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Katie Oakes

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Online Community Management Plan: How To Get Buy-In From Across Your Company

Written by Katie Oakes on October 27, 2015 at 8:00 AM | 2 minute read

 

It takes a village to launch and maintain an active online customer community. The most successful customer and member communities are supported by many people in addition to the community management team. 

So where should you start building your coalition? Right inside your company walls.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Better Customer Surveys: 6 Ways to Improve Your Results

Written by Katie Oakes on October 15, 2015 at 8:20 AM | 6 minute read

What would it mean to your organization to have consistent insight into your customers' problems and ongoing feedback about your solutions? If you're like most businesses, this information would help your company make smarter decisions in a host of areas.

Helping businesses acquire this valuable data is why the $11+ billion U.S. market research industry is continues to grow. While some companies outsource their customer research, others handle it in-house.

For those companies that manage their customer research themselves, creating and sending a survey to customers is the easy part. It is getting customers to respond where businesses struggle. 

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Topics: Customer Engagement, Communications, Online Community, Marketing Automation

How to Leverage Your Customer Community to Achieve Real Revenue Growth

Written by Katie Oakes on October 14, 2015 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

You've only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the role that developing strong customer communities will play in transforming and growing businesses. That is the common wisdom among the people who are in the trenches implementing customer community strategies for the world's leading organizations.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Online Community

The Secret to Creating a Private Online Community for Developers

Written by Katie Oakes on October 1, 2015 at 8:00 AM | 5 minute read

Online customer communities come in many shapes and flavors. Some online customer communities provide support for end users of products and services. Others are designed to keep partners engaged and informed.

Some audiences are more difficult to engage than others. Among the most challenging people to engage in an online community are developers. Online developer communities play an important role in helping enterprise companies to extend their products, create advocates in the market, and help customers get results.

How do you build a community for the people that literally wrote the code on the online community?

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, Online Community

How to Write Emails Your Association Members Will Open

Written by Katie Oakes on September 29, 2015 at 8:30 AM | 6 minute read

There are a lot of mediums available when it comes to engaging your customers' or members' social media, your online community, email, etc. Each serves its own purpose and comes with its own set of best practices advantages and disadvantages.

Email is a marketing channel that has shifted in usage and popularity over time, making it increasingly harder to capture the attention of your members. Organizations of all types and sizes have taken to emails as a primary way to get the word out about content offers, program, events, and products. This means that before you can vie for an open, we have to make it out of the spam filter or Outlook's latest clutter folder.  

Regardless of how great your content is, if your association emails aren't getting opened, your message isn't getting out there. Convincing people with overflowing inboxes to click on your email takes a little finesse. Here are some things you can do to improve your open rate.

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Topics: Associations, Communications, Member Engagement

6 Tips For Business People Who Are New To Online Community Management

Written by Katie Oakes on September 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM | 4 minute read

 

Due to its newness in our business lexicon, "online community management" is a term that is often met by feelings of confusion. Most business people don't have much experience with online community strategies.

Research often reports online communities strategies amongst the most effective marketing and customer relationship strategies, while it is also one of the most underutilized approaches.

However, with proper resource planning. learning how to launch, plan, and grow your community doesn't have to be so scary.

So, take a deep breath and read on. It's really just like learning anything else in business. It's a process with best practices and tips to make it easy.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Best Online Community Tips from the Week of September 13, 2015

Written by Katie Oakes on September 19, 2015 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

The Top Ten for the Week of September 13th 2015

Did you have a busy week? Let us help you get caught up! Check out this past week's most useful new online community management and customer engagement tips.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Volunteer Management: 12 Volunteer Opportunities for Members in Your Online Community

Written by Katie Oakes on September 17, 2015 at 9:00 AM | 5 minute read

A major issue for associations everywhere is the acquisition of volunteers. It is not uncommon for an association's organizational structure to have volunteers that outnumber the staff. Typically, one staff member is doing the job of three, so finding volunteers is critical to their sanity.

Convincing someone to volunteer time out of their over-scheduled life is no simple task. Also, the people that you are recruiting are simultaneously being propositioned by other organizations. You're competing against PTA, sports leagues, homework, aging parents, walking the dog, work schedules, even enjoying a night of doing nothing at all. Your members are pulled in different directions and the last thing any of them have is time.

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Topics: Volunteer Management, Member Communities, Online Community Management, Associations, Online Community

Quick Tip: Is Creating an Online Community Right for Your Organization?

Written by Katie Oakes on September 8, 2015 at 9:00 AM | 3 minute read

 

I field a lot of questions in my day-to-day phone calls and emails with organizations researching online communities. I'm about to help a variety of different types of businesses and membership organizations, at all different stages of the research and planning processes.

The questions I answer most often center around the doubts and obstacles that come into play when considering launching an online community.  

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

The Art of the Online Community Welcome Email

Written by Katie Oakes on August 25, 2015 at 8:40 AM | 5 minute read

When you are responsible for bringing new members into your online customer or member community, there is no such thing as a second impression. In a world where first impressions are often the only impression that you get, the task to crush it in one interaction can feel daunting.

It is like speed dating in that way. People go to speed dating events voluntarily, just as they do to your online community, but you only have a few seconds to get people to want to learn more about you.

However, in online community management, your first impression usually involves never actually coming face to face with the person you are aiming to impress. I'm talking about the all-important welcome email.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Member Experience, Online Community, Marketing Automation

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