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Online Community Software Posts

Researching Online Community Software: Three Must-Ask Questions

Written by Christina Green | on January 21, 2016 at 11:20 AM | 4 minute read

Have you ever noticed the verb used with online communities is always "build?" You build an online community. You build community. Rarely will people, even vendors, talk about buying an online community, because even though you purchase online community software, that is only the foundation. You still need to build your online community. The task isn't complete immediately after you purchase a platform.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Customer Communities, Online Community

Your Community Platform Checklist

Written by Hunter Montgomery | on January 12, 2016 at 3:30 PM | 4 minute read

Forrester predicted branded communities were going to be “the next big thing” in 2015. And they were.

This growing interest in communities is centered around organizations’ need to facilitate collaboration and accelerate organic engagement with their constituents. At some point, your social media channels are simply not enough.

Another recent Forrester survey found U.S. "online adults" who want to stay in touch with organizations are almost three times as likely to visit a website as to engage on Facebook. The opportunity to collaborate and ask questions beyond social channels is becoming commonplace and expected. But who provides the best collaborative option? Some vendors in the market have started offering “community add-ons” – modules developed to supplement the company’s core offering (e.g. an AMS/CRM, marketing automation software, a CMS or other systems).

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

Get Support for Your Association's Community Strategy: How to Align with Your Board and Executive Team's Priorities

Written by Christina Green | on December 23, 2015 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

 

A few years ago, comic hypnotists were a big draw on the corporate speaking circuit. Many companies hired them at retreats, conferences, annual meetings, and the like. Employees got a great laugh at watching a stranger suggest to their manager that they should cluck like a chicken, and got even bigger laughs when the manager did it on stage in front of everyone.

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Topics: Associations, Online Community Software, Online Community

Should Your Community Get an App? [Infographic]

Written by Molly Talbert | on December 9, 2015 at 8:30 AM | 1 minute read

Having a place where your members can always share ideas and questions is the ideal engagment tool. But what's the best way to gather those members when they're on the go -- should you invest in an app or stick to web design improvements? We've streamined the throught process to make your decision easier.

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Topics: Member Experience, Online Community Software, Online Community

I'm Interested in Starting a Customer Community, But What Does it REALLY Take?

Written by Nick Davis on November 24, 2015 at 8:18 AM | 5 minute read

So, you are considering building an online customer community, but where do you start? What is it going to take?

You have probably seen several other businesses, maybe even competitors, launch their own online communities as a way to drive business, increase customer satisfaction, and even reduce your operating and support costs.  And starting a community may not be as hard an undertaking as you might think. Take it from founder of the Center for Customer Engagement, Bill Lee, when he said that, “more companies can build customer communities than think they can.â€

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

Quick Tip: Should You Launch Your Community on an Open Social Network or a Private Community Platform?

Written by Katie Bapple | on September 16, 2015 at 8:00 AM | 2 minute read

The number one reason that online communities fail is because they fail to provide value to their members. Providing this value starts before you even have an online community to launch. There is a lot of overlooked opportunity in the structure of your community.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Four Reasons Community Managers Shouldn’t Be Scared of Data and Analytics

Written by Molly Talbert | on September 10, 2015 at 3:00 PM | 3 minute read


As a community manager, you’ve learned that community management is made up of many different parts. It’s an interdisciplinary field involving tactics like people skills, psychology, strategy and analytics, to name a few.

There can be a lot to juggle and if you’re not a numbers person, one of the most daunting tasks can be tracking data and analytics—too many balls in the air, right? Most community platforms have at least basic tracking analytics and a dashboard (if yours doesn’t, definitely consider switching).

Yet, even with the data right there, it can be tempting to ignore or under-utilize the incredible tool right there in front of you. We get it—new can be scary. Maybe you’ve never been trained to analyze data and you don’t feel qualified to do so. But don’t make the common mistake of avoiding a new opportunity to learn and grow your community.

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

Quick Tip: Is Creating an Online Community Right for Your Organization?

Written by Katie Oakes on September 8, 2015 at 9:00 AM | 3 minute read

 

I field a lot of questions in my day-to-day phone calls and emails with organizations researching online communities. I'm about to help a variety of different types of businesses and membership organizations, at all different stages of the research and planning processes.

The questions I answer most often center around the doubts and obstacles that come into play when considering launching an online community.  

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Three Reasons Trade Associations Should Have Online Communities

Written by Andy Steggles | on August 27, 2015 at 3:00 PM | 2 minute read


We believe that all types of organizations can benefit from having an online community. There is so much power in connecting people, spreading ideas and empowering community members. However, depending on who is part of your trade association, members may be hesitant to use an online community at first — their competitors may be part of the same community, reading and contributing to the same conversations. And if that’s the case, why participate if you risk giving away secrets or lending your competitor a hand?

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Topics: Associations, Online Community Software, Collaboration Tools, Online Community

Moving to a New Online Community Platform: Simple Ways to Avoid Missteps

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 5, 2015 at 9:02 AM | 4 minute read

When it comes to the people who have online community software platforms in place and want to migrate or upgrade to a new social platform, we've seen it all.  

We have migrated platforms ranging from large communities built on Jive and Lithium to communities built on basic software systems like Ning.  We've moved data from antiquated listserv platforms into full online communities and imported community data from home-grown community platforms or forum tools.

Despite the successful outcomes, migrating from one online community platform to another is never a completely straightforward process.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

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