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Online Community Blog

The 2017 Community Management List (What's In & What's Out)

Posted by Joshua Paul on Mon, Jan 09, 2017 @ 08:30 AM

I wonder what is was that convinced the last person using dancing palm trees on their website to stop in the late 90s or early 2000s.

Was is feedback from their market, a grouchy boss’s comments, or an epic marketing fail?

Have you ever been caught using a tactic or touting a trend when it was past its prime?

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Tags: User Groups, Customer Engagement, Online Community Management

The Business Case for Starting a User Group

Posted by Kaila Timmons on Tue, Feb 23, 2016 @ 08:30 AM

Socious has helped dozens of companies plan, manage, and grow user groups in the last decade. From that experience, we can definitively say that you can tell a lot about a company by how they view their user group (or the idea of starting a user group if they don’t have one). 

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Tags: User Group Management, User Community Software, Social Business, User Groups

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

How to Create an Engaging User Group Community Website

Posted by Joshua Paul on Tue, Mar 04, 2014 @ 02:00 PM

The first user groups were launched in the 1950s. People using technology, such as IBM’s mainframe systems, came together into loose clubs to support each other, spread best practices, and share ideas. From the dawn of the micro-computing revolution through the proliferation of web-based software, software and technology user groups have grown in importance and numbers.

While user groups have their roots in early technological platforms, today, user groups are a major force behind the voice of customers for almost all software and technology companies. While many in the business technology arena have been members of, worked alongside, or operated on the periphery of user groups, user group management is still a fuzzy concept due to their organic origins.

  • Should your company run the user group or should it be run by your customers?
  • Can you still get the customer advocacy and product feedback benefits if your user group is not fully run by volunteers?
  • Where do you find people willing to dedicate their time to setting up your user group?
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Tags: User Group Software, User Group Management, User Community Software, Social Business, User Groups, User Community

5 Signs Your Online User Community Will Thrive in Its First 12 Months

Posted by Joshua Paul on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 @ 08:44 AM

Social business investments can be risky. Launching your company’s own private social network for customers, employees, or partners can make any businessperson feel somewhat panicky when they do not have all the information they need.

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Tags: Association Management, Social Business, Online Community, User Groups, User Engagement

4 CEO-Friendly Reasons for Your Business to Create a User Group / Community

Posted by Joshua Paul on Tue, Oct 09, 2012 @ 01:36 PM

CEOs are special people.

The good ones do more listening than talking. However, when they are listening, they are always weighing what they are hearing against all of the other company strategies and objectives.

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Tags: Social Business, Online Community, Customer Communities, User Groups

4 Must-Have Features for Every User Group Online Community

Posted by Paul Schneider on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 @ 01:52 PM

A company’s user groups are an important part of their customer management strategy. The benefits can be profound - from enhancing support to building client and corporate relationships to differentiating a company in a competitive market.

One of the most important elements of a user group is their private online community. However, there are numerous social features in online community software and many companies don’t know which features they should include in their user group community to create value for customers and keep members engaged.

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Tags: Online Community Software, Association Management, Social Business, Customer Communities, User Groups

Customer Engagement Lessons from an Oracle User Group Leader

Posted by Joshua Paul on Fri, Aug 17, 2012 @ 10:41 AM

We often write about how the foundation for an online user community’s success is built on 1) providing overwhelming value and 2) providing an environment where users and company representatives can have private, open, and constructive discussions.

In a recent conversation on Socious’ ProCommunity podcast, I discussed how customer communities and companies can engage one another more effectively with Lew Conner, Executive Director of The Higher Education User Group, a thriving independent user group community of Oracle and PeopleSoft customers.

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Tags: Association Management, Social Business, Online Community, Customer Communities, User Groups, Customer Engagement

How to Leverage Your User Community to Drive Product Innovation

Posted by Joshua Paul on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 @ 08:47 AM

Product management is everything - from the presidential campaign to Apple’s success to the local brewery that created a special beer-drinking glass to differentiate their customer experience.

The role of product management is to design, develop, and launch products that will fly off the shelves in your market. Business development people love product managers because they hold the key to making marketing and sales very painless.

The challenge is doing product management well. The key to a successful product strategy is making decisions based on quantitative and qualitative data from your market in order to:

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Tags: Online Community Software, Association Management, Social Business, User Groups, Innovation, Product Management

Using Your Online Community After an Event [Quick Concept]

Posted by Paul Schneider on Wed, Sep 21, 2011 @ 09:50 AM

In keeping with Socious' mission to help companies and membership organizations create successful online customer communities, every week or two, we are going to break down a community or engagement-related concept into digestible ideas and actionable tips. In this post, we are going to cover the value of a gated online community after an event or conference.

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Tags: Association Management, Social Business, Online Community, User Groups

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About Socious

We help associations and user groups take a community-first approach to managing their members.

About Socious MemberCloud Association Management Software & Community Platform

Our membership management and online community software is designed to help you provide value to your members, rather than wrestle with complex and expensive back-end systems. Learn more about Socious software and services.

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