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Online Community Software Posts

5 Tips for Staying Sane During Your Online Community System Migration

Written by Elizabeth Bell on December 6, 2019 at 8:30 AM | 4 minute read

Most of us hate moving. It means hassle, stress, PACKING, money, and time, but it’s one of those things you just have to do sometimes. And in the end, it’s usually worth it for a bigger space, a better yard, a faster commute, and more bathrooms.

It’s the same way when you’re planning a system migration, especially when it’s a software platform you’ve invested a lot into, like your online community.

Just remember that moving your online community to get it right is totally worth it. According to Aberdeen Research, firms with online communities:

  • Enjoy 5.4 times greater annual increase in customer satisfaction rates.
  • Achieve 41% greater average customer profit margin
  • Are 2 times more likely to have a formal strategy to encourage loyal customers to become brand advocates
  • Improve (decrease) support costs by 32.9% year-over-year
  • Grow customer retention rates by 15% year-over-year

Since migrating your online community to a new community platform vendor is a big commitment, I’m sure you’ve carefully considered the change. As you project manage the migration, rely on these tips to guide you (and preserve your sanity) as you progress.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Online Community Management, Customer Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Online Community Software, User Group Management, User Group Software, Online Community

6 Must-Have Learning Management System (LMS) Features

Written by Bobby Kaighn on October 3, 2019 at 9:58 AM | 6 minute read

Advanced education (certifications, specialized job training, professional development programs, and competency-based learning) is an area where associations thrive. Not only does this content establish you as a thought leader and invaluable resource in your industry, but it also can be a huge revenue-generator.

You can deliver advanced education for both new and experienced professionals through an easy-to-access, effective Learning Management System, or LMS. But when you’re comparing different LMS software, how do you know which features are essential?

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Topics: Member Communities, Associations, Online Community Software, Member Experience, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Learning Management Systems

2019 State of Community Management: What Now? 5 Stats with Action Items for Executive Stakeholders + Community Leaders

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on June 26, 2019 at 1:08 PM | 5 minute read

The data published in The Community Roundtable’s 10th Annual State of Community Management report was collected from 325 community programs between January and March 2019. ICYMI: We shared a collection of 39 nitty-gritty stats from the report in our first blog recap.

Communities are change agents, there’s no doubt about it. The 2019 State of Community Management report reveals that communities are transforming organizations in fascinating (and profitable) ways. Program outcomes can be connected to a variety of complex business objectives like customer retention, innovation, and culture change.

Because communities are complex, adaptive systems, they have the ability to address a variety of complex problems with a multitude of different solutions.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Customer Communities, Member Communities, Online Community Software, Customer Retention, Customer Success, Online Community

39 Online Community Stats You Should Know in 2019

Written by Elizabeth Bell on June 13, 2019 at 8:58 AM | 6 minute read

The Community Roundtable annually releases The State of Community Management Report, and it’s chock-full of timely online community stats to help inform your strategies in the year ahead.

Community is increasingly recognized as a valuable and effective way to create complex organizational change, and The Community Roundtable’s research has backed up and lead that effort by finding hard data and facts.

We’ve pulled out 39 of our favorite stats from the report (but don’t worry, there’s more stats and info to be had in the full report!)

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

Public Social Network or Private Online Community? 11 Tips to Guide Your Decision

Written by Elizabeth Bell on June 6, 2019 at 2:10 PM | 8 minute read

Would you build your house on rented land? Or move all your belongings into a hotel room?

The answers are obvious. No, you wouldn’t, because you’d be trying to create something permanent in an impermanent place that you don’t own, where things could change at any moment.

Could the same concept apply to building a community for your customers or members on social media? We think so.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Customer Communities, Member Communities, B2B Communities, User Group Communities, Associations, Online Community Software, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience, Member Experience, Member Engagement, Online Community, Integration, Advertising

15 Tips to Help Successfully Move Your Social Media 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 on a Facebook or LinkedIn or Yahoo group 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 group when we transition?
  • What if community users don’t move?
  • What if users start their own rogue communities because they hate our new platform?

But whatever your worries are, moving your community to an official community platform could be what it needs to become even better. Plus, with Yahoo Groups shutting down, it's definitely a good time to think about a new home for your community.

To get you to that new, better place, there are some strategic elements to think about as you transition your community from a social media group to an official community platform. 

(Not sure you want to move to a platform built for community yet? Let this post convince you.)

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

The Importance of Creating an Online Customer Portal with a Sense of Community

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on March 14, 2019 at 11:30 AM | 8 minute read

Have you ever spent time with a toddler who is discovering their independence? The moment a growing tyke learns how to do something new, they feel the need to try and do it themselves. There is a certain level of excitability that comes with their newfound independence and fierce determination – not to mention, a common distaste for being told ‘no.’ Sound relatable?

As grown adults in the modern age of tech booms, DIY-everything, and continuously rising customer service expectations, I don’t think we’re that far removed from the demands of a toddler who wants to be in the driver’s seat of their own experiences (and I’m not surprised).

Did you know that 89 percent of U.S. consumers expect brands or organizations to have an online self-service support portal?

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

7 Ways to Refine Your Buyer Personas with Community Data

Written by Annie Moncure on January 15, 2019 at 8:30 AM | 13 minute read

All great buyer personas are alike; each bad buyer persona is bad in its own way. 

Sound familiar? Well, it’s not exactly how Leo Tolstoy began his classic novel, Anna Karenina, but if he’d been a marketer, we’d bet at least a dollar that he would have.   

And what is that common ingredient that makes all great buyer personas alike

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

Sometimes People Just Need to be Invited [Case Study]

Written by Elizabeth Bell on November 15, 2018 at 7:55 AM | 4 minute read

The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) wanted a better way to increase membership sign-ups and renewals. Like other associations, it had to reach segments of its audience with different messages, which often required manual tasks and was hard to track successfully.

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

5 Questions to Ask Before Jumping Ship on Your AMS

Written by Gabrielle Wathen on October 25, 2018 at 2:00 PM | 10 minute read

An effective association management system (AMS) helps your association improve functionality, streamline operations, empower your members, and increase growth rate. In short, a great AMS is essential.

But, what happens when your AMS isn’t meeting all the needs that you think it should meet? Do you switch? When faced with this decision, there are two common misconceptions many associations fall victim to:

  1. The assumption that their AMS should be an all-in-one solution for every business objective.
  2. If their AMS isn't the all-in-one-solution they thought it would be, they think switching AMS providers is the best solution to fill those gaps.

If this sounds familiar, trust us, your association is not alone in contemplating a switch. However, we’ve seen far too many associations waste valuable time and resources on a switch, only to run into similar dissatisfaction with their new database down the road.

Help us help you avoid this.

We know, we know… you have your reasons for wanting to switch your AMS, but what are they? Our experience tells us you can save your association from months of costly deliberation and implementation woes.

Address these five questions before jumping ship.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Associations, Online Community Software, Marketing Automation, Online Community, Integration

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