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Treat Your Volunteers Like Employees

Written by Molly Talbert | on April 25, 2017 at 8:30 AM

 Treat your community volunteers like employees

What if the way to motivate your volunteers to come back again and again is to forget for a moment they’re volunteers? What if, instead, the key is to recruit and treat your volunteers like employees?

Many volunteer programs struggle with the same problem - getting a core group to return regularly. A lot of people volunteer at least once, but it doesn’t often turn into long-term commitment. But if you manage your volunteers like employees, thinking about their professional development and giving them important tasks and metrics, then they have an incentive to continue volunteering.

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Topics: Volunteer Management

What Can Community Professionals Learn from Influencer Marketing?

Written by Molly Talbert | on April 20, 2017 at 8:30 AM

What can influencer marketing teach online communities

Imagine if Google’s Sundar Pichai wrote a guest blog post on your community about the future of cloud computing. Do you think your customers would be excited?

Community professionals often struggle to finds ways of getting one piece of content - a tweet, a video, a blog post, or a discussion thread - to capture your members’ attention, pushing them to engage more. It’s an obstacle many community professionals struggle with - especially since the internet is more vast than ever, making it harder to grab anyone’s attention.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Marketing

Why Do People Volunteer for Professional Associations and Trade Groups?

Written by Julie Dietz on April 18, 2017 at 8:30 AM

Do you know why your association's volunteers raised their hands to help?

“We make a living by what we do. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

Of the many ways to give back, volunteering is one of the most profound. Giving your time and knowledge is invaluable, which is one of the reasons organizations appreciate their volunteers so much.

Volunteerism has been the lifeblood of many groups throughout the centuries and continues to be a driving force today. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 25.3% of the US population volunteered in 2014. They helped people in need, advanced causes, and furthered organizations.

How many people volunteered at your association? And what brought them to your door?

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Topics: Volunteer Management, Associations

How to Grow Your Community Management Career Faster

Written by Julie Dietz on April 13, 2017 at 8:30 AM

4 easy ways online community managers and strategists can grow their careers quickly.

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” – William James, Philosopher and Psychologist

That’s good career advice no matter what field you’re in, but it’s particularly powerful for community managers. Community managers hold an integral job that can get lasting results for businesses, yet they don’t always have the opportunity to communicate their importance. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and let busy executives or overworked managers turn their attention elsewhere.

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Topics: Online Community Management

5 Reasons You Need to Integrate Your Online Community and CRM Today

Written by Julie Dietz on April 11, 2017 at 8:30 AM

Is your online community software integrated with your CRM?

My favorite childhood game was Telephone. My friends and I would sit in a circle for hours passing messages around by whispering in one another’s ears. Hearing how the original messages changed to something nearly unrecognizable at the end always made me laugh.

Telephone isn’t just an entertaining childhood pastime. It also teaches a valuable lesson: indirect communication is rarely accurate. You lose essential meaning when there isn’t a one-on-one connection. It’s a problem that happens not only with people, but with software systems as well.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Member Communities, Online Community Software

The Internet of Things Demands Interoperability

Written by Mark Ace on April 6, 2017 at 8:30 AM

HL Blog_the demand for IoT inoperability

Although half of all cyclists have had a bike stolen, new developments in bike lock technology have traditionally been limited to tougher metals and fancier keys. Lattis, the maker of the Ellipse bike lock, is introducing an alternative technology using the Internet of Things. Its solar-powered U-lock connects to smartphones to provide keyless security access, detect thefts and sense crashes.

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Topics: Communications, Collaboration Tools

How to Calculate the Impact of Online Community Engagement on Your Business

Written by Julie Dietz on April 4, 2017 at 8:30 AM

You can calculate the business impact of online community engagment with a statistical regression analysis.

You slave over your community. The alerts never stop chiming on your phone, your email is the first thing you check every morning, and you know your all-star members better than you know your best friend.

You are a master of online engagement.

So when your quarterly meeting with the executive team rolls around, you’re ready. You hit your presentation out of the park… until the CFO asks how online community engagement is impacting sales goals. Do all those forum posts translate to more revenue? Can you show them those numbers?

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement

Why Online Communities Still Aren’t a Top Business Strategy (And How to Change That)

Written by Katie Bapple on March 30, 2017 at 8:30 AM

Online communities managers need to focus on active advantages and better reporting to highlight business strategy.

Dear online community professionals,

We have work to do. Today, we are failing to showcase the inherent value we believe online communities can provide, because too many of our arguments are unproven. Beliefs are not facts. Beliefs don’t drive revenue.

We need to reach further, grow the ranks of our advocates and allies inside the office, and push ourselves to learn the information we so desperately need to grow and succeed.

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Topics: Online Community Management, B2B Communities, Associations

LEGO Tries a New Type of Community - Will it Work?

Written by Molly Talbert | on March 28, 2017 at 8:30 AM

LEGO tries a new type of online community

LEGO recently announced it was ending its LEGO Message Boards (LMB). This upset many longtime LMB members as well as people in the larger community industry - especially because it didn’t say if there was going to be a replacement community, or why it made such a drastic decision in the first place.

Instead of offering reasons or an alternative, LEGO simply said it was shutting the community down and deleting everything - cold turkey.

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Topics: Customer Communities

Should You Remove Negative Reviews from Your Community?

Written by Molly Talbert | on March 23, 2017 at 8:30 AM

Should you remove negative posts from your online community?

You went out to dinner and had a horrible experience. What do you do? Many people would go to a site like Yelp and post about how the food was late, cold, and over-priced. Hopefully the restaurant either sees your review and apologizes, or a future customer decides to eat somewhere else.

The truth is, consumers trust peers, even if they find that advice online. According to Jay Baer’s book, Hug Your Haters, 80 percent of American consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. People are swayed by online reviews even if they don’t know the person who wrote it.

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Topics: Online Community Management

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