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Online Community Software Posts

How to Pick Online Community Software NCAA-Style: Part 2 of 3

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 27, 2012 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

In part one of this three part series, we covered the initial rounds of action in our bracketology approach to selecting a private social network for customers or members. This included how to cast a wide net and pare down your list of private social network providers based on basic functionality, integration, and each company's core focus.

Now, we are on the Sweet Sixteen, where you'll match your organization's plans and parameters with online community software.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

The Bracketology of Selecting a Private Social Network - Part 1 of 3

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM | 2 minute read

One of the questions that companies and associations come to us with often is, "How do I Select the Best Online Community Platform for My Organization?" Most marketing, membership, and customer care professionals understand customer engagement and social media. However, keeping up with the diverse array of online community software offerings, wading through hyperbole, and deciding which platform, cost structure, and support offerings are the best fit for a specific organization can be daunting and overwhelm, even for experienced social media consultants.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Beware of the Private Social Networking Checkbox

Written by Joshua Paul | on March 16, 2012 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

Having a private online community does not, by itself, breed successful customer or member engagement. Many associations and companies are finding that out the hard way.

An often overlooked success factor is how the organization uses and positions their private social network in their overall customer or membership management strategy. Here are three common approaches.

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

How to Select the Right Mobile App for Your Online Community

Written by Joshua Paul | on February 14, 2012 at 8:30 AM | 3 minute read

For many online communities, especially those with members who are busy or don't have consistent access to a desktop or laptop, mobile engagement is a critical part of their online community strategy.

When a business or association decides that in order to keep their customers, employees, partners, or members engaged they need a mobile app that extends their online community, they are soon faced with the decision to develop a native app (the kind you find in an app store) or a mobile web app that uses the phone's browser.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Improve Customer Experience Using One of the Best Online Community Models

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 17, 2012 at 8:51 AM | 2 minute read

Your online community will not be as popular as Apple's iPad was when it launched. It may not even be as popular, as the HP whatever-it-was-called tablet when it was launched. I'm here to tell you that it is OK.

For marketing and membership professionals who are nervous about getting customers to use, engage with, and return to your private online customer or member community, this may be the best news you have heard all year.

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Topics: Customer Experience, Online Community Software, Online Community

3 Social Business Planning Traps to Avoid

Written by Joshua Paul | on January 3, 2012 at 10:57 AM | 3 minute read

Implementing a sustainable social business model can be complicated. When building community into your strategy, you are not only empowering and motivating employees, but relying on customers, prospects, and partners to engage each other and your organization.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

What Kind of Social Networking Does Your Business Need? - Part 1

Written by Joshua Paul | on November 1, 2011 at 11:00 AM | 2 minute read

Last week, I attended an online community business roundtable for small and medium-sized organizations. One of the big questions coming out of the event was, "What are the free tools I can use to build an online community?" Since building community around a business and customer base is new in many B2B and membership organizations, executives often look first to free or low-cost solutions to build customer or member communities.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

3 Online Community Launch Tips Proven to Increase Engagement

Written by Joshua Paul | on October 13, 2011 at 10:31 AM | 3 minute read

We write a lot about the decisions that executives and community owners need to make upfront to create a successful online community. However, what do you do when the ball is rolling? How do you ensure your customers or members to find the community helpful, easy to participate in, and worthy of their time? One of the most important steps to take is testing your community before rolling it out to your entire customer base.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

4 Organizational Reasons Why Private Social Networks Fail (Pt. 2 of 4)

Written by Joshua Paul | on September 13, 2011 at 10:09 AM | 5 minute read

 

Last week, I launched this series on why online customer communities fail in order to help business leaders, association executives, and community managers understand and avoid the most common pitfalls. The last post focused on flawed strategies and misaligned goals. This week, we'll look at the reasons that online communities die that relate to the organization and its senior leadership.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Online Community

Why Associations Avoid Building Their Member Community in LinkedIn Groups

Written by Joshua Paul | on August 30, 2011 at 11:10 AM | 4 minute read

I speak with a lot of associations that are experimenting with different types of social media tools and strategies to figure out which combination has the most positive impact on their organization, mission, and members. A common question I come across is how "members-only" LinkedIn groups and private online community platforms overlap and can work together. While there are some similarities, for instance both provide threaded discussions; the numerous differences are paramount to an association's member engagement strategy.

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Topics: Online Community Software, Social Media, Associations, Online Community

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