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How to Increase Engagement in Your Private Online Community: Six Things to Share

Written by Joshua Paul | on April 11, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

Your private online community is only as good as the value it offers members. With as busy as your target audience is, your community has to offer them something of useful and exclusive value to capture their attention, especially among all the other competing forces in their online, work, and personal lives.

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Topics: Customer Communities, Customer Engagement, Online Community

Volunteer Appreciation Week

Written by Lauren Wolfe | on April 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM | 2 minute read

It's National Volunteer Appreciation Week!

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Topics: Volunteer Management, Associations, Online Community

Six Community Spring Cleaning Tips

Written by Heather McNair on April 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM | 3 minute read

Spring has sprung (although you wouldn't know it by frigid temperatures and snow covered lawns). For me, there are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual clean. It is an opportunity to open the windows, let some fresh air in, and rid ourselves of those dust bunnies. Before you wrap up your spring cleaning, don't forget to spring clean your online community.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Marketing, Social Media, Online Community

Changing Online Community Software Platforms? Work on This One Skill

Written by Joshua Paul | on April 7, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

Businesses and membership organizations select an online community software platform when they first launch their community-based on marketing, support, or member benefit strategy. However, one to two years into the initiative, both their strategy and customers' expectations have evolved. Many organizations find that their strategy does not align with the capabilities of their customer or member community.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Six Strategies for Crowdsourcing Ideas in Your Online Customer Community

Written by Joshua Paul | on April 2, 2014 at 9:10 AM | 5 minute read

You work hard to add people, content, and tools to your private social community that provide value to your customers or members and keeps them coming back.

However, that is only one half of an effective social community strategy. The best customer community strategies balance benefits to community members with leveraging the community to the meet business-level goals of the host organization.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities, Online Community

How to Uncover Opportunities to Leverage Online Communities at Your Organization

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 25, 2014 at 8:58 AM | 5 minute read

An increasing number of companies and membership organizations are implementing online community strategies to maintain better relationships with their customers or members. Online customer communities and member communities deliver tangible benefits to organizations"”ranging from improving customer retention and satisfaction to lowering support costs and recruiting more customer advocates.

Despite this growing popularity, many organizations are still struggling to get from the "why" to the "what" of building a successful community strategy. Often, people hear about active online customer or member communities in their industry or they see competitors launching online community strategies. However, they have trouble getting from "we should look into doing this" to "here is how our organization can leverage these type of strategies."

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Why It's a Mistake to Compare Private Communities to Social Networking Sites

Written by Andy Steggles | on March 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM | 2 minute read

Association execs often mistakenly think that private communities are nothing but smaller-scale, social networking sites. That's why I loved Ernie Smith's article, In Defense of the Insular Social Network, on Associations Now last week. The article talks about Virtual Management, Inc's recent study, the 2013 Association Operations Survey

As Ernie points out, the study did something interesting: in surveying respondents about their use of "social media sites," it lumps together public social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with private community platforms including Higher Logic, Jive and others. While I was admittedly happy to see Higher Logic used by the highest number of respondents, I couldn't help but wonder why the private community platforms were lumped with the public social networking sites.

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Topics: Social Media, Online Community Software, Online Community

How to Ace an Online Community Manager Job Interview

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 19, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

Just as the popularity of private online communities is rapidly growing, so is the need for an effective online community manager. A position that barely registered as a Google search term just a few years ago has now become must-have role for many organizations.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Lessons for Online Community Managers from Ellen's "Tweet Heard 'Round the World"

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 12, 2014 at 7:20 AM | 4 minute read

Many in the media have said that the 2014 Oscars were the most successful in history. More people watched the broadcast; more people enjoyed the show; and more people kept talking about it online and otherwise once the lights went down.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Social Media, Online Community

How to Accurately Calculate Your Customer or Member Retention Rate

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM | 5 minute read

Where do you spend more of your time "” discussing how to get more customers or members "” or how to keep the customers or members that you have?

According to Google over the past decade, we, as a society, clearly spend more of our time looking for ways to grow our organizations than we do trying to keep our current customers or members.

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Topics: Member Retention, Customer Retention, Online Community

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