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Five Reasons Your Community Should Not "Live" on LinkedIn

Written by Andy Steggles | on May 17, 2013 at 10:30 AM | 4 minute read

One of the most common conversations on private social networking platforms centers around whether it's better for an organization's online community to "live" on a public social networking platform versus a private platform. Many believe that the sheer number of daily active users on public platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn means that an organization is better off housing their community there as opposed to on a private platform. I often hear, "But LinkedIn is free, why not send them there?"

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Topics: Online Community Management, Social Media, Online Community

How to Increase Engagement Using Public & Private Social Networks Together

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 15, 2013 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

One of the biggest areas of confusion around social business is the differences between public social networks, like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and private online communities where most activity occurs behind a secure login.

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Topics: Engagement, Social Media, Customer Experience, Online Community

Should Online Communities Be Open or Closed? It Depends.

Written by Andy Steggles | on May 9, 2013 at 9:30 AM | 2 minute read

An ongoing discussion I have with Higher Logic clients and see featured frequently on ASAE Collaborate is whether a private online community should be open to anyone or limited to members only.

Friend and client Roy Snell from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) makes a case for open community in a recent issue of Associations Now. He argues that "closing social media is like tying a horse to the front of your car and pulling it around," and that the more people participating in an org's online community, the better. He claims that in order to be competitive with public social networking platforms, an organization must have an open community, because if other, larger communities exist for the profession your organization represents, your members will congregate there and your community will become irrelevant.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Member Communities, Associations, Online Community

4 Steps to Better Business Intelligence Using Predictive Analytics in Your Online Community

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 7, 2013 at 10:28 AM | 7 minute read

Do you want to know how to bring down the mood at the next happy hour, cocktail party, or cookout that you attend? Bring up predictive analytics.

In reality, predictive analytics is not scary at all. Here is a great explanation from Dr. Eric Siegel, founder of Predictive Analytics World and author of the new book "Predictive Analytics: The Power to Predict Who Will Click, Buy, Lie, or Die."

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Topics: Customer Success, Online Community

How to Create a Partner Network that Drives Profit [Online Community Tips]

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 1, 2013 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

Some of the world's most successful social business strategies don't revolve around employee collaboration or tracking customer behavior in social crm systems. They are online partner communities.

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Topics: Engagement, Online Community

Using Social CRM to Boost Inbound Marketing

Written by Andy Steggles | on April 25, 2013 at 9:00 AM | 3 minute read

The second quadrant in my Elements of Social Networking model is social CRM. Gartner defines social CRM as "a business strategy that entails the extension of marketing, sales and customer service processes to include the active participation of customers or visitors to an Internet channel (Web or mobile) with the goal of fostering participation in the business process."

With the predominance of public social media use, organizations are missing out on potential valuable data and opportunities if they're not actively listening for mentions of their brand and/or competitor's brands on the social web.

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Topics: Marketing, Social Media, Customer Experience, Online Community

8 Ways to Use Online Community Software to Help Your Business Go Green [Earth Day]

Written by Joshua Paul | on April 22, 2013 at 8:30 AM | 6 minute read

Is there a mainstream company or executive out there that doesn't love a well-thought-out green initiative? The PR advantages, cost savings, and good feelings that come with conservation measures are too much for most people to overlook.

However, the key is identifying the right earth-friendly policies and operational changes for your specific organization. What makes an effective and executive-friendly "green" strategy? To get your senior management on board, your plan to get greener must:

  1. Benefit the organization
  2. Helps customers or members
  3. Reduce consumption of energy, paper, fuel, etc.
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Topics: Associations, Online Community

Four Elements of Enterprise Social Networking

Written by Andy Steggles | on April 21, 2013 at 11:00 AM | 3 minute read

Social Networking in the Enterprise

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Topics: Social Media, Customer Communities, Collaboration Tools, Online Community

The Culture Change Required of Social Business

Written by Andy Steggles | on April 18, 2013 at 10:30 AM | 2 minute read

As I've blogged about before, I see enterprise social networking as encompassing four quadrants. As I detail in that post, and will be expanding upon in future posts, there are myriad opportunities for companies leveraging one or more elements of enterprise social networking. Public social media sites offer the ability to interface with customers "where they are," to monitor what's being said about your brand on those sites, and to incorporate those channels into your organization's overall communications strategy.

Social CRM allows businesses to pull data from public social media spaces into their CRM and to use that data to augment existing customer information, gain business intelligence, and drive leads. Social software in the workplace offers great potential with regards to improving internal collaboration and communication. And externally-facing social software enables businesses to combine the benefits of public social media sites and social software to allow customers to connect with each other, help each other, and engage directly with your brand in an owned environment.

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Topics: Communications, Engagement, Social Media, Online Community

3 Super-Useful Professional Online Community Resources You May Have Missed

Written by Joshua Paul | on April 16, 2013 at 10:42 AM | 1 minute read

Have you noticed an increase in valuable social business content? People are sharing information that goes far beyond the usual "why ever business on earth needs social media" articles. These "evergreen" online community tips are useful for businesses that are starting customer communities, as well as nonprofit membership organizations that rely on member engagement to meet their goals.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

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