SocialEngine Blog

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Announcing the FREE phpFox Importer!

SocialEngine Importer for phpFox

Hi everyone! We’ve got some exciting news!

We know that changing platforms can be a stressful time. The decision to change to the award winning SocialEngine platform shouldn’t be. It should be an exciting time inspired by all the new possibilities. As such, we decided to release a FREE phpFox to SocialEngine importer!

Our dedication to excellence is our highest priority, so when developing our phpFox Importer we decided the best way to build it is to utilize phpFox insiders. We worked with two of the best former phpFox staff members, Raymond Benc and Donna Bryant, to bring you the easiest and most complete phpFox importer on the market. The importer was built by Raymond, founder of the phpFox platform and currently one of our Lead Developers while Donna (data66), well known in the phpFox community and our Chief Evangelist, helped with testing.

This importer works on either V3 or V4 versions of the phpFox platform and works with standard core modules. Should you need to add custom modules, feel free to either add them yourself or ask an Expert in our SocialEngine Marketplace.

We would like to welcome you to the family and thank you for choosing SocialEngine to power your community! As an extra bonus, click the link above for the phpFox to SocialEngine importer to learn how to get 10% off your purchase of a SocialEngine license!

A shout out to SocialEngineAddOns as they graciously donated the code base for the new importer which our in-house experts worked on.

Sincerely,
The SocialEngine Team

Posted in Company Updates | 6 Comments

3 Tips For Maintaining Interest-Based Communities

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Humans are tribal by nature. In the long ago and far away, we were born into our tribes. As we became more sophisticated we formed countries and religions, along with other social constructs and hierarchies. Today, though, we have a unique kind of tribe; the sort we choose to join out of interest.

Whether it’s punk rock, model train building, knitting, or a book discussion group, an interest-based community forms around a shared interest. Hence the name. However, keeping the community going takes more than a shared interest. It takes work, and a little creativity. If you want to not only maintain, but expand your community, you should keep these tips in mind.

3 Tips For Maintaining Interest-Based Communities

Tip #1: Make Communication Easy

One of the most important aspects of a community is communication. You need to be able to talk to each other, whether it’s for discussing the latest release from your favorite band, setting up a screening of a film, or sharing tips on how to get the best footage from a drone. Setting up a community social media page, forum, etc. is a good way to bring everyone together, and make sure issues can be raised.

Tip #2: Welcome New People

Think of a comic book store. A young woman walks in wearing her brand new superhero shirt, eager to catch up on the characters she just discovered thanks to the latest blockbuster movie. Despite her obvious enthusiasm, though, there’s a group of guys standing, arms folded, who want her to prove she belongs there. They’re called gatekeepers, and they’re a great way to kill your community.

If your community is built around a shared interest, then you need to welcome everyone you can. Even if they’re new, or are just feeling out your community to see if they’re a good fit. Welcome them with open arms, and nourish their interest. Communities that don’t grow tend to die.

Tip #3: Set Ground Rules

Just because everyone shares an interest, that doesn’t necessarily make you all brothers and sisters in arms. That’s why it’s important to set out rules for your community, and to make sure everyone is aware of them. Whether there’s an age requirement, or a ban on certain topics, or just the general invocation to be polite to one another, you need to set the rules out beforehand. Not only that, but you need to enforce them across the board.

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Leveraging Industry Influencers to Help Build Your Community

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When executed properly, influencer marketing can be one of the most effective strategies to help build your community and establish your company or brand as a trusted industry voice.

What Are Influencers?

Influencers are industry leaders on social media platforms. These are the businesses and organizations that have extensive social followings. They are knowledgeable resources, and they are often at the forefront of social trends. Achieving an @mention—or a share!—from an industry influencer could equal a substantial boost to your content reach and community size.

Do Your Research

Not every social media influencer is right for your community or brand. Choosing the wrong influencer to leverage could fail your marketing goals and significantly damage your social reputation and voice. Once you identify a few influencers you think would help grow your reach, take a closer look at the content they are producing and their social engagements.  Ask yourself:

  1. Does this content fit my niche market and target audience?
  2. Would I discuss this content with my audience?
  3. Does my typical content complement this content?
  4. Does this influencer typically engage with and share content submitted by other companies?
  5. Does this influencer respond positively to @mentions?

Evaluate your answers to these questions to help narrow down your list of potential influencers, and begin your strategy with a select few.

