Online Communities Technology Overview

Resource Overview

Our Online Communities Technology Overview highlights the Online Community technology space at a high-level.


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Online Communities and Social Networks have transformed the Marketing landscape in the last ten years. From pioneers like Myspace to the behemoths of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, Online Communities have become digital neighborhoods, hangouts and intersections of commerce. Marketers have found the global Social Networks to be both a benefit and a challenge. The benefit is the ability to reach millions of prospective customers with the click of a mouse. The challenge is be seen and heard in a growing cacophony of marketing noise. Increasingly, marketers are finding that the answer is to create private or company-owned Online Communities set apart from the social mainstream and dedicated to the needs of their unique customers.

Company-owned online communities are websites that act as engagement engines. They enable companies to create social relationships with customers and prospects and to foster peer-to-peer relationships that drive engagement with the company, brand, product or service. Activities include blogs, forums, Q&A, groups, contests, Gamification, SEO, and Social Media integrations. Increasingly, companies are using these communities for crowdsourcing and ideation to drive innovation and new product development. Online Communities are also useful for identifying potential advocates who can be further engaged using the Advocacy and Loyalty platforms.

In this report, we examined company-owned Online Communities rather than the large social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Our Online Communities Vendor Landscape provides a detailed look at the landscape, vendors and solutions for Online Communities. The goal is to enable Modern Marketing organizations to make effective investment decisions about the private Online Community platforms and tools that best fit their broader Customer Engagement strategy.

This study covers the following sections:

  • Executive Summary
  • Online Communities Overview
  • Online Communities Vendor Landscape
  • Evolution of the Landscape
  • Analyst Bottom Line
  • About the Research Analysts
  • Our Technology Overview Methodology
  • About Demand Metric