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Big List of Why Online Communities Fail & How to Avoid It - Part 1 of 4

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 7, 2011 at 8:30 AM

Over the next several weeks, I'll outline over 30 of the primary reasons that private online communities fail and what companies and nonprofit organizations can do to avoid the same fate. These pitfalls and lessons are mainly rooted in our research and experience over the past 10 years providing enterprise online community software to organizations ranging from large associations to Fortune 500 companies.

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Topics: Associations

5 Steps to Better Customer Loyalty [Customer Retention Tips]

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 1, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Why do you lose customers? The #1 reason that customers leave you is because they think that you don't care about them and their success, according to a study by the Rockefeller Foundation. Over 65% percent of the survey respondents gave this as the primary reason customers take their business elsewhere.

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Topics: Customer Communities

Why Associations Avoid Building Their Member Community in LinkedIn Groups

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 30, 2011 at 11:10 AM

I speak with a lot of associations that are experimenting with different types of social media tools and strategies to figure out which combination has the most positive impact on their organization, mission, and members. A common question I come across is how "members-only" LinkedIn groups and private online community platforms overlap and can work together. While there are some similarities, for instance both provide threaded discussions; the numerous differences are paramount to an association's member engagement strategy.

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Topics: Social Media, Associations, Online Community Software

4 Must-Read Customer Community Books for Social Business Pros

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 25, 2011 at 12:25 PM

With all of the online reading that marketers and customer management professionals do, it is sometimes refreshing to read or listen to an entire book on a topic that covers all the angles, is full of comprehensive tips, and offers practical examples and success stories.

While there are an array of books (many of them are very good) about using social media to build reach and develop a personal brand, many social media books don't cover why and how to build a successful and sustainable online customer community. There is agreement among most public social media professionals on best practices to grow your business. However, most marketing strategy books don't offer in-the-trenches advice for planning and launching an online communities since organizations have wide-ranging customer engagement goals.

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Topics: Customer Success

How to Avoid Violating Customer Communication Preferences

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 23, 2011 at 8:30 AM

I have been getting a lot of positive feedback about our recent post, 10 Things About Building an Online Community That May Surprise You. I have also been getting some questions. One of most important questions has to do with centrally positioning your online customer or member community in your customer communication strategy so that your target audience has to use the community to get valuable information from your organization. Some organizations may even see running their customer communication through their online community as potentially violating their audience's communication preferences.

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Topics: Customer Success

8 Easy Ways to Humanize Your Online Engagement Today

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 19, 2011 at 9:55 AM

In a recent small-sample poll that Socious conducted in the Member Engagement Group on LinkedIn, almost one half of the respondents answered that technology was only part of a larger mix of tools they use for engaging customers. About 25% answered that it was critical to engagement and another 25% said that it was the most important tool.

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Topics: Member Engagement

10 Things About Building an Online Community That May Surprise You

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 16, 2011 at 7:05 AM

Linking a private social network to your website is straightforward. However, creating a successful online customer community or member community can be difficult. It takes an abundance of customers, an understanding of your audience, staff resources, a solid strategy, and the right social technology. As with any enterprise business challenge, this complexity leads to various levels of understanding and expertise in the marketplace.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community Software

Is the 90-9-1 Rule for Online Community Engagement Dead? [Data]

Written by Paul Schneider on August 11, 2011 at 8:43 AM

There is a rule that has floated around in the social media world for quite some time called the Rule of Participation Inequality or the 90-9-1 Rule. This rule states:

User participation in an online community more or less follows the following 90-9-1 ratios:

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement

The Art of Finding the "Right" Chapter Model for Your Association

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 3, 2011 at 8:05 AM

This is a guest post by Peggy M. Hoffman, CAE, President and Association Manager for Mariner Management, an association management company and consultancy.

Next week, I will be joining Scott Balthazor from Higher Logic and Nadine Merker, Director of Volunteer Services from American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), at ASAE's Annual Meeting for a discussion on building new member communities.

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Topics: Associations, Member Experience

What is an Online Customer Community? [infographic]

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 2, 2011 at 7:40 AM

In has long been proven that it takes more time, resources, and capital to earn new customers than it does to keep your existing customers.  I want to take a minute to outline what an online customer community is and where they fit into the world view of most marketing, product management, and customer service executives.

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Topics: Customer Communities

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