ComBlu recently published their 2012 study on online branded communities. The study, titled The State of Online Branded Communities, shows that brands are becoming more and more involved in building communities. Brands, such as SAP and Mountain Dew, have built online communities to engage with a target audience and generate great social signals for raising page rankings.
Every time you Like a post on Facebook, tweet a link on Twitter, or follow someone on Google+, you are giving out a social signal. These social signals are your recommendations for worthwhile content that search engines use to enhance their search results. The more a website or article is recommended, shared or Liked, the more that website or article’s ranking will increase.