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Member Communities Posts

The Member Journey Has Changed: Are You Changing With It?

Written by Tom Lehman on May 16, 2019 at 9:08 AM | 4 minute read

“Digital transformation” is leaving no stone unturned. Its effects aren’t limited just to big consumer brands like Amazon, Netflix Uber. Technology has changed how people travel down the path toward membership at your association, and how they engage with your association if or when they join.

A member’s experience with your association or nonprofit used to look different. They might hear about you through a direct mail flyer, send in a check to join, and attend a conference once a year. That was association membership. Their journey to joining your association was linear and sequential.

Now, they come to your association at various stages of the funnel, or the member/buyer’s journey. And along the way, they expect a different experience from what was the norm 20 years ago.

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Topics: Communications, Engagement, Member Communities, Associations, Member Experience, Nonprofits and Charities, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Integration

15 Tips to Help Successfully Move Your Community to a New Platform

Written by Elizabeth Bell on May 14, 2019 at 8:41 AM | 8 minute read

No matter the reason for the change, anyone who has grown an online community to maturity can tell you that the thought of moving that community to a new platform is enough to keep a person up at night.

There are logistical and personal challenges to migrating an entire community, like:

  • What if engagement totally dies?
  • What if we lose all the activity from our old community when we transition?
  • What if members don’t move?
  • What if members start their own rogue communities because they hate our new platform?

But whatever your worries are, moving your community could be what it needs to become even better.

To get you to that new, better place, there are some strategic elements to think about as you transition your community from one platform (be it social media, a different company, or a listserv) to another.

We’re here to help you meet your goals while avoiding these pitfalls.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Customer Communities, Member Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Online Community Software, Customer Engagement, User Group Management, Member Engagement, Online Community

4 Tips for Generating More Non-Dues Revenue from Advertising

Written by Elizabeth Bell on March 19, 2019 at 12:22 PM | 7 minute read

If you’re from the Midwest, you probably know someone who loves pickling anything and everything. (Or maybe you’re that person?)

The picklers I know are all about pickling – from eggs to cukes to fruits. (Come to think of it, it might not just be a Midwestern thing – Portlandia’s “We Can Pickle That,” anyone?) There’s always a waste to prevent or a profit to be made or a gift to be given when you know how to pickle.

And, it’s not too hard to do: If you’ve got pots and jars, something to pickle, stick to the process, and invite a few taste testers, then you’re golden.

You’re now totally confused about why we’re talking about pickling in an advertising post. Well, maybe preserving food or other perishable items in brine isn’t your thing, but is extra profit for your organization your thing? Sure it is, so you can apply these same principles (the principles of pickling) to advertising at your organization.

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Topics: Engagement, Marketing, Member Communities, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community

What is an Online Community? The Basics & Benefits

Written by Hunter Montgomery | on March 7, 2019 at 11:25 AM | 6 minute read

In the fast-paced world of modern technology, many leadership executives and organizations understand that building online communities for their customers or members to learn, share, and collaborate is critical for increasing growth and relevancy.

They know that successful online communities can help them engage and inspire their audience, creating the unique and individual experiences that improve the overall customer experience (CX). Focusing on CX in tandem with your online community is incredibly valuable in terms of driving loyalty, by the way.

Research from the Temkin Group found that companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to gain, on average, an additional $775 million over 3 years of investing in customer experience (with SaaS companies standing to earn the most, at $1 billion).

For those who are still learning or want to brush up on their knowledge, we’re here to offer some clarity on what a successful online community is and how it can benefit organizational growth by helping you deliver value to your customers, partners, members, or prospects.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Customer Communities, Member Communities, B2B Communities, Customer Experience, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Online Community

Data Informs Decisions: ASAE and Association Analytics Aim to Predict Engagement [Case Study]

Written by Caitlin Struhs | on August 14, 2018 at 7:50 AM | 6 minute read

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) uses multiple systems—AMS, email marketing, and online community, among others—to collect member data, but it couldn’t compare or analyze valuable member activity across systems. There was no clear way to track retention, understand satisfaction, or analyze member engagement.

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Topics: Engagement, Member Communities, Associations, Online Community

How to Create Engaging Online Discussions: 7 Tips for Community Managers

Written by Simona Ciampi on May 31, 2018 at 8:29 AM | 5 minute read

Often, and especially early on in the life of an online community, the community manager is the one who has to start discussions. If you’re a community manager, I’m sure you know from experience that creating an engaging discussion is not easy. For example, asking someone what they think about an article and just putting the link out there is not typically enough.

There are a few handy techniques you can use when creating a conversation to facilitate more interaction.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Member Communities, Associations, Member Engagement, Online Community

Is Your Organization Risking Members' Privacy by Connecting on Facebook?

Written by Sara Maloney on April 12, 2018 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

They say to "never build on rented land," but is that always true? And, if this is the case, why do we continue to put our personal and business' intellectual property on public platforms owned by third parties?

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Topics: Social Media, Member Communities, Online Community Software, Collaboration Tools, Marketing Automation, Online Community

How To Start a Micro-Advocacy Program in Your Association

Written by Molly Talbert | on August 8, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

What happens when you combine a passionate segment of your membership with opportunities to make a difference beyond the walls of your association? An advocacy program.

With an advocacy program, your organization can offer added-value for your members while simultaneously positively impacting issues and constituencies important to your industry and members. By giving members an advocacy outlet, you can expand your reach while creating stronger bonds with your current members.

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Topics: Member Communities, Associations, Online Community

How to Find Your Best Content Topics (Without Paying for Market Research)

Written by Julie Dietz on July 27, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

How is your association keeping its offers relevant to members and preparing for the future?

According to a recent study by Leader Networks, most associations – 83 percent – are aligning their products and services to market needs so they meet members’ expectations and stay relevant. That’s a smart goal, but it requires a deep understanding of members and prospects.

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

How to Create a Great Mentoring Program in Your Online Community

Written by Julie Dietz on July 18, 2017 at 8:30 AM | 5 minute read

Mentors are a vital part of any industry. Through mentoring, employees get the chance to learn vital skills and increase competency in ways that boost morale and job satisfaction – something that’s improving with technology.

Online mentoring programs have taken the traditional brick-and-mortal experience to a new level, providing anytime, anywhere access to expertise, insights, and perspective that enhance job performance and outcomes. Associations, which are widely-recognized experts in their industries, are stepping up to offer such programs. Many times, mentoring programs even evolve into a key member benefit for professional associations.

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Topics: Millennials, Member Communities, Associations, Online Community

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