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Molly Talbert

Molly is a content writer at Higher Logic and regular contributor to the blog. Previously, she did client services and social media for a small leadership development company. In her down time, Molly reads through the internet, bikes, hikes and day dreams about her home state, New Mexico. She graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont where she studied the environment and writing, learned how to mountain bike through mud and helped edit the student newspaper.
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Recent Posts

Diversity Strengthens (and Grows) Your Community

Written by Molly Talbert | on December 30, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Diversity is a global topic that deserves attention. These days, most people know diversity and inclusion is important for a culture and community to thrive, but it can be hard to back up that claim with solid answers -- beyond just knowing, morally, that diversity is important. Since your online community is an extension of your organization -- whether comprised of association members, customers for a certain product or service, or just die-hard fans of a movement -- it makes sense that maintaining diversity in an online community is important, as well.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Experience

Tension in Your Community is Good

Written by Molly Talbert | on December 21, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone just got along? It’s nice to daydream, but it’s not going to happen (and who wants smooth sailing all the time, anyway?). As a community manager, it can be tempting to tiptoe around members and quash any bubbling conflict, tensions or heated debates. After all, you’re trying to cultivate a welcoming, supportive environment, right?

Although you’re coming from the right place -- a place where you care about your members and the community’s longevity -- it’s actually a disservice to quell all the tension. One of Higher Logic’s own community managers, Jenny Taylor, wrote about this misconception in a recent blog post. We aren’t saying compromise on respect -- respect is a given -- but tension and differing opinions are important and increase your community’s value.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement

How To Actually Hear What Customers Say

Written by Molly Talbert | on December 17, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Any kid could tell you there’s a difference between just listening and actually hearing. They know right away if a parent is giving them their full attention or if their mind is wandering off into other territory. How do you think kids feel when they know they don’t have their parent’s full attention? Maybe frustrated, annoyed, like their time isn’t valued.

Distracted listening doesn’t just happen between parents and children. It can happen in your community and make your members or customers feel unvalued and not worth the community manager’s time. That’s the last thing you want.

Listening to your members or customers and actually hearing what they say is critical. Not only will they feel validated and contribute more, but you’ll learn more about what makes them tick. This is invaluable to you -- it’ll help you cater to them and create better products.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Member Engagement, Customer Support

The Link Between Community Managers and Community Organizers

Written by Molly Talbert | on December 15, 2015 at 9:00 AM

As a community manager, it may feel like you’re often breaking new ground, trail-blazing through an innovative profession. And you are. It’s a relatively new job force and there aren’t many forebearers for you to look back on.The very idea that you could have a collaborative community online was in its infancy in the mid-’90s (discounting old listservs and forums popping up since the 1970s), and didn’t really begin to take off until the 2000s (...guess MySpace was good for something). Although it’s a robust profession now, without much history, where should you look to gain inspiration when you need it.

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Topics: Online Community Management

Are You Really Ready for an Online Community?

Written by Molly Talbert | on December 10, 2015 at 8:00 AM

You’re thinking of getting a community. Everyone is talking about how great they’ll be for your organization, so now you’re looking into it. In the era of social media when everything is accessible online, it’s inevitable for many organizations to turn to private, cloud based communities. There are many benefits for both customers/members and organizations.

Although social media is very prevalent and widely used by most organizations, online communities are new. Understandably, figuring out if you really need one can be difficult.

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Topics: Online Community Management

Should Your Community Get an App? [Infographic]

Written by Molly Talbert | on December 9, 2015 at 8:30 AM

Having a place where your members can always share ideas and questions is the ideal engagment tool. But what's the best way to gather those members when they're on the go -- should you invest in an app or stick to web design improvements? We've streamined the throught process to make your decision easier.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Member Experience

I Have Responsive Design - Do I Need an App?

Written by Molly Talbert | on December 3, 2015 at 8:00 AM

You spent a lot of time and money on a beautiful responsive website, one that works on all screen sizes, including tablets and smartphones. So why would you need an app for your community? Isn’t responsive design like the two-in-one solution?

There isn’t an easy, straightforward answer to this question, but hear us out. Responsive design doesn’t necessarily make mobile apps obsolete, but mobile apps aren’t the right choice for everyone. First, think about how your community is now and where you want it to go. Do you have consistent engagement and want to try some new tactics? Or are you hoping to boost activity analytics, like the number of logins each month?

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Topics: Engagement, Customer Experience, Member Experience

Automation Rules for Beginners

Written by Molly Talbert | on November 18, 2015 at 10:30 AM

Automation rules are crucial for community managers -they alleviate daily or repetitive tasks while encouraging member behavior you want to see. If you're lucky enough to have a community platform that supports automation rules - congrats! When you’re starting out, it can be difficult to know where to begin and scary to let go of the reins.

There are so many different directions to take - what are the basic automation rules everyone should know? And what’s the line between helpful and annoying rules?

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Topics: Communications, Online Community Management

How to Design a Community Your Users Will Love

Written by Molly Talbert | on November 16, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Have you recently visited a website plagued by confusion and disorganization? You can't find what you're looking for, and you're not even sure what you're looking at to begin with. That’s bad user experiencewhat any community wants to avoid.  If your user experience is less than easy, then maybe they will come, but don’t count on them sticking around or returning any time soon.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Marketing, Member Experience

The Six Most Important Analytics for Community Managers to Track

Written by Molly Talbert | on November 11, 2015 at 8:30 AM

We all know we should track our community members’ activities (we already convinced you in this post), but what exactly are the best metrics to keep our eyes on?

Sometimes it’s a rocky start – the data is either overwhelming or difficult to find. Luckily, most community sites include dashboards that collect data and display metrics for you, so you should have a good baseline to start. Even with that tool, how do you know what the important community management metrics are, besides just hoping your membership grows?

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Topics: Online Community Management

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