SocialEngine Blog

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Buildng a Community to Sell To

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There are personalities and businesses with millions of followers on social media and no sales to show for it. If you are going to build a community, then you need to build a community to sell to! Here’s how.

Set the Expectation.

Members of your social media group should understand that you will solicit for business within that group from time to time. If you get people complaining about ads or sales pitches, it is quite alright to temporarily redirect your efforts to greener pastures.

Constantly Give Value.

The value that you give is not just from the product; it also comes from the valuable discussions that you foster; the opportunity that you give for people of a like mind to meet and talk; and free tips that you give away. If you are constantly giving value, then no one should have a problem when you sell your solutions.

Provide the Proper Incentive to Buy.

Unapologetically place the members of your community who buy on a pedestal. When you give away free gifts, give the converted customers more! Create a tier for people who actually support you, and you will soon find everyone vying for that attention, which will invariably lead to more sales. Publicize sales and make people feel good for supporting you, and do it in front of everybody!

Customers are not doing you any favors by buying excellent products that solve problems. Treat the relationship between your company and your customers as an equal partnership, not an opportunity to beg. Make no apologies for selling!

Thanks for taking the time to read! Thinking of starting an Enterprise site with SocialEngine? Reach out to our Enterprise team today!

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SocialEngine PHP 4.8.11 is Released

NEW 4.8.11 SocialEngine

 

We’re glad to announce the release of SocialEngine PHP 4.8.11. We’ve done many important changes in this release, fixing some warnings coming with PHP version 5.6+, a fatal error with PHP 7 and many other bug fixes. While we’re still not at 100% compatibility PHP 7, this release brings us closer to fully supporting PHP 7. Keep reporting issues in our bug tracker! Apart from that, we’ve also fixed few important vulnerabilities in this release and made SE PHP more secure than ever.

This release comes with a total of 24 fixes, 8 of which were reported by our amazing community through our public bugs and suggestions tracker.

How to upgrade: You can download this latest version of SocialEngine PHP from the client area. We’ve also updated Blogs, Classifieds, Events, Groups, Forums and Videos plugins to 4.8.11.

Click here to read the full KB article on the detailed upgrade process.

Changes:

  • Fixed iconv_set_encoding warnings with PHP version 5.6. Fixes #17 and #347.
  • Updated text to support APCu Extension for PHP versions > 5.6.
  • Fixed fatal error with PHP version 7: “break” not in the “loop” or “switch” context. Fixes #409.
  • Fixed issue with APC and Memcache caching options throwing an error when enabled while respective extensions are not installed on server.
  • Added CSRF token field in admin’s member edit form to address a security vulnerability.
  • Updated Video, Poll, Album and Classified modules to address security vulnerabilities.
  • Made individual more secure by setting unique salt for generating CSRF tokens.
  • Fixed issue with newly registered members receiving two welcome emails.
  • Added a setting for admin to enable/disable sending a welcome email when users are enabled from admin panel.
  • Retrieve more user info (first name, last name, birthday and profile photo) from Facebook API during sign up via Fconnect.
  • Fixed issue with FConnect button not appearing on page after user unchecks the checkbox to dis-integrate facebook account and saves settings. Fixes #318.
  • Fixed error being thrown when user tries to connect FB account that already belongs to another User. We now display a warning.
  • Added Google Plus entry in Janrain integration.
  • Removed TLD validation from email field in admin account creation form. Fixes #344.
  • Removed weather widget due to unavailability of wunderground.com API’s free tier.
  • Fixed screen jumping issue with textarea while typing long content. Fixes #403.
  • Removed “Show this page in search results” checkbox in Layout Editor’s page when editing non-custom pages.
  • Removed Title field from Tab Container widget.
  • Fixed ‘There is already an active transaction’ error that was appearing during signup when using pdo_mysql as database adapter.
  • Fixed issue with default value of Locale field during signup not being set as per the default locale set from admin panel.
  • Removed “Admin Settings” link on Member Profile page for member levels who are not allowed to access admin panel.
  • Updated KB article link in Facebook Integration Settings.
  • Fixed issue with Forum Topics’ Title containing quotation marks. Fixes #340.
  • Fixed incorrect links of Topic and Post in activity notifications. Fixes #391.

