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A virtual community is a social network of individuals who interact through specific mediums such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The limitation surpasses geographical and political boundaries in order to connect with others of a similar interest. At this point of time, the most pervasive type of community includes social networking services, which consists of various online communities.
There has been a growing trend amongst businesses to connect with their customers online through social networking platforms that are readily available. Sure, some are doing a great job at it but there are others who still have the same mindset to marketing their product/brand online the same way they do offline. Personally, I feel that businesses who want to create their very own community must first act less like a business and more of an individual with the human touch.
Now, these are the 5 reasons that I have in mind on why individuals build better communities than businesses:
When individuals use social networking services, it is a choice that they take. Yes, it’s a choice. They’re not forced into doing it because of work but more of the passion to do so. The drive to do this is not contaminated with work and personally, I feel that it would take a lot for them to give up doing so since they enjoy doing this.
Continuing from the first point, since individuals does not do this due to work, they sure are not going to stop doing it when they leave work. They will never abandon what they’re doing because of promotion, work load or getting another job. Since that’s the case, they will always be committed to spare some time to interact with their online community daily.
Since this is an individual’s passion for building their own online community, they are not bounded by a certain budget that is set aside for them. Sure, having a budget to do something would be nice but in this case, budget would almost mean hampering your creativity. If given a budget, one would be hard pressed to spend the money set aside for them; trying as much as possible to maximize the money. In this case, money does not buy you a community almost certainly.
Individuals are not concerned about hitting a certain target set for them every month/week/day to please their superiors. Instead, they are more focused on creating an awesome community without seeking for much in return. With little objectivity, individuals don’t try to become big without first making sure that their community would be a fun-filled one.
Informing friends regarding your online site is so much easier compared to telling them about what your business is doing. The latter is often perceived as hard selling and is frowned upon amongst most community. Individuals have it easier because they have the trust and respect from the people they want people to join their community.
What do you think of the reasons on why individuals build better communities as compared to businesses? Do you agree with them? If not, share with us your opinion.