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Online Community Management Posts

Why Are Phone Skills Important for Online Community Managers? [Quick Tip]

Written by Katie Bapple | on September 10, 2014 at 9:40 AM | 1 minute read

When people think about online community managers, they often envision a social media ninja who can manage their world with a laptop and a smartphone.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Lessons from Years of Creating and Managing Online Communities [Interview]

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 9, 2014 at 8:28 AM | 3 minute read

Higher Logic recently launched a new professional services group to help businesses and nonprofit membership organizations increase engagement and the return on investment of their online communities.

Today, we're going to meet a member of the Higher Logic team. Katie Bapple is an experienced online community specialist who previously planned, launched, and grew many online communities as an online community manager for Toolbox.com and Ziff Davis.

Katie brings her expertise to Higher Logic customers to help them through all phases of the online community strategy and management processes, including defining your community's value proposition, creating content and engagement processes, and reporting on key online community management metrics.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Hiring an Online Community Manager? 5 Signs You Found a Good One

Written by Katie Bapple | on August 20, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

Hiring an online community manager is one of the most difficult positions for organizations to fill. Since community-based customer relationship strategies are new to many companies, there is often no template for an effective community manager's skills, experience, and personality traits.

There is so much for hiring managers to wrap their arms around when it comes to planning, launching and growing an online customer or member community that nailing down specific responsibilities is often determined after a hire is made. According to initial data from the Community Roundtable's 2014 Community Manager Salary Survey research, "22% of community professionals defined their own role before moving into it."

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

How to Increase Online Community Engagement with Better Calls-to-Action

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 14, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

The foundation of your online customer community is value. It is the value of the information, discussions, and connections that turn an initial visit to the community into a habit. It is things that are important to your community members and worth their time that motivates them to visit, click, and contribute.

To that end, your community management team works tirelessly to support your online community's value proposition and provide engagement opportunities ranging from social participation to live events to learning about how they can expand their relationship with your organization through additional products and services.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Online Community

Why Your Online Community Needs the Board of Directors

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 28, 2014 at 10:30 AM | 3 minute read

What's the one thing almost all associations have in common? It's formal volunteer leadership programs. Volunteer leaders are highly visible, engaged MVPs in the association, lending credibility and encouraging other members to attend events and participate in activities. There are volunteer trainings, guidelines and formal committee structures and procedures, all of which boost the program's credibility and desirability; members aspire to join the ranks of these MVPs.

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

How to Use Data from Your Private Online Community to Make Better Decisions

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 24, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

Running a private online community for your association comes with its fair share of decisions"”from the daily steering of the community to quarterly strategic adjustment. In fact, managing your association's online member community is often viewed as a microcosm of overall association management. As an association executive, it's your job to make the choices that will keep your association members engaged and looking to your community as a valuable resource.

However, without the right information driving those decisions, the choices that come with managing an association (or an online member community) can seem overwhelming.

That's why you need a little bit of the "good stuff"" and why we're happy to share this new whitepaper from our friends, Peter Houstler, CEO of Mariner Management and Marketing, and Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CEO of Spark Consulting.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Associations, Member Experience, Online Community

Why People Contribute in Private Online Communities [Engagement Tips]

Written by Joshua Paul | on July 16, 2014 at 10:15 AM | 4 minute read

People have lots of outlets and opportunities to "talk" online. There's no shortage of large social networks out there to soak up their attention. Yet, despite having so many options, people still participate heavily in private online customer or member communities.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Online Community

Automatic Enrollment Will Always Trump The Opt-In Route

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM | 2 minute read

When organizations launch a new private online community that includes a member directory feature, one of the big questions that always comes up is whether or not to automatically include all members, or require individuals to "opt-in". Privacy is a big concern these days, so it's understandable that associations want to give members complete control over whether or not they're included in a member directory.

However, asking members to opt-in just doesn't work. Success rates will be much higher using automatic enrollment with the option to opt-out, versus asking users to opt-in.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Seven Detractor Considerations for Private Communities

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 8, 2014 at 12:00 PM | 3 minute read

What happens when a member posts a negative or inflammatory comment in your online community? Having negative comments, or "detractors," in your community is not a bad thing; in fact it's a great opportunity for an organization to demonstrate transparency and a culture of openness.

There's a saying: "The conversation is happening whether you're listening or not." If a member voices a concern related to the profession/industry, or even about the organization itself, the odds are that other members have similar thoughts. It's best to address concerns head-on and open up a dialogue about the issue. Although after looking at the moderation analytics from over 400 organizations representing over 100,000 communities, it actually appears to be a fairly infrequent scenario.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Social Media, Online Community

Measuring Online Member Engagement: Hats Off to You!

Written by Andy Steggles | on June 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM | 2 minute read

I know it's tough to keep up with all of the tools and tricks for retaining and engaging your members - hats off to you. When it comes to achieving your organization's goals, you often need to wear many hats. How do you measure online member engagement? And how does it correlate to increased revenue and greater satisfaction?

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Topics: Online Community Management, Member Engagement, Online Community

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