Changelog: You can also browse the complete changelog for more details about the changes and fixes implemented in SocialEngine PHP 4.8.11.

NOTE: Please make sure that you do a complete backup of both files and database before performing this upgrade. Please get it done by a developer if you’re not comfortable with the installation and backup process yourself. We do have an upgrade service available for $150 which you can purchase from our Client Store.

Your feedback is important to us. So, keep submitting feature requests or bug reports for SocialEngine PHP to our public bugs and suggestions tracker. Thanks again for your support!

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Posted in Release Notes | 2 Comments

Why Your Organization Needs a Custom Social Network Script

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Are you looking to develop an online community around your message, product, or service? You could certainly create a closed group on one of the popular social network sites, but what you really need is a custom social network script.

You Retain Control of Your Community

When you use your own custom social network script, you have the final say regarding who can join, what they can or cannot say, and what features are available to them. It is irritating to build a community on a platform and find that the network eliminated a feature that is popular within your community. If you start out on a platform like SocialEngine, you retain control of your community for the life of it.

You Can Monetize Your Community

Because you own your community on SocialEngine, you can monetize it as you see fit. On social platforms where you are a tenant, you could be restricted from many or all forms of advertising. On SocialEngine, you are free to sell ad space, subscriptions, products, and more.

You Will Not Ostracize Users from Other Networks

Many people gravitate to one social network or another and spend most of their time there. With new social networks popping up all the time, and early adopters swarming to them, buying into one platform alone will ostracize many potential users from your community. It would be better to have a custom social network script and simply advertise it on the major social networks.

You Will Appear More Professional

While many people build communities on the popular social networks, it does not always come across as professional. In fact, it can come across as cheap. For a nominal monthly fee for the cloud based service, or for a reasonable one time fee for the on-premises edition, you can have your own custom social network script on SocialEngine. You can even use your own domain name to add to the professionalism.

One of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your mission is to build a community around your cause, and there is no better way to build a community for your cause than using a custom social network script. Put SocialEngine to work for you today.

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Top 5 Reasons You Should Consider a Branded Community for Your Company

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The dream of every marketer is to develop your brand into one around which people will rally. One of the ways you can encourage this behavior is by creating a branded community. Here are the top five reasons you might want to consider a branded community for your company.

 

1. Limited reach of social media

It used to be that you hoped a community of users would develop on your Facebook, twitter, or LinkedIn pages. But since social media has increasingly moved to a “pay to play” system, it’s hard to focus your messaging directly on your desired audience.

2. Identification of brand influencers

These are everyday people who have the power to affect the purchases of their peers. They give trustworthiness to your brand, with authentic word of mouth marketing. With the exclusive nature of a branded community you are no longer fishing around for your influencers on your Facebook page.

3. Growth of first-time visitors

If your branded community is linked to your website, first-time visitors have a reason to stick around longer than they might otherwise. With their purchase, they also receive advice from real people. Reviews or suggestions left by influencers could lead them deeper into your website with their shopping cart just a click away.

4. Social customer service strategy

Your branded community gives another place to provide your customers with a great experience to share with their friends. A two-way conversation emerges where influences can gain status and find support from like-minded people.

5. Built in test group

The development of a branded community affects your other marketing tactics as well. Now you have a sounding board off of which you can bounce ideas for future marketing campaigns. This saves you times and makes your campaigns much more effective.

If you’re interested in established a branded community of your own, contact us today!

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Using Interest-based Communities to Expand Your Customer Base

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Any one who uses Facebook, Twitter or any of the other major social media platforms understands how quickly topline mainstream stories saturate feeds. This renders direct use of these platforms less productive as a marketing tool for any niche business looking to expand its audience. However, using interest-based communities to generate initial support is a growth hack that many smaller companies are using to expose themselves to the mainstream.

