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Is Your Online Community Worth Your Customers' or Members' Time?

Written by Joshua Paul | on April 3, 2013 at 8:20 AM

"The key is in not spending time, but in investing it." That state of mind was imparted by the late Stephen R. Covery, author of the well-known book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

This modern proverb has different implications for you than it does for the audiences that you are trying to reach. Thinking about how you invest your time can give you insight into your priorities. Thinking about how your customers or members get a return on their investment of time can be humbling.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Customer Experience

Why B2B Companies Need Private Online Customer Communities [Example]

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM

I love the marketing software that I use! I like their approach, the company's culture, and the solution itself.

However, like all products and services, my marketing software and its provider are not perfect. A recent attempt at sharing a new feature with customers turned into a less than positive exchange.

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Topics: Customer Communities, B2B Communities

Three Things That Motivate Community Members

Written by Andy Steggles | on March 26, 2013 at 6:07 PM

I recently read this TechCrunch article about what motivates technology users to become loyal users of any one platform in today's sea of software platforms. The article offers the following three tips to anyone building a private online community: rewards (the right rewards), frequency and the importance of building a community of peers whose opinion we care about.

The article frames these tips around Biz Stone's new startup, Jelly, but I think these tips are all equally applicable to organizations building private online communities.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Member Experience

SalesForce Chatter Becomes More Than an Activity Feed

Written by Andy Steggles | on March 26, 2013 at 9:00 AM

TechCrunch recently reported that SalesForce is planning to make Chatter their primary user interface. While the article didn't really surprise me, the comments related to the article did. There seems to be a huge resistance to change with this and a general lack of vision for what SalesForce is going to do.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates

Online Customer Forums: Are You Prepared for These 7 Types of Questions?

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 21, 2013 at 8:30 AM

If you have ever worked in a customer-facing role, you know that if something is possible with your product or service, customers will probably bring it up in your online customer forums at some point.

Each type of post or question in your customer forums represents a different persona that your community management team should prepare for. For instance, a post where a new customer introduces themself to the community comes with an entire set of needs, expectations, and next steps which that individual can take, than a discussion started by a veteran customer advocate.

It will improve your customers' experience and save your community management team time to train and prepare for a large portion of the questions that you know will be asked in your discussion forums.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, Customer Engagement

Selecting an Online Community Platform: Do You Want Walls or Groups?

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 14, 2013 at 9:05 AM

When you've been providing online community software for as long as we have at Higher Logic, there are certain things that people say when you are initially talking to them or during their buying process that indicate where their mind is and the sophistication of their thinking around online communities.

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Topics: Online Community Software

The Modern Rules of Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 12, 2013 at 10:30 AM

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." - Charles Darwin

One of the keys to business growth has long been the strength and nature of the relationships an organization builds with its customers. All businesses with customers have customer relationships. They exist whether you like it or not, and whether you are focused on it or not.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, Customer Experience

Private Online Community Engagement Lessons From Facebook Fatigue Data

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 6, 2013 at 9:05 AM

"Facebook is the greatest customer engagement tool on earth."

"I want my online customer community to be like Facebook."

"My customers are all on Facebook. Why can't I just start a community there?"

These are the type of things thing that we hear from businesses and nonprofit membership organizations when they first contact Socious about launching a private social network for their customers or members.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Social Media

The Risks of Waiting to Build Your Online Customer Community

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 28, 2013 at 10:45 AM

I get far fewer funny looks than I used to when I give presentations on why customer communities are the future of customer management. It may be because the data is beginning to play this out.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, Customer Engagement

Online Communities: 3 Signs You Have Major Strategic or Tactical Problems

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 26, 2013 at 9:49 AM

Some people love managing online communities because the love to be social online. They thoroughly enjoy being at the center of it all. However, there is an even larger group of online community managers that do it for a different reason.

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Topics: Online Community Management

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