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Associations Posts

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

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

Why Virtual Memberships Matter to Associations [Private Social Networking Tips]

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 5, 2012 at 11:35 AM | 5 minute read

Associations have a reoccurring nightmare.

In this bad dream, a seemingly credible figure calls the organization out as not representing the people in, or interests of, a specific industry on national television.

There is a myth in this country. The myth is that most associations represent an entire industry.

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Topics: Member Communities, Associations, Online Community

How Private Social Networks & Customer Reference Programs Work Together [Transcript]

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 19, 2012 at 8:30 AM | 27 minute read

In episode #6 of the social business podcast, ProCommunity, I spoke with Bill Lee, President of the Customer Reference Forum and author of the new book, The Hidden Wealth of Customers. We discussed the power of customer reference programs and how online customer community provide new ways recruit, manage, and engage customer advocates.

The conversation also included how to get at the untapped value that existing customers can create, the role of online customer communities in managing customer relationships, and real examples of customer reference program success.

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Topics: Associations, Online Community

40% of Association Members' Online Time is in Professional Communities [Research]

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 2, 2012 at 8:36 AM | 4 minute read

Attention Professional Associations! Will You Be That Community?

A new research project from the Society for New Communication Research called, The Social Mind, examines the rise of new social behaviors and interrelationships between individuals, organizations, and influencers. The three year series of studies surveyed more than 400 professionals and highly educated people in North America who participate in social media networks.

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Topics: Associations, Online Community

8 Reasons to Fight for Internal Collaboration in Your Customer Community

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 26, 2012 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

The basic premise behind enterprise online communities has two parts:

  1. People have knowledge that can benefit each other and the company.
  2. Companies excel when that information is findable, sharable, and expandable.
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Topics: Associations, Collaboration Tools, Online Community

8 Ways to Engage Customers Online That Are Not Social or Less Tech Savvy

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 1, 2012 at 8:30 AM | 2 minute read

If you help companies develop social strategies or manage online communities, you have heard this before.

"Our audience won't engage in an online customer community because they do not use social networks."

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Topics: Engagement, Associations, Nonprofits and Charities, Online Community

How Associations Use Private Social Networks to Impact Legislation & Regulations

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 6, 2012 at 8:30 AM | 2 minute read

Today is Super Tuesday! For both organizations impacted by government and the politically-minded among us, today is the biggest indicator thus far in the 2012 election cycle for determining the future of organizations' lobbying strategies for the next several years. Association leaders across the country, from the state level to national organizations, are paying close attention to today's exit polls, candidates, and outcomes.

However, not all associations can afford to influence a candidates "Super PAC." In the age of social networking, many membership and advocacy organizations are utilizing the grassroots nature of their private social networks to consolidate ideas, focus their voice, and mobilize disparate groups.

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Topics: Associations, Online Community

How Associations Increase Revenue Using Online Community Software

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 2, 2012 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

Marketing, customer management, and membership professionals are family with the obvious revenue impact of creating a private social network for members or customers. These benefits include:

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Topics: Associations, 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

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