Engage

When you are ready to reach out to your top influencers, carefully consider your communication strategy. Remember, these individuals and businesses are working hard to manage their own communities. If you want influencers to engage with and share your content, then your content should be tailored to the influencer’s audience. Craft your outreach authentically. If you can give your influencers helpful content and open language they can react to, you could be well on your way to a reply or share!

No Spamming

Throughout your influencer marketing campaign, try not to be too star-struck. Avoid flooding your influencers with your content, and try not to inundate your own audience with influencer content. Focus instead on creating a genuine connection with your influencers, and providing valuable, audience-aware content in all of your interactions.

Thanks as always for reading through. We hope you found this article helpful and if you want to give building your community a shot, swing by our site and we’ll help you get started!

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3 Community Management Tips for Extending Your Organic Reach

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Every social media post you publish has the potential to reach your fan base newsfeeds and additional social media users. This unpaid reach is known as your organic reach. One great key to community management success is the ability to extend your organic reach. There are many factors impacting your organic reach success including platform algorithms and audience engagements. But there are also elements more within your control.

Here are some factors and strategies to consider for organic reach growth.

Post-Time

What time of day do you post your content? Posting or scheduling content based on your audience’s lifestyle can have a huge impact on your organic reach. If you are just starting out with your community management, or if you are noticing a deficit in your organic reach, consider the daily life of one of your audience members. Is your core readership on a 9-5 workday schedule? If so, consider posting before work hours, during lunch, and after dinner (when your audience is likely to be checking social media). Test a few timeframes until you notice a readership pattern.

Hashtags

Hashtags are supported on every major social media platform. Hashtags allow you to create sub-topics within a post. These content elements automatically include your status updates and tweets into various conversation threads. Adding relevant, trending hashtags to your social media posts is like adding your voice to a conversation that is already happening, extending your reach beyond your core fan base.

Groups

While you are managing your community, you may have stumbled across a few social media groups that are relevant to your industry or mission. These groups can be invaluable resources for networking as well as tools for extending your organic reach. Sharing your relevant content within these social groups allows like-minded individuals the opportunity to engage with your posts. This can both bolster your organic reach and fortify network contacts. Some social media groups are moderated with strict member rules. Be sure to respect the wishes of each unique group, and don’t spam your networks so much as offer information you truly believe will interest them.

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to read up on how you can effectively contribute to your community. Let us know if you have any questions! Also, if you have any ideas on how to start your own social network, our SocialEngine software can help you get there. Check out our free trial and see what SocialEngine can do for you.

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January Community Roundup

Hey everybody! Here’s a quick recap of what is happening in the SocialEngine Community in the month of January.

Add-ons and Updates:

Tasks – Tasks plugin lets you create tasks right on your site!

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Online Tv –  40 popular channels with 1 click and future adding new channels.

Ghost Template – Video background and Left column design of internal pages.

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Radio – Ultimate solution if you want to create Radio section on your social network!

Community Owner Spotlight:

Fight Mobi – Fightmobi connects fans, fighters ,coaches, match makers, promoters, managers and sponsors with each other.

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United Chapter –  News, Information and resources for People of Color and People Who Care.

Retro Torque – An online social network and resource for enthusiasts of Classic Cars & Motorbikes.

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What Others are Saying:

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Going Mobile with SocialEngine

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It’s 2017 and the days of rotary phones, dial-up internet and desktop-only website access are pretty much a thing of the past. Consumers these days are on the go and taking their favorite websites with them. From cafe’s to libraries to walking down the street, people are accessing the internet on mobile devices in increasing numbers. What does this mean for you, the community builder?

Today’s websites need to deliver content to devices with varying screen dimensions. They need to be accessible on wide screen devices, notebooks, tablets and smartphones just to name a few. If visitors and members are unable to fully experience a website on their device of choice, they’ll quickly go elsewhere as the web is a plethora of competitive sites all vying for viewership.

No worries though! SocialEngine has the tools to make sure your mobile users are not turned off and instead, tuned in and stay tuned in. On tap for our 4.9.0 release, coming very soon, is a new “responsive” theme, Insignia. What is a “responsive” theme? In layman’s terms, a “responsive” theme is a theme that automatically resizes based on the dimensions of the viewer’s screen. This makes it so that a user with a 42” screen and a user with a 3” screen can view the site without any issues at all. It will look a little different on each screen as some features shift for smaller views, or open for larger views, but the features are easily accessed on any screen.

