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 Community Feature #2: Social Feed

Follr Behind the ScenesFor our second installment of #BehindTheScenes (for part one see Follr Community Feature #1: Advanced Messaging), we’re taking a look at Follr’s “Social Feed”.

Follr’s Social Feed allows you to combine all of your social network, blog and community content – up to 40 social media platforms! – into one, easy-to-digest social feed. Easily browse your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest news feeds, right alongside each other, or toggle amongst them with one click! And better yet, seamlessly syndicate any piece of content to ALL of them with one click! Not only does information come in via Follr Social Feed, but it can blasted out as well. If that’s not a good reason to create your Follr Profile today, we don’t know what is!

Follr Social Feed

Follr Community Feature #1: Advanced Messaging

Follr Behind the ScenesHere is a behind the scenes look at one of our latest Follr Community Features: Advanced Messaging. We may be biased, but we’re pretty sure we lay claim to the most diverse and useful messaging capability of any online community platform out there today.

As a Follr Online Community Manager, you’re able to direct message one, several or all of your community members with just a few clicks. You can manage which email addresses the message is sent to and from, and which email address you’d like responses to be delivered to. And all of this can be done without even logging in to the community.

Follr Community Advanced Messaging

Advanced messaging, as described by our product developer, Mark Wayman, is “A powerful… and unique tool to encourage a growing membership…This [tool] can be used for general updates, to make introductions between members – a general communication tool.”

Create a custom Follr Community now and utilize this innovative new tool to connect with your network today!

Page Load Speeds and Your Online Community – by Gina Narramore, 4-Roads

Please enjoy this first post from new Guest Blogger, Gina Narramore of 4-Roads! #Follr Gina & 4-Roads on Twitter and check out more about Online Community Strategy Org 4-Roads here

There is no denying – the way the Internet is presented is constantly changing. In today’s hyper-connected world, web pages are much richer and contain more functionality, which results in increased amounts of page data and external resources to power them.

As technology advances, web users have become to expect a visually appealing community sites, and fast page loading times. The speed at which a browser loads your community content, means the difference between engagement or abandonment – a problem which could be detrimental to your online community.

Often, efforts to optimize web code, including the reduction of overall site density to improve download performance, are not enough to ensure a healthy and successful online community.

Page load speeds have to be considered. This post shows how a decrease in page load and rendering times benefit an online community.

Reduce Bounce rate

A web user may be searching for a particular type of online community to satisfy a certain motivation they may have. Your community may appear in their results due to keywords you’ve selected or ads you’re displaying on search engines. But, when this user lands on your community site, they immediately see that you don’t have what they’re looking for and they click away.

If your messaging is correct and your keywords accurate, it is important to take a closer look at website download speeds as a contributing factor to higher bounce rates within your online community.

A key factor contributing to high bounce rates is slow download speeds, especially for mobile site downloads. A user may initiate a visit to your online community and because the page takes too long to load, they abandon the community almost right away.

Enhance SEO

Since 2010, Google announced that the speed at which a web page loads would impact search rankings. Additionally, at SMX Advanced, Google’s Matt Cutts said that mobile sites, which are slow in performance, would be penalised.

Research, carried out by Zoompf, concluded that both front and back-end performance factors do correlate to increased rankings. They also state on the Moz Blog:

“We do know that fast loading websites gain more visitors, who visit more pages, for longer period of times, who come back more often, and are more likely to purchase products or click ads. In short, faster websites make users happy, and happy users promote your website through linking and sharing. All of these things contribute to improving search engine rankings.”

This statement is also valid with regards to online communities – if members are happy, they return, engage, become brand advocates and promote the community to gain new memberships.

Increase customer satisfaction

According to Kissmetrics, a one second delay in page loading time will decrease customer satisfaction by about 16% and 44% will people will tell their friends if they have a bad online experience.

This is supported in a study by the Aberdeen Group, which estimates that this one-second delay in page load time also results in a 7% loss in conversions and 11% fewer page views. This successfully provides evidence that optimising how quickly your community site loads, can have a significant impact engagement, response, conversions, and sales.

Higher engagement

If a user can’t find the information quickly on your community site homepage or their search is hindered by slow download performance, they will go elsewhere – likely to be a competitive site that can provide the expected content and download speeds – resulting in loss of online community engagement.

The order of how community content is delivered through the browser has an impact on whether someone engages quickly with your community or not.  Ultimately, it matters more how quickly a user is engaged than it does how fast an entire page loads.

Increase conversions

As page-load time increases, likely conversion rates will drop. This is confirmed by Kissmetrics, which shows 47% of consumers expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less. After this peak the rate drops by 6.7% for each additional second.

A conversion is when a visitor takes any type of action on your site. Within an online community, a conversion could be a membership sign-up or when a member submits a post within the community. As these are obvious benefits – which could ensure the health of your online community – taking steps to increase conversions should be considered.

An online community may already be seeing an adequate number of visitors, but there is failure to convert them in to members. Other than providing engaging and relevant content, download speed could be a factor that is impacting conversion rates.

For more of Gina’s expertise stay tuned to the #FollrBlog as she’ll be guest-posting on a bimonthly basis! 

5 Proven Tips to Build a Collaborative Community

Social collaboration is one of the best ways to quickly build a fun and enthusiastic community online.

People want to enjoy being part of a community, engaging with others in conversation and discussions, sharing and working together. People want to feel as though they offer value to a community.

