Follr Founder Stephen Fells Discusses Leveraging Technology To Power Online Communities

In the following video, from the Flight to Freedom event held in San Diego, CA, Follr CEO Stephen Fells discusses how Follr technology is powering online communities and helping brands distribute content while protecting brand and generating revenue.

Flight To Freedom Small

The event, for entrepreneurs, investors and philanthropists “is designed to enhance collaboration between the vibrant entrepreneurial community in Bay Area and other groups around the world.”

Follr Community Feature: Activity Digest

Follr Behind the ScenesFor this week’s Follr Community Feature we’re highlighting ‘Activity Digest Emails’.

With your custom Follr Community, you’re able to send a weekly engagement email to all members summarizing that week’s activity. The email will highlight the most popular content, discussions, interactions, etc. Should there be a slow week with no activity, no email will be sent to avoid annoying, empty emails. This is a great way for members to be reminded of what they’re missing each week and to increase engagement!

Follr Activity Digest

Follr Releases New Community Features!

Follr New FeaturesSeveral new community features are up and running on Follr.com. With this latest release, communities can be created – and grow! – more easily. New capabilities include, among others, a more streamlined “joining” experience, more opportunities for customization by administrators, and engagement tools that make it easier than ever to communicate and connect with members. Four of the most game-changing features are described below.

  1. Custom Content

Community administrators can now add custom HTML to the content and sidebar areas of the community page. This means easy-breezy embedding of content from other sites. (Think YouTube, banner ads, Strava, etc.)

  1. Member Invitations

Inviting members to join your community is as easy as sending a quick email. Simply enter email addresses – or upload a whole list! – and Follr will check for duplicate or invalid emails before queuing up a default email for administrators to review and customize if they wish. Invites can also be sent via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+. As soon as invites are sent, admins can see progress on their dashboard.

  1. Messaging

Administrators can also direct message one, several, or all members at once via Follr’s new engagement capability. This is convenient for updating all members on important developments, starting private conversations, or connecting/introducing two or more members. Administrators can also authorize other members to use this messaging capability via an email request.

  1. Activity Digest

Follr will send a weekly engagement email to all members summarizing that week’s activity. The email will highlight community progress, popular content and interactions etc. This is a great way for members to be reminded of what they’re missing each week. And should there be a slow week with no activity, no email will be sent to avoid annoying, empty emails.

Visit Follr.com now to get started and let us know what you think of these new features!

Fool-Proof Guidelines for Online Community Building

Online Community Guidelines FollrBuilding an online community – whether it’s for your business, special interest, religious group, or even your child’s little league team – can seem like a constant uphill battle. If you’re struggling with your online community, or if you just want a few tips on how to enhance yours, we’ve got your all-you-need-to-know, comprehensive-yet-concise guide to online community building here. You’ll find tips on how to get started, what and when to post, and how to retain members/followers.

 

Getting Started

–               Once you’ve chosen your platform get to know the site by clicking around to other members’ profiles and communities. Take note of what you like and what you don’t like, a.k.a. learn from others’ mistakes.

–               Decide who your target audience is and don’t divert from it. Focus directly on this group of people and start following key prospective members on twitter and other social media outlets.

–               Search relevant hashtags and see what others are talking about around your topic or interest. This will tell you the kind of content you should start posting and discussing once you have your community up and running.

–               Keep in mind that building a following of members is not a one-time job. Keep searching and following, keep joining conversations and continue to invite key prospective people to your community. Shoot for one new active member per day.

–               Once you have a small community of members, start connecting them! Search their profiles for skills or interests they might have in common and encourage them to communicate with one another. If your followers see you as a connector who wants to help build their reputation and career, they’ll be more inclined to do the same.

–               When you get stuck, take a peek at this great list of Online Community Building Resources.

Posting & Engagement

–               Post content between 3-5 times per day and always once at the very least (yes, even if you’re on vacation!). Members want to see consistency and commitment.

