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One of the sessions at the upcoming April 25th event about building online communities will discuss whether communities can work in a B2B environment. As we lead up to the event I thought I'd get the conversation started with some thoughts on B2B versus B2C communities.
There really isn’t a huge difference between B2B and B2C communities.
Instead of groups of individuals, B2B communities consist mainly of customers and suppliers. The make-up is the same, they share a common interest and want to be able to meet and connect with and help each other.
With that said, B2B online communities should share the same traits. Forums, blogging, podcasting, etc. can be used to connect not only to your customers but a place where they can connect with each other.
I can see the ROI being similar to that of B2C, you learn more about how to improve your product or service, generate best practices and increase loyalty.
For more information of building online communities, check out this podcast on ‘How to start a B2B community’ as well as some existing B2B communities.