Workshop on the value of online communities for SMEs

On Friday, December 7, Phd candidate from MMTC Thomas Cyron held a workshop on the topic of how small and medium-sized businesses can benefit from online communities. About 25 people from companies in the region participated.

As part of Transform to AAA's subproject in Digital Leadership, owners as well as marketers, researchers, development managers and others within small and medium-sized companies in the region, have been invited to the workshop held at Jönköping International Business School.

The goal with the workshop was to help companies to understand what online networks/online communities really are, why it may be smart to think about online community ma nagement instead of social media marketing, and how businesses can benefit from these types of environments.

Online communities can offer many benefits to companies of all kinds, but the real challenge is to know how to use them well.
"Many companies are not aware of the potential offered by these networks, and even if they know the benefits, it's quite different to know how to use them," said Thomas Cyron.

During the workshop, the participants discussed in small groups how they use, or can use, online communities in their businesses. The goal was to learn from each other and consider the possibilities of using these communities in different business areas.

The essence of Thomas Cyron's presentation was to illustrate the difference between social media and online communities/networks. While social media is often about how many likes you have, how many interactions you generate, or how effective your digital marketing campaigns are, online communities are m ore focused on building relationships with customers and partners as well as learning from others when it comes to an area your business is passionate about.

"Be social and learn from your customers, partners and even competitors," said Thomas Cyron.

Thomas Cyron is a PhD student at Jönköping International Business School and is passionate about business development and growth in the digital era. His research focuses on in-depth studies of people who develop their business ideas and unique cases. He has practical experience from various industries: consumer goods, media, e-commerce, and banking consultancy.