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HigherLogic and Socious

Online Community Blog

Katie Oakes

Recent Posts

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

Better Customer Surveys: 6 Ways to Improve Your Results

Posted by Katie Oakes on Thu, Oct 15, 2015 @ 08:24 AM

What would it mean to your organization to have consistent insight into your customers' problems and ongoing feedback about your solutions? If you're like most businesses, this information would help your company make smarter decisions in a host of areas.

Helping businesses acquire this valuable data is why the $11+ billion U.S. market research industry is continues to grow. While some companies outsource their customer research, others handle it in-house.

For those companies that manage their customer research themselves, creating and sending a survey to customers is the easy part. There are a lot of great tools available for you to conduct customer surveys - from standalone email survey systems to survey features built into your customer community software platform.

It is getting customers to respond where businesses struggle. 

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Tags: Social Business, Customer Engagement, Customer Experience

How to Leverage Your Customer Community to Achieve Real Revenue Growth

Posted by Katie Oakes on Wed, Oct 14, 2015 @ 08:08 AM

You’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the role that developing strong customer communities will play in transforming and growing businesses. That is the common wisdom among the people who are in the trenches implementing customer community strategies for the world’s leading organizations.

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Tags: Social Business, Customer Communities, Customer Engagement

The Secret to Creating a Private Online Community for Developers

Posted by Katie Oakes on Thu, Oct 01, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

Online customer communities come in many shapes and flavors. Some online customer communities provide support for end users of products and services. Others are designed to keep partners engaged and informed.

Some audiences are more difficult to engage than others. Among the most challenging people to engage in an online community are developers. Online developer communities play an important role in helping enterprise companies to extend their products, create advocates in the market, and help customers get results.

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Tags: Online Community Software, B2B Online Communities

How to Write Emails Your Association Members Will Open

Posted by Katie Oakes on Tue, Sep 29, 2015 @ 08:38 AM

There are a lot of mediums available when it comes to engaging your customers or members—social media, your online community, email, etc. Each serves its own purpose and comes with its own set of best practices advantages and disadvantages.

Email is a marketing channel that has shifted in usage and popularity over time, making it increasingly harder to capture the attention of your members. Organizations of all types and sizes have taken to emails as a primary way to get the word out about content offers, program, events, and products. This means that before you can vie for an open, we have to make it out of the spam filter or Outlook’s latest “clutter” folder.  

Regardless of how great your content is, if your association emails aren’t getting opened, your message isn’t getting out there. Convincing people with overflowing inboxes to click on your email takes a little finesse. Here are some things you can do to improve your open rate.

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Tags: Association Management, Online Community, Email Communication

9 Must-Read Takeaways for Marketing, Sales, & Community Pros from #INBOUND15

Posted by Katie Oakes on Thu, Sep 24, 2015 @ 09:08 AM

It’s taken us two weeks to climb out of our inboxes and organize our notes from INBOUND, a gathering of over 14,000 marketing and sales professionals in Boston. This year's conference was again an amazing experience that has really upgraded the chit-chat around the water cooler.

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Tags: Social Business, Online Community, Marketing Strategy

6 Tips For Business People Who Are New To Online Community Management

Posted by Katie Oakes on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 @ 09:00 AM


Due to its newness in our business lexicon, "online community management" is a term that is often met by feelings of confusion. Most business people don't have much experience with online community strategies.

Research often reports online communities strategies amongst the most effective marketing and customer relationship strategies, while it is also one of the most underutilized approaches.

However, with proper resource planning. learning how to launch, plan, and grow your community doesn’t have to be so scary.

So, take a deep breath and read on. It’s really just like learning anything else in business. It's a process with best practices and tips to make it easy.

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Tags: Social Business, Online Community Management, B2B Online Communities, Private Online Communities

Best Online Community Tips from the Week of September 13, 2015

Posted by Katie Oakes on Sat, Sep 19, 2015 @ 07:55 AM

The Socious Top Ten for the Week of September 13th 2015

Did you have a busy week? Let Socious help you get caught up! Check out this past week's most useful new online community management and customer engagement tips.

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Tags: Social Business, Online Community, Online Community Management

Volunteer Management: 12 Volunteer Opportunities for Members in Your Online Community

Posted by Katie Oakes on Thu, Sep 17, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

A major issue for associations everywhere is the acquisition of volunteers. It is not uncommon for an association’s organizational structure to have volunteers that outnumber the staff. Typically, one staff member is doing the job of three, so finding volunteers is critical to their sanity.

Convincing someone to volunteer time out of their over-scheduled life is no simple task. Also, the people that you are recruiting are simultaneously being propositioned by other organizations. You’re competing against PTA, sports leagues, homework, aging parents, walking the dog, work schedules, even enjoying a night of doing nothing at all. Your members are pulled in different directions and the last thing any of them have is time.

Thus, it’s time to find some new ways to engage your members. As the demand for telecommuting and flexible scheduling grows, it is important that associations embrace a similar philosophy. Starting with volunteerism on members’ terms.

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Tags: Association, Association Management, Online Community Management, Volunteer Management

Quick Tip: Is Creating an Online Community Right for Your Organization? [Video]

Posted by Katie Oakes on Tue, Sep 08, 2015 @ 09:00 AM


I field a lot of questions in my day-to-day phone calls and emails with organizations researching online communities. I’m about to help a variety of different types of businesses and membership organizations, at all different stages of the research and planning processes.

The questions I answer most often center around the doubts and obstacles that come into play when considering launching an online community.  

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Tags: Online Community, Online Community Management, B2B Online Communities

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