As most community managers will tell you each member of a community brings value, encouraging them to share and collaborate helps grow their personal sense of value within the community.

There are no set ways to build a collaborative community, there are a lot of “best practice” ideas to help move your community toward that goal. Looking at some of those ideas, we present to you…
5 Tips to Build a Collaborative (and fun) Community.

Build an online community that is fun and collaborative with follr Communities

1. Moderation.

Moderation is the key. Not in the “too much” of something is bad, but in the case of moderate the community interaction.

Helping your community keep civil and respectful conversations going is the key to encouraging additional contribution from other members. Striking the balance between a passionate conversation with respect for individual opinions and one in which things go “too far” and it becomes a person attack is a tricky matter.

Try to encourage the mantra “Don’t take it personally” – people don’t like to contribute if they feel it will cause a confrontation or a negative response.

Acknowledge all posts and responses with a positive tone things to say like “I am so glad you shared your opinion with us. It’s good to have a different point of view on something” can go a long way to setting the tone of others responses to the individual post.

2. Keep it intriguing and ask for responses.

Communities are focused around specific topics or areas of interest. Keeping the focus but making the content intriguing or interesting will help to build collaborative contribution of the members.

Focus on easy to reply topics, questions or posts. A favorite example among a lot of people is a simple question like “Diet Cola or Regular Cola?” This is easy to respond and most everyone can answer this. It is a fun way to draw people into a conversation and see how many people are really lurking around and not engaging.

Keep it topical or within the established tone of the community. Sometimes it’s not appropriate to take things too lightheartedly.

3. Lead by example and share valuable content.

Incentive posting. Make it fun and competitive, keep track of community members Follr score. When they post they get points, making it competitive by celebrating the top 5 collaborators each week will go a long way to helping build community engagement and collaboration.

People LOVE to compete and naturally are inclined to try their best to “win”. By encouraging the use of score tracking, people will engage more, interact with others and grow their collaborative contributions.

This is a great method to help identify potential community moderators to share the moderation responsibilities of the community.

4. If you Tag them, they will come.

You see it all the time if you ever watch some of the top social media community engagers. They post a question, or share something and tag a few people. It isn’t that they specifically want those people to see the post, they know those people will have an opinion or response.

The natural community engagers amongst us all understand that sometimes you need to use the flashing neon sign approach to say “Hey, Over HERE! Notice this!” Implementing this idea to help encourage new members to begin contributing is a great way to push someone toward center stage and make them feel important.

If you tag them, they will come. Make it a regular practice.

5. Support and respect contributions from the community

If the community trusts that they are not putting themselves at risk for “judgment” as we established the tone and nurturing above, they are more likely to take the “risk” and collaborate in content creation for the community.

Be sure to acknowledge, share, promote and even tag others to get into the conversation and respond to a post. You are a social media cheerleader if you are a community manager and leader.

Keep building on these tips and you will have a vibrant and engaging online community in no time!

Follr Community Feature #2: Social Feed

Follr Behind the ScenesFor our second installment of #BehindTheScenes (for part one see Follr Community Feature #1: Advanced Messaging), we’re taking a look at Follr’s “Social Feed”.

Follr’s Social Feed allows you to combine all of your social network, blog and community content – up to 40 social media platforms! – into one, easy-to-digest social feed. Easily browse your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest news feeds, right alongside each other, or toggle amongst them with one click! And better yet, seamlessly syndicate any piece of content to ALL of them with one click! Not only does information come in via Follr Social Feed, but it can blasted out as well. If that’s not a good reason to create your Follr Profile today, we don’t know what is!

Follr Social Feed

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

You Need to Know: The 2 Main Types of Community Performance Statistics!

Follr MetricsAs you start building your online social community, it can be hard to gauge how well (or not-so-well) you’re doing. Different community performance statistics mean different things and certain communities’ success are more reliant on certain measures of performance than others. Here we attempt to break down the two major types of performance indicators for any online community, and provide tips on how to better manage and increase your desired metrics!

Two broad types of Performance Indicators:

1. REACH

Reach is one general sub-category of community performance. On the most basic level, reach can translate to metrics like the number of page views, clicks, and new members. Additionally, reach can be more literal – as in the geographical reach you have according to the physical location of your members, and even the spread of your members’ ages. The former are basic measures of reach you’ll want to increase by:

  1. Including relevant and clever content, as well as 2-3 related hashtags per post
  2. Directly tagging “key,” socially-savvy members in posts and comments

The latter, more literal metrics of reach are imperative to building a rich and diverse community. Take time once a week or so to visit some of your members’ profiles and get an idea of these reach statistics.  Increase geographic and chronological reach by:

  1. Posting content applicable to all ages and ethinicities
  2. Specifically asking certain groups of people to chime in on topic discussions. Example: asking #NewEnglanders to share their favorite weekend road trip spot, even if your community is focused on Midwest travel & tourism.

2. ENGAGEMENT

Once you’ve got a steady stream of members visiting your community, you’ll start to be more concerned with engagement. Engagement is a broad term for how and how often your members interact with community content and other community members. Some solid engagement metrics to live by are time spent on your site, the number of comments and/or discussion posts, and the diversity of topics members touch on. Smart community builders can hone in on certain “gem” members who frequently interact with several other members on several different topics. Direct message these members and thank them for being such a vibrant edition to your online community! Do you have any tips on increasing reach or engagement? Feel free to share in the comments section below!