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Online Community Software Posts

Improve Customer Experience Using One of the Best Online Community Models

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 17, 2012 at 8:51 AM | 2 minute read

Your online community will not be as popular as Apple's iPad was when it launched. It may not even be as popular, as the HP whatever-it-was-called tablet when it was launched. I'm here to tell you that it is OK.

For marketing and membership professionals who are nervous about getting customers to use, engage with, and return to your private online customer or member community, this may be the best news you have heard all year.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Customer Experience, Online Community

3 Social Business Planning Traps to Avoid

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 3, 2012 at 10:57 AM | 3 minute read

Implementing a sustainable social business model can be complicated. When building community into your strategy, you are not only empowering and motivating employees, but relying on customers, prospects, and partners to engage each other and your organization.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

What Kind of Social Networking Does Your Business Need? - Part 1

Written by Joshua Paul | on November 1, 2011 at 11:00 AM | 2 minute read

Last week, I attended an online community business roundtable for small and medium-sized organizations. One of the big questions coming out of the event was, "What are the free tools I can use to build an online community?" Since building community around a business and customer base is new in many B2B and membership organizations, executives often look first to free or low-cost solutions to build customer or member communities.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

3 Online Community Launch Tips Proven to Increase Engagement

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 13, 2011 at 10:31 AM | 3 minute read

We write a lot about the decisions that executives and community owners need to make upfront to create a successful online community. However, what do you do when the ball is rolling? How do you ensure your customers or members to find the community helpful, easy to participate in, and worthy of their time? One of the most important steps to take is testing your community before rolling it out to your entire customer base.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

4 Organizational Reasons Why Private Social Networks Fail (Pt. 2 of 4)

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 13, 2011 at 10:09 AM | 5 minute read

 

Last week, I launched this series on why online customer communities fail in order to help business leaders, association executives, and community managers understand and avoid the most common pitfalls. The last post focused on flawed strategies and misaligned goals. This week, we'll look at the reasons that online communities die that relate to the organization and its senior leadership.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Why Associations Avoid Building Their Member Community in LinkedIn Groups

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 30, 2011 at 11:10 AM | 4 minute read

I speak with a lot of associations that are experimenting with different types of social media tools and strategies to figure out which combination has the most positive impact on their organization, mission, and members. A common question I come across is how "members-only" LinkedIn groups and private online community platforms overlap and can work together. While there are some similarities, for instance both provide threaded discussions; the numerous differences are paramount to an association's member engagement strategy.

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Topics: Social Media, Associations, Online Community Software, Online Community

10 Things About Building an Online Community That May Surprise You

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 16, 2011 at 7:05 AM | 3 minute read

Linking a private social network to your website is straightforward. However, creating a successful online customer community or member community can be difficult. It takes an abundance of customers, an understanding of your audience, staff resources, a solid strategy, and the right social technology. As with any enterprise business challenge, this complexity leads to various levels of understanding and expertise in the marketplace.

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

New Mobile App Report Could Save Associations Money

Written by Joshua Paul | on May 10, 2011 at 9:21 AM | 4 minute read

Mobile apps are hot right now. Mobile technology sessions are full and our booth is buzzing at this year's conferences. Everybody wants one. However, few fully understand the strategic and functional facets of providing a mobile app that supports the missions of associations. A recent report from Forrester provides some important clarity to association executives around the reach, usage, and cost of mobile apps.

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

5 Tips for Upgrading to New Online Community Software

Written by Paul Schneider on April 26, 2011 at 7:05 AM | 3 minute read

Now that more and more associations have been using online communities for a few years, there comes a time when you outgrow your online community and need to graduate to a full membership engagement platform.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Online Community SmackDown: Forums vs. Listservs

Written by Paul Schneider on March 15, 2011 at 8:11 AM | 3 minute read

When Associations Have to Choose, It's Their Members That Lose.

There has been a debate brewing for several years over whether forums or listserv are more effective in engaging members of an association. In the past, the discussion has even been framed as listservs vs. private member communities. However, this is not an accurate way to help associations make member engagement technology decisions. Online community software designed for mid-sized and large associations should have both forum and listserv functionality built-in to allow organizations to engage members in their private community using the methods that their members are most comfortable with.

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Topics: Associations, Online Community Software, Online Community

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