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5 Types of Online Community for Business - Part 2

Written by Joshua Paul | on November 4, 2011 at 8:43 AM | 5 minute read

Somewhere in the country, an executive is scratching his or her head over how to build a community of their customers or members. Their goals are clear, but with over 170 million tweets flying around each day, finding the right information to get started can be daunting. After acquiring a firm grasp on the impact they would like their online community to have on their organization and the critical problems that their customers would like solved, their first question should be:

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Topics: Customer Communities, Online Community

What Kind of Social Networking Does Your Business Need? - Part 1

Written by Joshua Paul | on November 1, 2011 at 11:00 AM | 2 minute read

Last week, I attended an online community business roundtable for small and medium-sized organizations. One of the big questions coming out of the event was, "What are the free tools I can use to build an online community?" Since building community around a business and customer base is new in many B2B and membership organizations, executives often look first to free or low-cost solutions to build customer or member communities.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Your Online Community Strategy is a Product Strategy

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 28, 2011 at 12:45 PM | 2 minute read

Creating an online community that focuses on helping members or customers become more successful in their jobs, businesses, and lives is much more that a social strategy - It is a strategic imperative for all mid-sized and large companies and membership organizations.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, Online Community

4 Ways to Make Your Professional Online Community More Fun

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 26, 2011 at 9:07 AM | 2 minute read

Do your in-person customer or member events rock? Do you have live music and mixed drinks intermingled with your educational and product sessions? At a recent workshop on online communities, a young man asked, "Our live networking events are amazing"¦really amazing, but our online community is boring. How can we expect our customers to use our private social network when our in-person events are so good?"

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

The Role of Online Communities in Member Recruitment & Retention [data]

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 18, 2011 at 2:25 AM | 2 minute read

In the recent 2011 Membership Marketing Benchmarking Report, organizations who saw membership decrease over the past 5 years indicated that poor products and services were one of their leading challenges to membership growth. The association executives surveyed for this report also said that their organization's perceived lack of value was the #1 reason why members don't renew their membership.

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

3 Online Community Launch Tips Proven to Increase Engagement

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 13, 2011 at 10:31 AM | 3 minute read

We write a lot about the decisions that executives and community owners need to make upfront to create a successful online community. However, what do you do when the ball is rolling? How do you ensure your customers or members to find the community helpful, easy to participate in, and worthy of their time? One of the most important steps to take is testing your community before rolling it out to your entire customer base.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

10 Secrets of the B2B Social Business Superhero

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 11, 2011 at 9:47 AM | 4 minute read

Spoiler Alert: I have it on good authority that true superheroes (the ones with superhuman powers) don't really exist. Luckily, if you keep this fact under wraps, you can use the following social business superhero secrets to make you and your social business strategy look superhuman to your company and customers.

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Topics: B2B Communities, Online Community

How to Set Online Community Goals & Metrics [Quick Concept]

Written by Paul Schneider on October 6, 2011 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

In business, there are times where you should focus on the end of the race before you think about the beginning. Planning an online customer or member community is one of those times.  There are many different ‘flavors' of online community software and social business platforms.  Though the tools and methods you use are largely determined by what you want to accomplish with them, the role measurement and analytics play in the success of your private online community is always very important.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, B2B Communities, Online Community

Why Private Social Communities Fail & How to Avoid It? Pt. 4 of 4 [Technology]

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 29, 2011 at 10:00 AM | 4 minute read

Over the last month, I've outlined 25 common pitfalls that organizations can identify upfront in the planning process to avoid a failed online customer or member community. The areas we looked at were:

In this final post of the series, I'll cover the ways that your social business platform plays a role in whether your private online community thrives or dies an embarrassing, brand-damaging death.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Associations, Online Community

5 New Online Community Statistics for Association Executives [data]

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 27, 2011 at 8:45 AM | 3 minute read

Recently, the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project released its latest report covering online community. Here are the slides and member engagement takeaways from their study:

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Topics: Member Communities, Online Community

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