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Online Community Software Posts

The Two Most Important Questions When Selecting the Best Social Software

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 26, 2012 at 12:15 PM | 3 minute read

I love great TV.

There are countless well-crafted shows on the networks and on cable right now. However, it can't remember the last time I watched a full television season or even watched a show on TV. What is wrong with me?

I am interested in the topics and recognize the entertainment value, but at some point during the last 10 years, my life has become so busy and my priorities have changed so much that I never catch shows on TV.

Chances are that the target audience for your online community behaves the same way. You could provide the most valuable content, connections, and discussions in your community, but you are still competing with a multitude of personal, work, and online priorities.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

How to Use a Private Social Network to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 19, 2012 at 8:14 AM | 3 minute read

Successful businesses are built on two things - numbers and people.

The numbers are what they are - market size, sales, cash flow, customer retention, etc. They either add up or they don't.

People are a related, but different story. The numbers would rarely be positive if your employees, partners, and customers weren't aware, motivated, and successful at their jobs.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Customer Success, Online Community Software, Online Community

7 Ways to Use Email to Improve Virtual Communities

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 14, 2012 at 7:50 AM | 3 minute read

In the past few years, we've seen social networks dominate marketing conversations and the business media across the world. All evidence shows that social business a strategic imperative to acquire, nurture, and retain customers.

So called "old technologies" like email are often cast aside as relics of past decades. What you don't hear about is how today's booming public and private social networks rely on email to keep customers and members engaged.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Why Companies Think Twice About Building a Customer Community in Facebook

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 8, 2012 at 10:45 AM | 4 minute read

If the world were simpler, congress would be functional, children could play in the street no matter where they lived, and you would be able take online communities tips and apply them to any social networking software that you would like.

However, the world is not simple. Just like public social networks, like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, all serve different purposes in your business strategy; public social networks and private online communities play very different roles in your customer management plan.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Social Media, Online Community

5 Tips for Using Online Community Analytics to Improve Social Engagement

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 11, 2012 at 11:46 AM | 3 minute read

Take some time during your busy day to stop and look around.

These are historic times when it comes to an organization's abilities to leverage the online communities it sponsors and the communities it participates in to improve business-level results.

The way this is happening is evolving too, just as we have seen in other areas of business.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

With Enterprise Online Communities, Simplicity Wins. Or Does It?

Written by Joshua Paul | on April 20, 2012 at 10:45 AM | 2 minute read

With Facebook's recent acquisition of photo effects and sharing mobile app, Instagram, it is easy to see how one could say that simplicity wins the day in social networking software. Twitter's meteoric rise and the success of employee collaboration tool, Yammer, are also examples of the power of simple, easy-to-learn social applications with easy-to-use social networks.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community Management, Online Community

How to Select the Best Online Community Software: Part 3 of 3

Written by Joshua Paul | on April 5, 2012 at 8:30 AM | 2 minute read

A Big Dance Approach to Evaluating Private Social Networks

Selecting the right online community platform your business or membership organization can be a harrowing experience. While there are significant differences between companies and software options, they are not always clear in marketing pages of each provider's website.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

How to Pick Online Community Software NCAA-Style: Part 2 of 3

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 27, 2012 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

In part one of this three part series, we covered the initial rounds of action in our bracketology approach to selecting a private social network for customers or members. This included how to cast a wide net and pare down your list of private social network providers based on basic functionality, integration, and each company's core focus.

Now, we are on the Sweet Sixteen, where you'll match your organization's plans and parameters with online community software.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

The Bracketology of Selecting a Private Social Network - Part 1 of 3

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM | 2 minute read

One of the questions that companies and associations come to us with often is, "How do I Select the Best Online Community Platform for My Organization?" Most marketing, membership, and customer care professionals understand customer engagement and social media. However, keeping up with the diverse array of online community software offerings, wading through hyperbole, and deciding which platform, cost structure, and support offerings are the best fit for a specific organization can be daunting and overwhelm, even for experienced social media consultants.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Beware of the Private Social Networking Checkbox

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 16, 2012 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

Having a private online community does not, by itself, breed successful customer or member engagement. Many associations and companies are finding that out the hard way.

An often overlooked success factor is how the organization uses and positions their private social network in their overall customer or membership management strategy. Here are three common approaches.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Customer Communities, Member Communities, Online Community

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