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Joshua Paul

Josh has over 18 years of hands-on and executive marketing experience helping companies systematically increase revenue through measurable marketing and sales strategies. Prior to joining Higher Logic, Josh held a variety of senior product management and marketing roles at technology companies. When he is not working, Josh enjoys building businesses, sailing, and spending time with his wife and children.
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Recent Posts

5 Ways That Online Communities Keep Donors Engaged [fundraising tips]

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 20, 2011 at 10:22 AM | 2 minute read

The internet has significantly democratized fundraising over the past 5 years. Barrack Obama's 2008 campaign raised an astonishing $337 million from individuals making small donations (under $200). According to the Urban Institute's 2010 Nonprofit Fundraising Survey report, individual giving is the largest single source of contributions for nonprofit organizations. This change raises the following question about the donor experience and online relationship building:

How many of you have received an online solicitation from an organization that you are familiar with, made a donation, and then never heard from the organization again, until it was time to ask for another donation?

Are You Leaving Donors Blowing In the Wind?

While the internet has also made it easier to give, it has also made it easy for organizations to receive donations without having to nurture and engage their donors to build a relationship with them. Many nonprofits, universities, and associations are turning to online community technology to stay connected to donors before and after they give. Here are five ways that your organization can use a private online community to keep important donors engaged.

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Topics: Member Engagement, Online Community

How Important is Technology in Member Engagement?

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 15, 2011 at 8:30 AM | 1 minute read

Most associations that I speak with would like to be able to pick up the phone and check in with each member, set up personal office visits, or send hand-written thank you notes to each member come renewal time. That is the nature of membership organizations. It is all about people. However, the conversation quickly turns to how to scale your member engagement. How can you keep thousands of members engaged in your organization, up to date on issues you are advocating for, and talking to one another?

Technology in Member Engagement is Still Fuzz for Most Associations

Though online community building in the association world has been around for almost a decade, the steps for making it work for an association are a lot less clear than it is for one-to-one member engagement. At a recent ASAE event on delivering "Love Bombs" to your members, 80% of the discussion covered ways to improve one-on-one member engagement. When the question of how to keep to thousands, or tens of thousands, of member engaged was raised, the room grew much quieter.

The reasons that the membership professionals, which I spoke with after the event, gave for the handwringing over mass member engagement ranged from the difficulty many associations have collecting and analyzing online member engagement metrics to the need for more case studies on member engagement's impact on organizational objectives.

While the answer is unique to each organization, it probably includes a combination of personal attention, online engagement, email communication, and face-to-face interaction. That brings us to this month's poll in the Member Engagement Group on LinkedIn.

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Topics: Member Engagement, Online Community

Online Communities For Business Are Still All About People

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 14, 2011 at 8:35 AM | 1 minute read

I recently had the pleasure of joining a few dozen members of one of our customer organizations for a tour of Washington DC. It was wonderful evening filled with good people, fun facts, and great product feedback. I love talking to people in our market – customers and non-customers. In my experience, the answers to how we can continue to meet the needs of businesses and membership organizations are going to come from outside our building.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, Customer Experience, Online Community

Online Community Management Lessons From Disney [video]

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 12, 2011 at 7:41 AM | 3 minute read

Disney was one of the first companies to use social networking to increase sales and drive customer satisfaction. However, Disney did not create the most innovative Facebook fan page, they were late to the online content marketing game, and still doesn't have a strong mobile strategy. Then, how are they a pioneer in social networking success? Disney has long used their understanding of community and how people connect with one another offline to grow their organization into one of the most recognizable, trusted brands in the world.

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Topics: Social Media, Online Community Management, Online Community

3 Things You Should Know Before Planning an Online Customer Community

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 5, 2011 at 10:25 AM | 3 minute read

The expectations of B2B customers and the complexity of problems they are trying to solve have grown dramatically in the last decade. While your customers' businesses have become more multifaceted, the solutions that you have created to help them solve their problems have also become more intricate. This is one of the major reasons that online customer communities have evolved into the platform of choice for many B2B companies to maintain high customer satisfaction levels and collect data from their market.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Online Community

Customer Engagement: Are You 'Spamming' Your Customers?

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 30, 2011 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

Here is the #1 tip for keeping customers engaged: Stop talking about yourself! They are already your customers. They gave you their business. Now they want value, so stop 'spamming' them with marketing.

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Topics: Customer Engagement, Online Community, Marketing Automation

Enterprise Social Technology and the Importance of Flexibility

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 24, 2011 at 8:30 AM | 1 minute read

Online Communities Bring Together Customers, Partners, Employees, Prospects, and Fans

As I reflect on the ideas that came out of this week's Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston, I can't help but be reminded that the beauty of business social software is that it is rarely designed with a "one size fits all' approach. Software providers that walk in on day one and tell a business how it has to change it order to get results from their software rarely make it.

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Topics: Member Engagement, Online Community

Social Media for Associations: The 3 Most Important Concepts [Audio]

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 10, 2011 at 1:10 PM | 5 minute read


Josh Paul
Higher Logic

Are you tired of hearing about social media? Cut through the fire hose of information and find out the 3 most important things that association executives need to know about social media.

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Topics: Associations, Social Media, Online Community, Marketing Automation

3 Search Engine Must-Haves When Selecting Online Community Software

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 3, 2011 at 2:15 PM | 3 minute read

Search engines are the number one way that people find information, products, and people on the web. The same is true for your organization's private social network. Search engines and their search boxes that appear in the sidebar, upper corner, or center of your header have become so easy, so ubiquitous, so mundanely there, that their high level of use by your customer or members to navigate your online community can be forgotten.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

The "Chicken or the Egg" Model for Online Community Success

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 1, 2011 at 10:00 AM | 3 minute read

In order for an online community to succeed, it must be a benefit of being a customer of your company or a member of your organization. I have written before about how you cannot create a thriving online community by just putting it out there and letting people use it if they want to. At an association, your online community is one of the central pillars of your member benefit package. If you run sales or marketing at a for-profit company, your online community of customers, employees, and partners is a strong differentiator and a major feature of how you help your customers become more successful.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

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