Predicting your community’s behavior can be hard. Many organizations find themselves guessing at member information, outreach and retention tactics. But the data is all there – in fact, you probably already have a plethora of data to help you draw conclusions about member predictors. It’s taking that data to the next level and organizing it that can seem daunting.
The North American Association of Subway® Franchisees (NAASF) uses online community to advocate for members and solve industry problems for fast food franchises. Franchisees want to communicate with each other and share resources and best practices, but they don't always want franchisors steering those conversations. NAASF recognized a communication challenge and set out to develop a better system for its franchisees to gather and share knowledge.
Leadership hype always focuses on the C-suite – are your executives on social media? Do they have direct contact with customers or community members through formal feedback systems or a product advisory board? Do they understand shared value for your community initiatives? Most communities fall short in some categories and exceed in others - it’s rarely A’s across the board for executive participation.
But here’s another consideration: have you ever tapped leadership beyond the C-suite?
Have you heard about this new game, Pokémon Go? I hear it’s kind of a big deal.
The goal of every community manager is to inspire others to share their stories, challenges, and triumphs. To welcome them into a deeply satisfying and inviting space. So why, when we’re onboarding, do we present new members with a long list of don’ts? All too frequently, conduct guidelines, administrative messages, and onboarding materials end up full of negative language that doesn’t exactly inspire one to engage. “Don’t do this, don’t do that.” Leaving users wondering, “well, what the hell can I do?”
What's in a name? When it comes to defining online communities and other customer engagement platforms, it turns out the answer is, actually, quite a lot.
Your community is functioning like a dream - organic discussions, engagement through resource-sharing and member-led meetups, a delightfully eclectic thread of the community’s favorite GIFs - and you’re pretty happy with its momentum. Why mess with a good thing? Then vendors start reaching out, with grand ideas to envelop community members with updates, answers and product pitches. You panic - should they even be here?
People often ask, “should my community be open, or closed?” as if community access is an either/or question. Meaning -- either the doors are sealed, and only members have access to the community, or you open the floodgates, and everyone with an internet connection can read and participate in community.
There are pros and cons to both approaches, especially depending on your industry and community goals.
SAE International decided to completely revamp its original online member community, with some help from Higher Logic’s Community Management Services. We chatted with Matt Creech, MBA, Director of Membership & Sections from SAE International, to learn more about how SAE has seen better engagement and growth since the launch of its new community, Member Connection.