Should brands build their own social communities?

brand management white label software social media
image via Bizness Apps

Here’s the short answer: Yup.

Here’s the long answer: It’s tough to monetize all those fans and followers floating around in cyberspace, but creating a social community can help cement loyalty, consequently bringing in those elusive dollars.

NASA, for example, uses a white label software company called SocialEngine to power a site hosting a student science challenge contest. (“White label software” describes a generic product sold to multiple companies and then customized, tailoring content to the company’s liking.) Apple and Electronic Arts rely on SocialEngine to build themed online communities and brand loyalty at the same time.

Brands collect valuable user data, like email addresses, along the way – something that’s simply not possible with mega-players Facebook, Twitter, and the like. Using white label software, brands also easily steer the conversation while maintaining control over the information flow to a fan base.

What do you think? Would you ever consider building an online community that relies on white label technology?