In addition to our new Insignia responsive theme, there are mobile apps and themes for sale now by third party experts in the SocialEngine Marketplace. From full blown mobile apps, to desktop notifications, you have a broad range of choices to add mobile features to your SocialEngine site right now. Here are a few:

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iOS App – Beautiful iOS application will drive more engagement to your network.
Touch-Mobile plugin – Touch-Mobile provides adapted interfaces to improve browsing experience on phone.
Android App – Beautiful Android application will drive more engagement to your network.

Pixythemes

Zephyr Theme – Delight your users with a catchy & user-friendly responsive design.
Affinity Theme – A clean and modern responsive design that suits any type of social network

seTweaks

Integrity Theme – Responsive theme with 7 different colors, editable custom landing page and 50+ modification options.
Transformer Theme – Responsive theme a user friendly interface and beautiful design.

SocialEngineAddOns

Mobile/Tablet Plugin – Display your site on iPhone, iPad, Android phones & tablets, Windows phones etc.
iOS and Android Native Mobile Apps – Get Native iOS & Android Mobile Apps for SocialEngine based online community from a top rated Expert.

SocialEngineSolutions

Browser Push Notifications Plugin – Send push notifications to reach your users even when they are not on your site.
Responsive SpectroMedia Theme – A clean, responsive theme which is suitable for any SocialEngine based website having Music, Video, Photos, Blogs, Classifieds, etc.

As you can see, going mobile with SocialEngine is easy! Contact any of the talented Experts listed above and watch for our upcoming 4.9 release with the awesome Insignia responsive theme! Don’t have SocialEngine yet? Grab your free trial today!

Posted in Developer Spotlight, Tips and Tutorials | 3 Comments

Top 5 Pro-Tips for Community Management on Social Media

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Community Management on social media is much like maintaining connections within your group of friends. Whether you are just starting out with just a few hundred followers, or balancing thousands of fans, the premise is the same: focus on what makes your audience unique and demonstrate genuine care in your posts and interactions. Here are the top five Community Management tips to get you on your way to better social networking and marketing practice:

Listen

If you want to effectively communicate with your audience, then you must know your audience. Social Listening is a monitoring process to find out what is being said on the Internet about your company.  Understanding your audience’s interest in your brand helps tailor your interactions to better meet reader needs. There are a number of free tools available for brands looking to listen to their audience; some include: Google Alerts (regular, keyword-relevant updates via email), Mention (keyword-alerts, activities dashboard and influencer review), and Addict-o-matic (searches multiple platforms including search engines and social media, aggregates results onto a dashboard).

Tone

While studying your social listening results, try to get a feel for your audience’s discussion tone. If you want your message to translate, you must speak their language. Mirroring your audience’s tone can also help encourage engagements!

Show Appreciation

Use your manners when your fans and followers share your content. If you get a retweet on Twitter, it only takes seconds to say, “Thank you!” This is important for small communities because it keeps you relevant and grows your reach, but large communities will also benefit by appearing engaging and more approachable. A follower who feels appreciated is a follower more likely to return.

Share

Your fans follow your community because they are interested in your brand, product, or mission—right? Yes. But, as you will learn from your social listening, your fans are also interested in other, ideas and discussions relevant to your business and industry. Grow your content community by following and sharing from industry influencers. Your followers will appreciate the additional information, and you will be further defined as a knowledgeable resource—which is great for when you share your own marketing campaigns!

Bring it Home

Make sure your social media communities are always an open door to your website. Fill in all profile fields with contact information, set up calls-to-action wherever possible, give your readers direct links and content from your site, and keep them abreast of site changes. Managing your social media community is a lot of work, but if you are passionate about your brand, it will be a true labor of love. You will get to meet new people, and you will soon discover that your audience is a great resource for content inspiration and business reflections!

Thanks for reading! If all this talk of community building has you excited, we’d encourage you to check out SocialEngine. The best way to build your own social network.

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4 Ways to Build Your Successful Crowdfunding Community

backgroundredCrowdfunding allows innovators to harness the power of social media to reach out to potential investors and pool resources to generate capital. By using websites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and MicroVentures (among others) future-leaders are able to pitch ideas to potential investors.

The benefits are two-fold:

  • Generate cash to get your idea off the ground
  • Create suspense and interest in your idea before it even enters the market!

Successful digital marketers know that creating a community is imperative to reaching your target networks and generating buzz. Social media is the perfect companion to any crowdfunding campaign because it can you strengthen that community, and multiply your efforts! Here’s how to connect to your post crowdfunding community and help it thrive:

Share Frequent Updates

The campaign is over, and you’ve met your goal! As you focus on getting yourself off the ground, its important not to forget those who supported you! Your investors feel tied to your work, and they want to see your progress and, ultimately, your success!

