Discuss Communities - Online Community Management Topics

Treating your forum like it's a B2C business

Welcome to Discuss Communities!

Interested in creating an online community? How about growing one? How about profiting from one? Does it all seem so confusing, though? It doesn’t have to be! Join Discuss Communities to engage and network with beginner to seasoned online community managers just like you. Membership is free – register today or login if you have an account.

Shawn Gossman

Forum Admin
Staff member
Forum Admin
Forum Moderator
Charter Member
Jun 17, 2022
B2C, for those who don't know, means Business to Consumer/Customers. It's a category of businesses that do business with consumers. Another relevant category is B2B, businesses doing business with businesses instead of consumers.

Forums are very much like a B2C business model.

Even if you're doing your forum for fun or as a hobby, it won't hurt you to treat it like a B2C business. And here's why...

Businesses have a sole mission to make sales and gain actions from their consumers. If you don't want to monetize your forum, that's understandable. But you want to gain new members, great members, who will help build the community of your dreams.

Am I right?

Elements of B2C businesses often help ensure that the owner (you) are seen as a leader in your industry (your forum's niche). A B2C business creates a path to enable organic ambassadors (your super members who are super loyal), which will help promote your business (the forum) and show you absolute loyalty (being active). A forum that uses a B2C mindset puts the customer and their needs first (your members) and really engages them for feedback (suggestions and concerns about the forum). Businesses are all about increasing revenue through marketing and sales techniques. You can replace the revenue with membership and activity - those two categories can be your profit to be earned. When you treat a forum like a business, you respond to industry/niche shifts and act accordingly.

Ultimately, when you treat your forum as a business and your members as consumers, managing an online community becomes more natural, and it's easier to overcome the many obstacles you will face.

I'm interested in what you think this. What's stopping you?