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Online Community Management Posts

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

What to Do When Online Community Members Mention a Competitor

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 13, 2014 at 10:00 AM | 6 minute read

It's bound to happen at some point. Whether it's on a discussion board or in the comments section, the question of your customers, partners, or members mentioning a competitor in your online community isn't an "if", it's a "when."

This is just part of the double-edged sword that makes your community a place your customers feel comfortable to openly ask and answer questions. The open nature of social communities makes it also vulnerable to mentions of your competition.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Six Community Spring Cleaning Tips

Written by Heather McNair on April 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM | 3 minute read

Spring has sprung (although you wouldn't know it by frigid temperatures and snow covered lawns). For me, there are few rites of spring more satisfying than the annual clean. It is an opportunity to open the windows, let some fresh air in, and rid ourselves of those dust bunnies. Before you wrap up your spring cleaning, don't forget to spring clean your online community.

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

How to Ace an Online Community Manager Job Interview

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 19, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

Just as the popularity of private online communities is rapidly growing, so is the need for an effective online community manager. A position that barely registered as a Google search term just a few years ago has now become must-have role for many organizations.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Lessons for Online Community Managers from Ellen's "Tweet Heard 'Round the World"

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 12, 2014 at 7:20 AM | 4 minute read

Many in the media have said that the 2014 Oscars were the most successful in history. More people watched the broadcast; more people enjoyed the show; and more people kept talking about it online and otherwise once the lights went down.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Social Media, Online Community

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