Value of Community

Why Do Communities Matter?

why do communities matterCommunities matter because they help achieve many business goals more efficiently than transactional approaches. By crowdsourcing experience within a bounded, vetted community organizations can:

  • Extend marketing impact through advocacy
  • More effectively support customers through peer sharing
  • Quickly ramp-up new employees by giving them access to tacit expertise of peers
  • Improve innovation cycles by better connecting market needs and internal expertise
  • Reduce duplication by encouraging and enabling employees to easily share their expertise
  • More effectively recognizing and rewarding the expertise of customers, employees and partners
  • React more quickly and effectively to crisis

All of these use cases can have enormous benefits to organizations although not all use cases are easy to measure in hard ROI calculations because often the value received from advocacy, collaboration and innovation is value that money could never buy – the value of a emergent testimonial from a happy customer or the value of an employee going above and beyond to solve a customer issue.

The Value of Community eBook: Behavior Change to ROI

In 2015, The Community Roundtable produced an eBook on the Value of Community, highlighting the ability of a community approach to help organizations develop sustainable behavior changes that lead to improved ROI. View the eBook below:

The Value of Community: Behavior Change to ROI from The Community Roundtable


When To Use a Community Approach

We’ve always had the perspective that social media and community approaches need to be integrated but are not the same thing and the reason is in the complexity of the business goal. Social media channels are fantastic for building awareness and getting feedback on what the market wants, but it is challenging to have the organized multidimensional conversations required for collaborating around complex topics.

Communities play a critical role an organization’s digital ecosystem by enabling the relationship and trust development required for complex discussions. This chart developed by Bill Jonnston is a great visual of that digital ecosystem and how communities fit both internally and externally in an organization’s approach to digital strategy.


In evaluating whether a community approach is right for your organization, consider the following relationship framework that we have developed and the business outcome that you are pursuing. The complexity of your product or service and the complexity of the business goal will determine what approach – or approaches – you will want to take.



Additional perspectives on the value of community

More Community Management Resources

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