Vertical communities: The main business possibility for brands
Social networks are not going to die. Although the tool (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google + …) is becoming less important, we have inoculated the ‘social gene’, which will evolve
IAB an association that represents the advertising, marketing and digital communication sector, has held the thematic breakfast ‘Strategy in Social Media and Vertical Communities’ in Barcelona and Madrid.
After the boom of “being” in social networks, it is time to take advantage and identify business opportunities. One of the main opportunities is the incipient Vertical Communities, groups of online users that have a common interest and that are grouped under the umbrella of a brand. The Vertical Communities suppose, in the opinion of these experts, the next step to the social networks in the digital strategy of the companies.
Types of Vertical Communities
Rubén Jiménez identifies four main types of Vertical Communities:
PREMIUM VIP. Based on passion, it is indicated for football clubs or artists.
CONSUMER LAB. Based on the fact of being a client of a brand and having the opportunity to transmit complaints and collaborate in the changes and improvements of the company. Ideal, for example, for mobile telephony operators, but also valid for many other business sectors.
THEME. The vast majority of Vertical Communities are of this type. They are based on a common interest: photography, pets, boxing, architecture … If a brand manages to be the umbrella of one of these communities, it can obtain a great economic return (be in constant contact and be an authority for its potential clients) and position itself in its sector with a very good brand reputation.
INCENTIVATED. It does not fit in any of the previous profiles: it does not arouse passions, it does not allow changes for its type of product or business model and it can not relate to a topic of interest or its subject of interest is very exploited. It relies purely on incentives to gather users.
Should our company have a social media strategy?
Before launching a strategy in social networks and / or vertical communities, a company must define four points …
The first is your brand territory, which may or may not have to do with your product. The brand territory consists of social interest issues that are close to a company. If a company does not have brand territory, it will not have the possibility of generating content on social networks beyond its product. It will not have interest.
The second is the positioning that you have within your market and the target audience. A Porsche is not the same as a Fiat, although both are cars. Hand in hand with this point comes the following: values that the company can contribute to its target.
Once these three points have been analyzed and defined, the fourth and fundamental question arrives: should I be in social networks? There are many companies that, due to their structure, their type of product or their business model, should not be. You have to be firm and not get carried away by fashion and the general current.