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6 Characteristics of Awesome Online Communities That Every Executive Should Know [Infographic]

Written by Joshua Paul | on April 9, 2013 at 9:15 AM | 3 minute read

We're really excited that one of our favorite online publications, CMSWire, has been writing more frequently about the online customer community movement that is becoming central to so many business strategies.

In a recent article, Marisa Peacock lays out 6 elements of successful online communities. The piece includes a great infographic that highlights these building blocks.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Why Top User Groups Use All-In-One User Group Software

Written by Joshua Paul | on April 5, 2013 at 3:45 PM | 6 minute read

Ask any user group veteran about their biggest challenges and you'll hear a common theme. Whether they are involved in independent user groups or company-run user groups, they need to balance the time they spend managing internal systems with the benefits they need to offer their members.

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Topics: B2B Communities, User Group Management, User Group Software, Online Community

How Many Subscribers to Achieve Success in an Online Community?

Written by Andy Steggles | on April 3, 2013 at 10:00 AM | 5 minute read

Private online communities are a frequent topic of conversation on the American Society of Association Executives' (ASAE) private online community (disclosure: ASAE is a Higher Logic client).

Recently, an ASAE member posed the following question on ASAE Collaborate: "How many members does it take to have a successful Community of Practice (CoP)?"

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Member Communities, User Group Communities, Online Community

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

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

"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, Online Community

Why B2B Companies Need Private Online Customer Communities [Example]

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 28, 2013 at 9:55 AM | 5 minute read

I love the marketing software 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, Online Community

Three Things That Motivate Community Members

Written by Andy Steggles | on March 26, 2013 at 6:07 PM | 4 minute read

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, Online Community

SalesForce Chatter Becomes More Than an Activity Feed

Written by Andy Steggles | on March 26, 2013 at 9:00 AM | 5 minute read

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 Community

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

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 21, 2013 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

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, Online Community

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

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 14, 2013 at 9:05 AM | 8 minute read

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, Online Community

The Modern Rules of Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 12, 2013 at 10:30 AM | 7 minute read

"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, Online Community

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