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The Pros and Cons of Auto-Login for Discussion Emails

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 22, 2014 at 1:00 PM

A topic of frequent interest and debate among Higher Logic clients is the auto-login feature. Auto-login embeds a user's credentials into community discussion group emails, enabling users to click on links in emails generated by the community platform to engage in the community site without having to manually log in.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Communications, Associations, Member Engagement

Why People Contribute in Private Online Communities [Engagement Tips]

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 16, 2014 at 10:15 AM

People have lots of outlets and opportunities to "talk" online. There's no shortage of large social networks out there to soak up their attention. Yet, despite having so many options, people still participate heavily in private online customer or member communities.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement

Automatic Enrollment Will Always Trump The Opt-In Route

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM

When organizations launch a new private online community that includes a member directory feature, one of the big questions that always comes up is whether or not to automatically include all members, or require individuals to "opt-in". Privacy is a big concern these days, so it's understandable that associations want to give members complete control over whether or not they're included in a member directory.

However, asking members to opt-in just doesn't work. Success rates will be much higher using automatic enrollment with the option to opt-out, versus asking users to opt-in.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Online Community Management

Don't Let Bad Email Subject Lines Hurt Online Community Engagement

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 11, 2014 at 8:30 AM

If your branded online community is like most others out there, the majority of your members probably don't check it every day. Unlike their public social network accounts that they check multiple times a day, your branded online customer or member community is more likely to be a place they visit with intention. They sign in to ask a question in the discussion forum, read a new blog post from your CEO, check out a new how-to video, or follow up on an offer. That's where the importance of email comes in.

The Role of Email in Private Online Community Engagement

Email is a big part of creating an online community that consistently keeps customers or members engaged. Your target audience is full of very busy people. By sending both manual campaigns and automated emails with updated information, newsletters, and invitations for specific actions, you can stay top-of-mind and encourage community members to come back to the community to get value.

Email is a vital part of your community management plan. That is why you'll find sophisticated email marketing systems built-in most business-class online community software platforms.

Unfortunately, not just any old email will do. Your members likely get dozens of emails a day, so your email communication needs to stand out from the pack. You put a lot of effort into creating value for your target audience in your online community, so you don't want to leave "conversion opportunities" on the table.

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Topics: Customer Engagement

Seven Detractor Considerations for Private Communities

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 8, 2014 at 12:00 PM

What happens when a member posts a negative or inflammatory comment in your online community? Having negative comments, or "detractors," in your community is not a bad thing; in fact it's a great opportunity for an organization to demonstrate transparency and a culture of openness.

There's a saying: "The conversation is happening whether you're listening or not." If a member voices a concern related to the profession/industry, or even about the organization itself, the odds are that other members have similar thoughts. It's best to address concerns head-on and open up a dialogue about the issue. Although after looking at the moderation analytics from over 400 organizations representing over 100,000 communities, it actually appears to be a fairly infrequent scenario.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Social Media

How to Increase Engagement By Featuring Members in Your Private Online Community

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 8, 2014 at 8:30 AM

There are a host of reasons why members join private online communities. They're likely looking to capitalize on a specific value proposition that your community has to offer—unique content, access to resources, networking ability, etc.

However, joining a community and participating in a community are two very different actions with differing motivators.

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Topics: Member Engagement

How to Increase Customer Engagement in Your Online Community: 6 Lessons from the World Cup

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 2, 2014 at 8:30 AM

It's hard not to get caught up in an international event like the World Cup. There's an innate sense of camaraderie that seems inevitable when, suddenly, we all have an entire country to root for. No longer are our sports allegiances divided by state, region, or high school. Events like the World Cup put us all on the same team.

There must be something else to it though, right? Every four years, we turn into a nation of soccer watchers—when most of us probably haven't paid much attention to the sport since the last World Cup. People take off work. Sports bars are packed to capacity. Even people who don't even seem to enjoy watching soccer are now completely engaged.

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Topics: Customer Engagement

Five Tactical Tips to Increase Franchise Engagement

Written by Evan Hackel on June 27, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Our guest blogger is Evan Hackel, Founder and Principal of Ingage Consulting

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Topics: Communications, Customer Engagement

The Ultimate Guide to Public Social Networks vs. Private Online Communities

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 25, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Social networks, social business, social media, social strategy, and social communities. After a while these terms become blended within an organization, especially for those people who don't focus on these tools and strategies every day.

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Topics: Online Community Software

Make Apps a Happy Habit For Your Members

Written by Lauren Wolfe | on June 20, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Have you used a mobile device today? Did you use an app? Research shows an estimated 1.2 billion people are checking their mobile devices roughly 150x per day.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Member Experience

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