Category Archives: Community Building

What to Look for in an Online Community Platform

In the age of social networking, you can’t succeed in business (or anything, for that matter) without building an online community. While there are lots of ways to do that, one of the earliest questions you’ll ask yourself is whether you should develop your own platform or go with a hosted solution.

For this post, let’s assume you’ve decided to go with a hosted platform. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, there’s no shortage of hosted options out there. While we have two helpful reports to help you sort through the options (quick & easy or slow & thorough), I want to give you a quick rundown of the basic things to look for when you’re choosing a platform. Continue reading

5 Tools Community Managers Can’t Live Without

Managing a community is hard work. It involves constant time spent analyzing data, looking for and creating relevant content, planning new posts, and interacting with members. If you want to succeed as a community manager and sleep more than 3 hours a night, you need help.

Here are five areas where the right tool will help save you invaluable time and energy. While I’ll give a specific example under each heading, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to try more than one tool. See what works best for you and go with it. Continue reading

When is a Forum Really Dead?

Let’s be honest. Not every forum “makes it.” Sometimes despite your best effort, and hours spent posting, promoting, and engaging, your forum still fails. You log in, and stare at a barren forum, devoid of activity or engagement, and it’s very easy to be disheartened.

Trust me, I’ve had the sad task of writing a couple of community obituaries in my time, even though the best intentions to succeed were there. From these experiences, however, I am left with the knowledge of just how powerful a successful forum can be for any company or brand. I’ve also learned a thing or two along the way about what works and what doesn’t. Continue reading

How to Demonstrate Community as an Asset to Your Organization

Hosting an online community is a big investment; from licensing the community platform to having dedicated resources allocated in supporting its activities. So you’ll inevitably hear the questions “What’s our return on investment?” and “Is the community achieving our organizational goals?” from executives and senior management.

And what really gets their attention is when you can speak in terms of hard dollars. Be prepared to have those conversation by being armed with these success metrics. Continue reading

3 Online Community Predictions for 2017

If you have a product, you’re almost expected to have an online community component. However, community managers have put too much emphasis on member adoption in the past year, and instead, need to focus more on nurturing and engaging the members they already have. Here are three predictions for 2017 on engaging existing members in product communities. Continue reading