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20 Stats About the Benefits of Online Community Forums

Those in the community space (such as ourselves) will defend the value of community forums until the very end. We’ve written an endless amount of blogs and eBooks on the benefits of community, and indeed, our colleagues in the community space have agreed with our assertions every step of the way.

But as logical and obvious as the benefits of community may seem, we’re aware that there could be a disconnect between community in theory and community in practice; that is, what leading community experts say about community might not actually be the case when you speak to organizations directly.

We decided to take a closer look at this question and embark on some research to get to the bottom of it. Our research revealed a number of key statistics regarding the impacts and benefits of online communities, specifically branded communities and social media communities.

Here are 20 key statistics found in our newest eBook, Online Communities: The Benefits and Impacts on Organizations, 2019:

  • An online community can help organizations improve engagement by up to 21%
  • 66% of branded communities say that the community has had an impact on customer retention.
  • 68% of branded communities say that the community has helped create new leads.
  • 55% of branded communities say that the community has contributed to an increase in sales.
  • 57% of branded communities say that the community has led to an increase in brand SEO.

Benefits and Impacts of Online Communities

  • 72% of those with a branded community say that the community has led to an increase in website traffic.
  • 90% of communities say that suggestions from the community have been used to improve products or services.
  • 76% of branded communities have a dedicated community manager.
  • Having a dedicated community manager for your branded community can help improve performance by up to 12%.
  • Having a managed online community lessens the burden of engagement by 44%.
  • 77% of support-based branded communities also have a knowledge base.
  • 66.3% of branded communities say they have community moderators.
  • 25% of organizations who switched from a social media community to a branded community did it to increase customer engagement.
  • 88% of branded communities said that the community has helped improve customer experience.
  • 78% of communities say that it has been used to develop new/ future products and services.
  • 84% of branded communities say that the community has had a positive impact on those interested in the brand.
  • Branded communities are 13% more likely to have an impact on customer experience than social media communities.
  • Branded communities are 21% more likely to see an increase in brand SEO than social media communities.
  • Branded communities are 16% more likely to successfully foster brand loyalty than social media communities.
  • 58% of online communities says that their customers are more loyal to the brand because of their community.

Ultimately, this research report comes to five conclusions:

1. Engagement is the Biggest Challenge

Whether it’s an organization with a branded community, a social media community, or no community at all, engagement is still a challenge for all.

2. Online Communities Support Top Business Challenges

Businesses with online communities have reported seeing successful outcomes in areas that those without a community struggle with.

3. Branded Communities Are The Most Effective

Branded communities are more effective than social media communities in addressing key business challenges. Respondents report overall higher levels of success with a branded community.

4. Having a Dedicated Community Manager Increases the Impact and Performance of Your Community

Branded communities with a dedicated community manager perform better in almost every area than those who don’t have a dedicated community manager.

5. Support Communities Are Likely to Have a Knowledge Base

Organizations who have an online community that is used for customer support are also likely to have a knowledge base as part of their strategy.

To learn more about these findings, we definitely encourage you to read the full report. You can grab your free copy of this report here.

Benefits and Impacts of Online Communities