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Want More Participation in Your Private Online Community? Blogs May Be Your Answer [Infographic]

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 3, 2013 at 10:30 AM | 7 minute read

In the first half of this two-part series on blogs in online communities, we discussed the reasons why your online customer or member community should include blogs.

Along with providing an uncomplicated way to help your business or membership organization provide exclusive value to your target audiences, the inherent social-ness of blogs promotes comments and participation in your online community.

The importance of blogs in customer or member communities is illustrated in the following infographic, as well as actionable tips for getting started.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Communications, Engagement, Online Community

Why Your Online Community Should Include Blogs (Part 1 of 2)

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 25, 2013 at 11:30 AM | 3 minute read

Think about the role that you want your online community to play in the lives of your customers, members, or partners.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Online Community Engagement - What is Success?

Written by Andy Steggles | on September 23, 2013 at 10:00 AM | 4 minute read

How do you define success?

When most organizations try to measure success with regard to their online communities, they usually do so with an eye to specific KPIs that they've determined to be important to their particular org, rather than in comparison to other companies. I think this way of measuring success is more accurate and shows that success in online communities is not one-size-fits-all, but rather something an individual organization determines and works toward.

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Topics: Member Engagement, Customer Engagement, Online Community Management, Online Community

Creating an Association Online Community that Members Will Use

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 16, 2013 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

At a recent conference for association executives, I overhead the following conversation between two colleagues:

"We're planning an online community for our members"

"Then, we're going to need to have a social media strategy expert on staff."

"Why?"

"The people who manage our member benefits and keep our community engaged today couldn't possibly do it online". Never mind, I realize how silly that sounds when I say it out loud."

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

#1 Key to Successful Communities: Keep it Simple

Written by Andy Steggles | on September 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM | 1 minute read

I've been doing a lot of simplifying in my life recently, and I've noticed the trend carrying over to the work I do with online communities. For example, I was recently reviewing a community site, which had the standard nav structure many out-of-the-box communities have. There were seven top level nav items with twelve items under the community area of the nav alone - arguably the most important area. It looked something like this:

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

3 Online Community Presentations for Serious Businesses, Associations, and User Groups

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 9, 2013 at 11:23 AM | 3 minute read

The conversation has turned from "will this work" to "how do we make this work."

Increasingly, people are talking about how online communities are delivering tangible results to companies and nonprofit membership organizations. The insight is becoming more clear. The research and success stories are mounting.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

What is an Online Community? How Definitions Could be Hurting Your Strategy

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 29, 2013 at 9:35 AM | 5 minute read

Online Community vs. Online Community vs. Online Community

When you are getting buy-in for your online community strategy from your senior management team, what do they think you are talking about?

Do they think you are referring to the online community at large, the community of people that your organization interacts with online, or an online community where your customers, employees, or partners can engage one another and support your customers or members.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Online Community Software: How to Bridge the Gap Between Potential and Results

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 20, 2013 at 9:00 AM | 5 minute read

At first glimpse, many companies seem to have effectively integrated social business technologies into their marketing processes, customer relationship strategy, and partner programs. However, upon closer look, you'll find, even with the right technology in place, many organizations don't have thriving customer, partner, or employee communities.

According to the findings from the 2013 Social Business Global Executive Study and Research Project by MIT Sloan Management Review, companies struggle not with choosing the right technology; rather they lack the focus needed to ensure that people, processes, and technology are aligned correctly. The MIT study indicated that the three major culprits holding back progress in social business are:

  1. Plan. Lack of an overall strategy
  2. Focus. Too many competing priorities
  3. Value. Lack of a proven business case or strong value proposition
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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Using An Online Community Platform to Crowdsource Conference Sessions

Written by Andy Steggles | on August 19, 2013 at 9:00 AM | 2 minute read

It's that time of year again - time to crowdsource sessions for Higher Logic's annual Users Group Conference, HUG Super Forum. This year is the fourth year we've done the conference, with each year drawing more attendees, and we expect this year's event to be the best yet. One of the reasons I think HUG Super Forum has been such a success is the way we pick the sessions. That is to say, we don't pick them - Higher Logic users do.

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Topics: Communications, Online Community Management, Online Community Software, Online Community

3 Thought-Provoking Online Community Tweets From the Association World

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 13, 2013 at 10:22 AM | 5 minute read

As you may know, Higher Logic serves businesses, associations, and technology user groups. This means that we were in the thick of it last week, when one of the major groups in the nonprofit membership world held their annual conference in Atlanta.

While it was great to see friends, customers, and partners, it was the new voices in the area of online community that caught my attention. Based on our conversations with the larger-than-expected number of online community managers at the event, it seems as though the conversation in the association space has shifted from, "Why do I need a community?" to "How can I make my community work?"

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Topics: Associations, Online Community

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