Online Community Blog

I’m Interested in Starting a Customer Community, But What Does it REALLY Take?

Posted by Nick Davis on Tue, Nov 24, 2015 @ 02:18 PM

So, you are considering building an online customer community, but where do you start? What is it going to take?

You have probably seen several other businesses, maybe even competitors, launch their own online communities as a way to drive business, increase customer satisfaction, and even reduce your operating and support costs.  And starting a community may not be as hard an undertaking as you might think. Take it from founder of the Center for Customer Engagement, Bill Lee, when he said that, “more companies can build customer communities than think they can.”

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Tags: Association Management, Customer Communities, Online Community Management

Five Tech Tools that Every Association Needs to Be a Leader in Their Industry

Posted by Nick Davis on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 @ 08:30 AM

Over the past decade technology has changed at lightning speed. Systems are more intuitive and user friendly than ever before, as sites like Slack and Twitter continue to garner mass use with simplicity.

Innovative association professionals understand the importance of keeping an eye on technology because ultimately it is a cost-effective way to streamline daily operations and keep members engaged. Often budgets are tight and head count is restricted, so adopting technology may be one of the only ways to meet increased demands with limited resources.

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Tags: Association Management, Member Engagement, Membership Database, Association Trends

How to Manage Your Online Community Without a Full-Time Community Manager

Posted by Crystal Coleman on Tue, Nov 17, 2015 @ 08:55 AM

In an ideal world, every online community would have a perfectly suited team of community managers working full-time to make the community awesome. Unfortunately, the reality of business needs and priorities often means that communities have to prove their value before upper management will commit to a full-time employee for them. This common situation, in turn, makes it difficult to really focus the time and effort that’s needed to get value out of a community. It’s a Catch-22.

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Tags: Association Management, Social Business, Online Community Management

How to Market Your Association’s Virtual Memberships Like a Tech Company

Posted by Christina Green on Thu, Nov 12, 2015 @ 07:30 AM

Take a second and go out to the Google Play Store or iTunes, and search for free apps. How many came up? Some number this side of a google? (Sorry, bad pun.) But the answer is a lot, right?

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Tags: Association Management, Member Benefits, Association Trends

Starting a User Group? Save Time By Answering These 10 Questions First

Posted by Joshua Paul on Tue, Nov 10, 2015 @ 09:05 AM

The land on which your business completes is shifting. Product features and marketing messages no longer rule the day. According to research from analyst firm, Gartner, “89% of companies surveyed plan to compete primarily on the basis of the customer experience by 2016.”

For many companies, user groups have long been a big part of building a stand-out customer experience. The prominence of user group communities had been overshadowed by talk of using social networks to engage customers. However, user groups never went away. In fact, user groups are once again becoming a central part of business’ customer relationship strategies.

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Tags: User Group Software, User Group Management, User Community Software, Association Management, User Groups, User Community

7 Attractive Member Benefits for Virtual Members of Your Association

Posted by Christina Green on Thu, Nov 05, 2015 @ 08:41 AM

Have you ever noticed the large number of corporate brands that market on some variation of having it your wayThere’s Burger King, Subway, Kmart, Walt Disney World, and many others.

While Burger King started marketing that way 40 years ago, with the advent of social media and online retailers, personalized shopping experiences like you find with Amazon—offering people what they want on their terms—are becoming more of an expectation than a luxury.

This trend in customer expectations extends well beyond consumer brands. For associations and other membership organizations, part of meeting members on their terms is allowing them to interact with your organization in the hours that are convenient for them.

This means more virtual engagement opportunities and offerings for members who are unable to attend member events, committee meetings, and industry conferences in person.  

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Tags: Association Management, Member Engagement, Association Trends

How to Build Customer Feedback Into Your Product Development Process

Posted by Crystal Coleman on Tue, Nov 03, 2015 @ 08:40 AM

Consumers are expecting more out of the companies they purchase from and for the most loyal customers, being a part of the product development process is a key want.

While emails and phone calls to customer service teams are still popular, more and more customers are turning to owned or social communities for solutions to their problems and providing feedback on products. A 2013 JD Power survey found that 67% of consumers have used a company’s social media site for servicing.

By now, most companies know that engaging and responding to these audiences is necessary in today’s marketplace, but what are you doing with all that feedback after you solve a customer’s problem? Truly smart companies take the feedback they get from customers and use it to influence their product development process and make the best products for their customers.

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Tags: Social Business, Customer Communities, Product Management

Is a Virtual Membership Option Right for Your Association?

Posted by Christina Green on Thu, Oct 29, 2015 @ 08:30 AM

Recently we passed the milestone of Back to the Future Day. October 21st, 2015 was the future day that Doc sent Marty McFly to in one stylish ride. There, McFly saw a lot of bad fashion and cool things like hoverboards, flying cars, and Jaws 19, the movie.

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Tags: Association Management, Membership Management, Membership Marketing, Association Trends

Online Community Management Plan: How To Get Buy-In From Across Your Company [VIDEO]

Posted by Katie Oakes on Tue, Oct 27, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

It takes a village to launch and maintain an active online customer community. The most successful customer and member communities are supported by many people in addition to the community management team. 

So where should you start building your coalition? Right inside your company walls.

No community is built on the shoulders of just one department. Look to executives across all departments and leave no email unsent when it comes to educating people and getting multiple business areas involved.

Before you build value for your community members, you need to show the value to internal staff and stakeholders.

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Tags: Social Business, Online Community, Online Community Management

How to Crush the First 90 Days Before You Launch an Online Community

Posted by Crystal Coleman on Thu, Oct 22, 2015 @ 08:20 AM

You’ve come up with the idea for your branded community. You’ve gotten the approval and the budget and brought a community manager on board. All the signs are go and it’s time to send out a press release and launch your community, right? The short answer is… maybe.

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Tags: Social Business, Online Community, Online Community Management

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Customers Love Online CommunitiesSocious provides online community software and services to companies and associations to increase revenue, improve customer retention, and create more market-driven profitable products. Learn more about Socious online community software.

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