Category Archives: Community Building

Level Up Your Community Management Skills with Vanilla Certification

Here at Vanilla, we work hard to pair robust functionality with intuitive design. Why? Because our customers need simple ways to meet their complex needs.

Still, customers come to us with questions—not so much about how to use the software—but how to make the most of it. They’re ready to take their communities to the next level, and they see Vanilla as the catalyst for making that happen.

Does that sound familiar?

Today, we’re pleased to announce our first-ever training course: The Vanilla Certification Program.

In this course, you’ll learn how to use our software to become a rock-star community manager. After successfully completing the program, we’re confident Vanilla will become the #1 weapon in your community management arsenal.

We’ve specifically tailored the course content for whoever handles community management in your organization. It consists of three core components:

  • Online video lectures designed to let you study at your own pace
  • A live session with one of Vanilla’s seasoned product experts
  • A comprehensive exam to prove you know your stuff

Here’s the course in sequence:

Module 1 – In this video lecture, we’ll give you a comprehensive introduction to Vanilla’s software. You’ll also learn how your customers interact with the forums.

Module 2 – In the second lecture, you’ll learn how to properly set up your community on Vanilla. Our instructor will share with you the best practices you need to build a solid foundation.

Module 3 – This third video lecture will show you important features for forum moderation and will teach you essential techniques for effectively managing discussions.

Module 4 – The fourth and final video lecture will acquaint you with Vanilla’s various administrative features so that you can confidently tweak your forum for optimal community interaction.

Module 5 – In this live web session, you’ll learn from one of our product experts about the philosophical, theoretical, and mindset issues that go into community management as well as how best to measure success. They’ll also get you ready for the final exam.

Final Exam – No, you’re not back in college. The final exam is designed to test what you’ve learned and help you identify areas for improvement. Trust us; you’ll do just fine.

Upon successful completion of the course, you’ll receive an official certificate documenting your proficiency in Vanilla. Print it out, put it on your wall, or take it to your boss and demand a raise. Whatever you do with it, you’ll have our official imprimatur as a certified Vanilla pro.

The cost of certification is $200 per person. Contact your Customer Success Manager for more information.

Navigating the Financial Services Seas With Online Communities

With the amount of investment options out there, it can tough to decide where to dock your cash. Financial services power-houses are helping the novice investor navigate the “green” sea with online community solutions.

Charles Schwab

The Schwab Trading Community is an online social network where Schwab clients can participate in timely discussions with like-minded traders on both short and long-term investing topics, gain exclusive access to Schwab and third party trading experts via blogs, tips, tricks and tutorials on Schwab’s trading platform, and live financial webinars. Continue reading

Monetization without Alienation: How to Convert your Community to Cash without Ruining It

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar:

You’ve spent six months cultivating an online community around something that you’re incredibly passionate about. Whether you’ve done it by way of a forum, an Instagram account, or a blog, you’re starting to see people coalesce around your vision.

This all feels great, but you’ve also got kids to feed and bills to pay. Unfortunately, your landlord doesn’t accept rent payment in retweets and backlinks.

Your passion has you working into the wee hours of the morning while your day job keeps the lights on. Meanwhile, you never see your significant other and you’re only sleeping 4 hours a night. Continue reading

The Short Newbies Guide to Community Strategy

Congratulations, you’re a community manager! In this role, you’ll be responsible for extending the reach and recognition of your brand, upping engagement levels, and improving customer satisfaction. These factors are critical to a brand’s success, but don’t be overwhelmed with the newfound responsibility.

Instead, follow these steps to create a community strategy that will show your managers why they hired you in the first place! Continue reading

How Fintech Startups are Building Trust through Customer Experience

The financial industry is undergoing a major shift today in terms of how it’s perceived by their customers. Trust in legacy institutions is slowly eroding, as anyone who’s been following Wells Fargo probably knows. Their recent phony account scandal could cost the bank up to $8 billion in deposits by the time it’s all said and done.

The big difference between today and twenty years ago is that consumers now have an enormous amount of financial service or fintech options to choose from to cover each and every area of their financial needs. There are apps for savings, investing, insurance, and e-payments. Consumers can simply take their money elsewhere in a matter of days, minutes, or even seconds. Continue reading