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Molly Talbert

Molly is a content writer at Higher Logic and regular contributor to the blog. Previously, she did client services and social media for a small leadership development company. In her down time, Molly reads through the internet, bikes, hikes and day dreams about her home state, New Mexico. She graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont where she studied the environment and writing, learned how to mountain bike through mud and helped edit the student newspaper.
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Recent Posts

Moderation 101: 6 Tips to Help You Toe the Community Line

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 14, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

 

Don’t underestimate good moderation -- it’s a skill that takes practice. And if you want strong engagement and robust discussion on your community, it’s an ability your community manager must have, especially at the beginning.

A large part of becoming a good moderator is knowing how to strike the balance between controlling conversations to maintain order, contributing to make sure conversations don't die, and giving members or customers free reign to express themselves. You don't want mayhem, yet you don't want to dampen discussions before they even get going.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Online Community

Changing Behavior and Creating Value

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 13, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

What makes a community valuable? There are a lot of combined factors that create value, but a big one is member behavior -- how do people act when they’re in your community? Member interaction can tip the scales of your community in either direction, towards success or catastrophe. If people engage and ask the group questions, the community feels much different than it would if people only checked in occasionally and emailed members privately.

What if your members aren’t doing what you want? Good news is, if your community isn’t very engaged or doesn’t feel sustainable, you can mold member behavior to create the environment you want.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Member Experience, Online Community

The Key to Engagement -- Empower

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 11, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

What’s the key to engagement? Empowered members.

Customers and members often go to communities for information -- that’s great, and you want your community to be chock-full of awesome, valuable information. But that shouldn’t be the only end goal. You don’t want people to log in only when they have the occasional question. You want community to be part of their routine, with regular check-ins and contributions.

So, how do you get people coming back often? How do you help members and customers find value in your community?

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community

2015 Favorite Community Reads

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 6, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

In many ways, 2015 was the year of the private online community. All types of organizations caught on to the virtual community shift -- small and large, nonprofit and commercial. And if they haven’t yet, they’re beginning to realize they should, since communities are here to stay.

Not only does community increase member retention and growth, but it helps with content creation and humanizes your organization.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Extreme Ideas to Make Your Community Fun

Written by Molly Talbert | on January 4, 2016 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

Even a perfect community can get a little stale.

Does this sound familiar? Say everything is going well -- your launch was smooth, automation rules are up and running, you’re following all the top best practices and have aligned the community with your organization’s strategic goals. Everything is working! Yet something still feels flat.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Member Experience, Online Community

Diversity Strengthens (and Grows) Your Community

Written by Molly Talbert | on December 30, 2015 at 10:00 AM | 5 minute read

Diversity is a global topic that deserves attention. These days, most people know diversity and inclusion is important for a culture and community to thrive, but it can be hard to back up that claim with solid answers -- beyond just knowing, morally, that diversity is important. Since your online community is an extension of your organization -- whether comprised of association members, customers for a certain product or service, or just die-hard fans of a movement -- it makes sense that maintaining diversity in an online community is important, as well.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Experience, Online Community

Tension in Your Community is Good

Written by Molly Talbert | on December 21, 2015 at 10:00 AM | 3 minute read

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone just got along? It’s nice to daydream, but it’s not going to happen (and who wants smooth sailing all the time, anyway?). As a community manager, it can be tempting to tiptoe around members and quash any bubbling conflict, tensions or heated debates. After all, you’re trying to cultivate a welcoming, supportive environment, right?

Although you’re coming from the right place -- a place where you care about your members and the community’s longevity -- it’s actually a disservice to quell all the tension. One of Higher Logic’s own community managers, Jenny Taylor, wrote about this misconception in a recent blog post. We aren’t saying compromise on respect -- respect is a given -- but tension and differing opinions are important and increase your community’s value.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Online Community

The Link Between Community Managers and Community Organizers

Written by Molly Talbert | on December 15, 2015 at 9:00 AM | 4 minute read

As a community manager, it may feel like you’re often breaking new ground, trail-blazing through an innovative profession. And you are. It’s a relatively new job force and there aren’t many forebearers for you to look back on.The very idea that you could have a collaborative community online was in its infancy in the mid-’90s (discounting old listservs and forums popping up since the 1970s), and didn’t really begin to take off until the 2000s (...guess MySpace was good for something). Although it’s a robust profession now, without much history, where should you look to gain inspiration when you need it.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Are You Really Ready for an Online Community?

Written by Molly Talbert | on December 10, 2015 at 8:00 AM | 4 minute read

You’re thinking of getting a community. Everyone is talking about how great they’ll be for your organization, so now you’re looking into it. In the era of social media when everything is accessible online, it’s inevitable for many organizations to turn to private, cloud based communities. There are many benefits for both customers/members and organizations.

Although social media is very prevalent and widely used by most organizations, online communities are new. Understandably, figuring out if you really need one can be difficult.

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

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