  • Post updates and photos to highlight your progress and growth!
  • Continue to respond to comments and questions.
  • Use social media to reach out to your backers outside of your crowdfunding page.

Be Grateful

Your backers and investors are the reason you are able to reach your goal… acknowledge them and show your gratitude.

  • Post a “thank you” on social media, or in a newsletter, acknowledging them by name.
  • Reach out personally and let them know how much their help means to you.

Being humble and authentic will go further in building a good a strong community than any pitch or tactic ever could!

Be Honest

If your project hits a setback, its important to communicate with your backers. Honesty builds trust.

  • Explain the nature of the setback, and offer information about how you are navigating the challenges.
  • Update your timeline
  • Be humble and, if appropriate, offer an apology.
  • Always focus on the positive; your commitment to seeing the project through to a successful completion!

Follow Through

If you promised a perk or incentive, deliver on it in a timely manner. Show your backers that you mean what you say, and that you are reliable. Failing to do this might give the impression that you aren’t organized or trustworthy.

Indiegogo’s Free Post-Crowdfunding Checklist is a great resource for more ideas and suggestions about what to do after your campaign ends.

Above all, remember that investors give to crowdfunding campaigns because they want to help small start-ups compete in the bigger market. They love the feel-good factor of helping make your dream come true. Take the opportunity to create a network of fans and supporters who are invested in your product from the start, and then turn them into your future customers. Click here to find out more about SocialEngine, and how we can help you build your community and expand your network.

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Why it’s Imperative to Create Your Own Branded Community

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Terms like “community” and “find your tribe” are the new buzzwords of digital marketers. Newbies will automatically believe these words mean having a large following on social media or simply having high page views on their blog or website.

In actuality, community and tribe refer more to the connectedness of the leader and the community members than to the actual number of followers or members.

In short, these terms are called branded communities. A branded community as described by Click Z is a managed community of followers and customers that are a part of a branded website (think niched blog) and are bound together by common social interests and behaviors.

So no longer does it matter how much money you have or don’t have for an ads budget, nor does it matter what size your community is. What matters is the common social interests and behaviors that bond them together which makes a tighter relationship than any paid advertisement could. Here are 5 quick reasons why it’s imperative to create your own branded community.

Customer Loyalty

This is a big reason. By growing a personal relationship with future and past customers in your branded community, you create raving fans. Not only do you give them an amazing service and/or product, you’re also a person they like and trust. Not to mention that loyal customers also are great at giving glowing testimonials.

Free Market Research

Don’t know what your customers want and need from you? Why don’t you just ask your branded community? Community members are more than happy to voice their concerns. Commonly give community members questionnaires and polls to see exactly what your next product or service should be.

Sell products more easily

People buy things that are referred to them by a friend because they trust that friend. People in your community are surrounded by other friends who have tried, loved, and raved about your product. Also, they may see YOU as a friend. This helps to lower the barriers to your next round of product sales.

Use Your Community as a Platform to Give More

Not only is a branded community a platform to sell, it’s also a great platform to give. Educate your members by giving them free resources. Also engage them daily with prompts that promote thought and action.

Have Better Accessibility to Your Customers

Ever feel like your customers are faceless numbers? With a branded community get to know the personal side of people. Most people show pictures of themselves and their lives as well as fill out a bio in a community. Getting to know customers on a personal level helps to build rapport and inspires you to provide top-notch services and products.

All in all, it can never hurt to have a branded community as there are way more positives than negatives. Improve your business today by starting a branded community using Social Engine’s platform.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

2016 Year End Community Roundup

This year has been so great for everyone over at SocialEngine! After so much time and hard work we were able to re-launch our new website and marketplace giving everyone not only a better experience on the site, but also a more secure buying experience for everyone in the third party market! We are so thankful for everyone who has been with us all this time and are excited to keep things moving in 2017! Here is a quick look back at what happened in December.

Add-ons and Updates:

Auctions – Sell, buy, place bids, compete with other sellers, interact just in few clicks!

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Member Review/Rating – Build a more engaging community via reviews and ratings among members.

Circles – Try Google+ Circles functionality on your site!

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Kreative Theme – Be kreative, make an astounding website with this theme!

Community Owner Spotlight:

Songplatform.onsocialengine.com – Create powerful relationships while networking within the songwriting community.

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Maria.onsocialengine.com – Booming business network for successful people!

Citro.ro – CITRO is a place where all the highly educated people in the field of Computers and Information Technology from Romania meet.

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What Others are Saying:


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