business we can say that there are other advantages:
Know the demand of users
An excellent opportunity for Digital Marketing professionals and businesses on their way to digital transformation comes when they use these spaces to study the possible demand for their products through these channels.
For example, if you work in the beauty and personal care sector, entering virtual communities of makeup, hairdressing, skin care and more will give you a clearer perspective of the demands and the opportunity to offer or promote the products of this sector. sector.
Analyze the competition
A virtual community is used to study the comments on products and services of the competition. A more than profitable environment to monitor your progress or failures in the field.
Promote connections with potential customers
People usually come to these groups with doubts or problems that they need to solve. This is a golden opportunity to leave information to leads about products or services to solve their afflictions.
Giving informed opinions, providing simple solutions and showing that the values of the business are compatible with users is a way to gain their trust and show that you are capable of adding value to their lives.
Through them it is possible to observe the reaction and engagement of the public against the marketing actions of the competition.
With this you can develop ideas to apply in your organization and identify the types of strategies that bring results.
Virtual communities open up the possibility of establishing direct contact with people who share the same interests, but avoiding the protocol that exists in interpersonal relationships on the physical plane.
In addition, they serve as a channel for studying the behavior and trends of a specific sector and, consequently, they are perfect for analyzing the impact that a product will have, the authority of a brand or gaining the trust of the public.
Did you find this material interesting? Well, we invite you to follow us on our profile LinkedIn and be part of our network of contacts.