30Nov/11Off

Virtual Communities

 Romain FARGIER

 CM/ Social Medias IDATE

 
 
 
 

Building a virtual community is similar to the construction of any other community, online or offline. They are built by users and are based on the experiences of individuals, thereby replicating the same physical characteristics of real-life communities.

From a general point of view, the strength of a community depends on the initial level of commitment from participants and the size of its membership. Maffesoli (1988) used the term "Neo- Tribes" to describe this kind of social behavior. In the case of social media, the formation of "Neo-Tribes" helps explain why people choose to come together to share a common passion or emotion, regardless of social class, age or sex.

These "Neo-Tribes" are sustained due to the constant development of its members as well as not being fixed entities with exclusive and inclusive pre-requisites. Virtual communities in social media are constantly changing yet adhere to rules typical of a sociological physical society; that’s-to-say, it has missions and specific roles. This is something which businesses have caught on to and are using what is called "tribal marketing" to reach these groups.

In my mind, there are 4 important points and behaviors that you must have in order to create and maintain theses "Neo-Tribes" or virtual communities, in the Web 2.0 :

- To favour acces to content: You need to simplify and bring members to your content.

- Moderation : A survey is unavoidable if you want to keep your reputation and protect your brand from "bad buzz".

- To organize content : Organization of your content into a hierarchy is important if you want to be efficient.

- To favour discussions and interactivity : It is one of the key factors of succes and the driving force of social medias.