–               Post original content – a link to your most recent blog post or, a conversation starter, etc. – at least once every other day, and post other relevant content often. Just make sure the source is credible and you’ve read the article in its entirety first.

–               ALWAYS respond to a member’s contribution with a thoughtful and gracious response.

–               Keep in touch with members who may become less active over time. Reach out and ask about a project their working on or a life event.

–               Frequent and meaningful Engagement is the key to scoring and retaining members. Keep at it no matter what and always be positive.

Member Retention

–               Offer thought-provoking content related to your topic of interest or business. Your goal is to make your community a staple of their online experience.

–               Try one of these 4 Online Community Engagement Ideas and see which one(s) your members respond to best.

–               Be candid. Put yourself out there. Tell the truth. Give members something they can relate to. They’ll feel more connected and feel drawn to keep checking in every once in a while to see what’s new.

Good Luck with your new online community!

How To Share Content Across Multiple Social Networks With One Click

We’ve rolled out lots of new Follr features and here are details on one of the more popular. If you have news or anything you want to share with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Follr allows you to do that with one click!

Having logged into your account click “Manage”:

Follr - Manage Updates

and then select each account you want to connect:

Follr - Update Networks

Return to the homefeed page, type in your update and make sure the ‘All Networks’ box is checked:

Follr - Update

That’s it!

Check back for details on other new Follr features and if you would like to see something added please let us know.

Leveraging Technology To Power Online Communities

In the following video, from the Flight to Freedom event held in San Diego, CA, Follr CEO Stephen Fells discusses how Follr technology is powering online communities and helping organizations distribute content while protecting brand and generating revenue.

The event, for entrepreneurs, investors and philanthropists “is designed to enhance collaboration between the vibrant entrepreneurial community in Bay Area and other groups around the world.”

Flight To Freedom Small

Information about this years Flight To Freedom event will be posted shortly. In the interim click here.

Five Reasons to Start an Online Community

To Inspire FollrCreating an online community – especially one on Follr.com! – can be so rewarding. One of the first steps is to get in the mindset of  your target audience and define what it is you want he or she to gain from your community. Do you have special or unique knowledge a member could benefit from? Could you provide a new connection or idea for their business? In order to have an active and thriving group of members – or customers! – on your site, stay true to one of the reasons below.

  1. To Entertain

How many people spend a portion of their day reading blogs or visiting other social networks? I’ll tell you: everybody and their mother. People have long used the internet to relax, zone-out or just take a short break from work so use this fact to your advantage and create a community around perking up people’s down time! Pick a favorite TV series, movie franchise or book as the launch pad for your community.

  1. To Boost Business

Giving your small business a leg-up online is one of, if not THE, most popular reasons for starting an online community. Whether you choose LinkedIn, Facebook or a custom community platform like Follr, building an online presence for your business is a crucial – if not imperative – key to success.

  1. To Connect

One HUGE reason potential members join online communities is affirmation and praise. Completing the registration process and clicking “Join” means they want to be heard, appreciated and noticed for their accomplishments and accolades. Online communities for scholars, writers or more specific groups of achievers are great reasons to start or join and online community. Remember to engage with members directly and often!

  1. To Inspire

Another hot online community focus is self- help and improvement. In this current news era, happiness and mental health are more prominent that ever. Everyone wants to do what they can to better themselves. Offering a quick, easy and welcoming online group with which to do so is bound to have members flocking.

  1. To Fix a Problem

If I had a dollar for every time I looked online for a solution to a problem or a quick fix, I could probably retire! The Internet is so accessible that most people reach for the keyboard before the user manual. Establish an online community as an expert of something you love or create a question and answer forum for specific issues/needs – cooking tips, smart phone fixes, travel and vacation ideas, etc.

Do you have any online community ideas like the ones above? Tell me about them in the comments section below and you could be featured on Links We Love!