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Online Community Software Posts

CASE, ILTA and SPE Chat About Online Community Engagement Success

Written by Lauren Wolfe | on September 5, 2014 at 11:00 AM | 2 minute read

Clients of Higher Logic and Personify came together last week to discuss the best ways to take advantage of both platforms, and to increase community activity and communication. Currently, over 47 mutual association clients have utilized the Personify Gold Star Integration and Activity Sync back to their databases to offer single-sign-on, secure data exchange and find new engagement opportunities for their online communities.

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

How to Successfully Upgrade from a Listserv to an Online Community

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 8, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

There was a time when email listservs were the new kid on the block.

Short for "mailing list server," your listserv has probably served your association or membership organization well over the last decade or two. You've been able to easily send out automated emails to segmented lists and your members have enjoyed reply-all options that allow them to easily communicate with the group.

During their heyday, listservs made a huge difference in member interaction and association communication. However, they're now competing with new options that have additional opportunities for member engagement and membership value.

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

The Ultimate Guide to Public Social Networks vs. Private Online Communities

Written by Joshua Paul | on June 25, 2014 at 2:35 PM | 9 minute read

Social networks, social business, social media, social strategy, and social communities. After a while these terms become blended within an organization, especially for those people who don't focus on these tools and strategies every day.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Changing Online Community Software Platforms? Work on This One Skill

Written by Joshua Paul | on April 7, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

Businesses and membership organizations select an online community software platform when they first launch their community-based on marketing, support, or member benefit strategy. However, one to two years into the initiative, both their strategy and customers' expectations have evolved. Many organizations find that their strategy does not align with the capabilities of their customer or member community.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

How to Uncover Opportunities to Leverage Online Communities at Your Organization

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 25, 2014 at 8:58 AM | 5 minute read

An increasing number of companies and membership organizations are implementing online community strategies to maintain better relationships with their customers or members. Online customer communities and member communities deliver tangible benefits to organizations"”ranging from improving customer retention and satisfaction to lowering support costs and recruiting more customer advocates.

Despite this growing popularity, many organizations are still struggling to get from the "why" to the "what" of building a successful community strategy. Often, people hear about active online customer or member communities in their industry or they see competitors launching online community strategies. However, they have trouble getting from "we should look into doing this" to "here is how our organization can leverage these type of strategies."

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Why It's a Mistake to Compare Private Communities to Social Networking Sites

Written by Andy Steggles | on March 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM | 2 minute read

Association execs often mistakenly think that private communities are nothing but smaller-scale, social networking sites. That's why I loved Ernie Smith's article, In Defense of the Insular Social Network, on Associations Now last week. The article talks about Virtual Management, Inc's recent study, the 2013 Association Operations Survey

As Ernie points out, the study did something interesting: in surveying respondents about their use of "social media sites," it lumps together public social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with private community platforms including Higher Logic, Jive and others. While I was admittedly happy to see Higher Logic used by the highest number of respondents, I couldn't help but wonder why the private community platforms were lumped with the public social networking sites.

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Topics: Social Media, Online Community Software, Online Community

How to Create a Great Online Customer Portal

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 25, 2014 at 8:25 AM | 5 minute read

The past few years have seen a big shift in customer support as more and more companies offer self-service customer support through online customer and client portals. While a reduction in support center phone calls might seem like it benefits companies the most, a 2012 study from Amdocs suggests that today's customers also prefer an online self-service approach.

In a study conducted by the analyst firm Coleman Parks, gave insight into customer preferences when it comes to their support options. Though the survey targeted smartphone users, the findings apply to other product support as well.

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

Forum Software vs. Online Community Platforms: Which is the Best Support Option for Your Company?

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 5, 2014 at 8:30 AM | 6 minute read

Where do your customers go for support? Despite the simplicity of the question, there are several factors that make the answer unique to your organization.

The first part revolves around the behavior of your customers. Even though they may prefer to speak with a live person, research indicates that 90% of people go to the web, before calling or emailing your company. Does this stat match your experience with your customers?

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

6 Smart Companies That Believe Online Communities Are the Future

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 9, 2014 at 11:16 AM | 5 minute read

Every day, we are inundated with a deluge of information online. It comes through email, websites, and social networks. It comes from friends, family, business thought-leaders, and professional peers. And just when we think we've gotten on top of all the information being thrown our way, there's even more information to digest.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Software Support & Online Community Platform Selection

Written by Andy Steggles | on November 16, 2013 at 9:30 AM | 6 minute read

A common and much disputed saying about online communities is 'build it and they will come,' referring to the concept that all you need to do to create a thriving online community is launch the software. Obviously, it's not that simple.

There's a lot that goes into the success or failure of an online community - strategy, site design, integration with whatever back-end database the org is using, etc. Not to mention community management. But one facet of online community that I don't think gets enough recognition is support, e.g. help for the person/people managing the community and helping them make their platform as good as it can be.

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Topics: Online Community Software, User Group Communities, Customer Success, Customer Support, Online Community

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