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Online Community Management Posts

Online Communities vs. Forums vs. Portals vs. Knowledge Bases: What's the Difference?

Written by Julie Dietz on May 4, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

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.  

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Online Community Management, Online Community Software, Online Community

Engagement and Satisfaction: Is There a Difference?

Written by Andy Steggles | on May 4, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

Engagement is a big word these days -- we want everyone in our community to be “engaged.”. We want them to engage with each other, and engage with our organizations. The more engagement, the merrier everyone will be.

This is where so many community builders measure value and a return on investment -- if people are logging into the community, talking to each other, creating content and contributing, that’s a sign they’re satisfied with their membership and see community as an important asset.

But does engagement necessarily equate satisfaction, and shouldyou aim to highly engage everyone?

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

How to Become a Community Manager

Written by Lindsay Starke | on May 3, 2016 at 8:00 AM | 3 minute read

There’s no one right way to run a community, so it should come as no surprise to anyone that there’s not a single path to becoming a community manager. In fact, when people ask me about what makes someone great at community management, I tend to describe more personality traits than anything else: adaptability, curiosity, an analytical mind.

And yet, there are plenty of things you can do to prepare yourself for getting a job as a community manager. Most of these fall into one of three categories.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Five Killer Graphic Design Tools for Community Managers

Written by Lauren Wolfe | on April 28, 2016 at 9:00 AM | 4 minute read

Awesome content is everywhere in your community site, but how do you get people to notice it? More importantly, how do you get them to engage with it?

If you ask me, I always start with great graphic design (and not just because I’m a Creative Director). Online content and content marketing is so much more than just text on a page. Great graphic design supports great content and in turn fuels great activity. You need creative, eye-catching visuals if you want people to stay, invest and participate. Design is not the only answer, but it’s a solid place to start (okay, maybe it is because I’m a Creative Director).

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Topics: Online Community Management, Marketing, Online Community

Community Benchmarking by The Numbers [Infographic]

Written by Andy Steggles | on April 25, 2016 at 8:30 AM | A quick read

In our 2015 Benchmarking Report, we learned that easy engagement is key for thriving communities. Branded mobile apps and email engagement are big factors in creating frictionless communities.

See the data behind it here.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Online Community

Vendors: Community Friend or Foe?

Written by Heather McNair on April 20, 2016 at 10:30 AM | 4 minute read

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?

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Communications, Online Community Management, Online Community

How to Use Activity Data in Your Customer Community to Increase Revenue Per Customer

Written by Julie Dietz on April 20, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

It's one of the most well-known rules of doing business: it's much more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain the ones you already have.

While exactly how much more expensive is up for debate, you can estimate that new customers cost five times more than existing customers. Since selling to existing customers is cheaper (lower cost of acquisition), those sales result in higher margins. That line of thinking leads to this basic principle: one of the simplest ways to increase revenue per customer is to sell to the customers you already have.

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

Ideas for Reframing Your Community’s Awesome Content

Written by Lindsay Starke | on April 18, 2016 at 10:00 AM | 4 minute read

Many years ago, when I was underemployed, I’m a little ashamed to admit that I did some writing for content farms. You know the sites I’m talking about: you’re searching Google for information on what to do about that weird rash on your elbow and the first link you click on is a bizarrely useless article stuffed with links. These days, though, you don’t need that kind of factory farmed content--you can get organic, pasture-raised content just like Grandma used to make, directly from your community!

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Topics: Communications, Online Community Management, Marketing, Social Media, Online Community

Nine Tools We Think Community Managers Should Keep in Their Tool Belts

Written by Molly Talbert | on April 13, 2016 at 9:30 AM | 5 minute read

Your life is busy and every moment counts. So it’s hard to find the time to sift through tools and plugins that might help you stay productive and manage your time. What’s the easiest way to track them all down?

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Topics: Online Community Management, Marketing, Online Community

How Public Should Our Community Go?

Written by Molly Talbert | on April 12, 2016 at 10:00 AM | 4 minute read

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.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Online Community Management, Online Community

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