How to build and manage an online community for your clients

By Tom Earnest on May 16, 2021

The best online communities are those attractive destinations that people want to return to again and again. But if you aim to build a new online community that will thrive, engaging your client’s customers, employees, or members, growing in ROI, and providing real business value. In that case, the first step is to start with careful planning.

A survey conducted by B2B buyers shows that 45% of business buyers spent more time and resources researching purchases than they did the previous year. So, the more platforms you can launch for your client’s brand, the more you can strengthen their buyers’ reach.

These communities bring together people from across the world to share their expertise and experience. They are multi-dimensional, vibrant, and take social interaction to a new level.

Building an online community for your clients is just the first step.  In this post, I’ll also show you how you can better manage, organize, and engage the online community for your clients.

Let’s dig in.

What is an online community?

The online community is a group of individuals who interact with each other via an online platform. These communities are created by internet users and provide a cohesive unit for the people who use the internet. Online communities can range from 1 Billion + person Instagram community to a 5–10-person community of coffee lovers that rates artisan cafes in their city through a private Facebook group.

Understanding what type of online community is suitable for your client is the first step in building an online community.

Type s of online communities

The type of online community you choose to create for your client will be the answer to the above question, what does your client’s customer want?

To help you find your answer, we are going to discuss four main types of online communities you should know:

  • Support Communities: In such communities, customers offer help and support to other customers, lowering the customer’s support costs.
  • Social Communities: These communities are different social media platforms. You can leverage them for your client’s brand awareness, marketing, and audience expansion.
  • Advocate Communities: In advocate communities, you can incentivize your client’s most loyal customers to promote the brand on the internet.
  • Insight Communities: In such activities, you can get feedback from your client’s longtime customers on how their services or products could improve.

Benefits of online communities for businesses

For businesses and companies, creating or participating in online communities can be very profitable. An online community is as good as an extension of the marketing team, which reaches out to hundreds of customers.  These customers will act as motivators for your client’s business and will make a positive contribution to the community. It enables companies to:

  • Reach out to potential customers and interact with the community to increase conversion.
  • Understand their customers and their demands.
  • Research on what services and products their customers desire and provide tailor-made solutions.
  • Build brands and reputation for the company (You can also resell online reputation management to any white label marketing agency if you need to).
  • Help them increase their customer loyalty.
  • Enhance its content reach
  • Analyze gathered market intelligence and implement it in future activities.
  • Discuss and debate about services and products provided by the company and new products that are being produced. These discussions can play a vital role in informing people about the new products and their benefits without selling hard.
  • Improve its customer support services and reduce the number of support calls the company receives. It can further increase customer satisfaction and encourages knowledge sharing.

How to build and manage an online community for your clients

If you want to increase the performance of your client’s business and encourage success, then you need to follow the steps below:

Embrace different level of commitments from members

Before you begin, it is better to realize that some community members will be more active than others, and some of them will not be active at all. The essential part of creating an online community is embracing what all members have to offer.

Some members prefer to share their ideas and participate in the conversation; others only take those ideas and run with them. You can’t force active users to dial down their engagement and inactive users to participate if they don’t want to. You can only fuel the conversation and get everybody involved in their way.

Provide a platform to users with different perspectives

If your client runs a business that covers a sensitive and divisive subject, then you need to approach the topic peacefully by bridging the gap between people and misunderstanding. Encourage them to open their minds to new perspectives.

Encourage members to participate

User-generated content can do wonders in an online community. So, encourage your client’s community members to create content. It will give the community a platform to share their unique content and connect with other members who have similar interests. You can feature those ideas on your client’s website and social media pages to increase exposure and give credit to the members who come up with them.

Let members educate one another about your services or products

Allow community members to teach each other about your client’s products and how to properly use them. By creating a community that is willing to help each other, you can attract new customers to whatever your client is selling.

Grant power to the people

Don’t let your desire for your client’s brand awareness interfere with the discussions among community members. It destroys the authenticity of their interaction and could turn off people to your client’s business. And ultimately, they will leave a bad review. But you can opt for white label review management services that will manage all the reviews for you.

Allow the community to influence your client’s business

Pay careful attention to the valuable insights from the community members. Always listen to their needs and forward them to your client. This will help them improve their products and services based on these suggestions.

Set boundaries

Your client’s brand represents something in the industry. Being a marketing agency, you will have to maintain that image in the community. Therefore, you will need extra staff who will moderate the community—set firm community guidelines.

These moderators will be responsible for approving posts and banning members if need be and maintain a healthy relationship between your client’s brand and community members, all within community guidelines.

The second option is to resell online reputation management services to a white label agency.


Online communities are powerful tools for promotion and brand building for any company and its services and products. It can build your client’s brand awareness, increase leads, and drive more conversions. But it’s a proven fact that not all communities. It needs a sustainable effort to make a community successful.

Members can leave bad reviews and damage your client’s reputation in the industry if not managed properly. You don’t need to worry if you can’t manage reviews. Some leading white label agencies are offering review management services. They will do all the tedious tasks for you.

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