 

Upselling Your Niche

The ad platforms that Facebook, Twitter and Google offer are less effective than other choices to a startup. At best, they artificially spike interest in your business, only to bury it when your limited budget exhausts itself. However, SocialEngine allows you to bypass this entire competition: Gathering your audience behind a post or a news item on your own social community before directing them to Facebook gives your topic the initial audience that it needs for further exposure.

Using Organic Social Media Algorithms to Your Benefit

No matter the major platform, the internal search engines naturally give an extra push to news items, videos and posts that already seem to have an organic momentum. For instance, if you post your business video on SocialEngine first, directing them to then like it on your YouTube channel, the likes and reposts then force YouTube to expose the video to a wider audience. Savvy businessmen will then use that YouTube video to direct the mainstream back to the SocialEngine community!

Use this trick to growth hack people from the mainstream into your niche content over time, and use SocialEngine as your hub rather than fighting for attention on the major platforms.

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April Community Roundup

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

New Add-ons and Updates:

Full Slider – This plugins allows you to configure slides with images, videos, transitions, animation effects, slide navigations, styles of texts and a lot of other supported options.

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Pages, Businesses, Groups, etc Extension – Displaying similar content of a website at one place is always an engaging and user-friendly element for content driven websites. It not only helps in engaging your users but also in retaining them on your site with easy content browsing method. continue reading »

Posted in Client Spotlight, Company Updates, Developer Spotlight | Leave a comment

How to keep backer communities engaged post funding

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If you have successfully completed a crowdfunding campaign, congratulations! You’ve identified a group of people who believe in your project and vision so much they invested in you. To keep your momentum going, you want to build a strong community of engaged supporters. But you don’t actually own your backer list so it’s not as simple as just sending out email updates.  What you can do, however, is create a community where your backers can engage with you and with each other.

 

1. Create a compelling blog 

Backers who invested in your idea want to know your progress. You can update them via your crowdfunding platform, but these updates are often clunky and confusing.  A blog, however, gives you the chance to share in-depth stories, photos, challenges and successes with your backers and makes them feel like they are part of your success.

2. Consider an exclusive social network 

Blogs tell your story, but backers want to ask questions and understand your process. Consider a private Facebook group or other exclusive social network where backers participate in conversations, ask questions and get sneak previews of successes and stories. The exclusivity of the group invites backers to get engaged and keeps them interested!

3. Invite backers to join your email list

You don’t own your backer list but that doesn’t mean backers can’t sign up to hear directly from you. Share your blog and social network on your crowdfunding page and invite backers to sign up for your email list. Once they’ve signed up, you can communicate with them directly, share updates and invite them to get further involved.

No matter how you choose to communicate with your backers, consistent contact is key. Make sure to check in with them every few weeks to share how your project is going and keep building that critical momentum that will help your success!

Need tips on how to create a strong community? Visit our website today!

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March Community Roundup

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

New Add-ons and Updates:

Responsive Captivate Theme – A new and elegant theme that is engaging, intuitive and visually explosive.
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Advanced Videos – This plugin provides a platform where users can utilize the potential of videos at maximum and get more engagement. continue reading »

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February Community Roundup

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

New Add-ons and Updates:

Hashtags Plugin – This plugin allows hashtags within your SocialEngine PHP site!

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Advertisement in Wall – The wall is a very important feature which can be used as an advertising platform. This plugin is the ultimate interface for managing such ads from the admin panel or from user interface. continue reading »

Posted in Add-On Highlights, Client Spotlight, Company Updates, Developer Spotlight | 4 Comments

January Community Roundup

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

New Add-ons and Updates:

Ultimate Video – Stand-alone plugin without requiring default video plugin, Ultimate Video supports full features of Advanced Video and is able to stream videos from YouTube, Dailymotion, and Vimeo right on your site.

Kreative Theme – The layout is wonderfully optimized to adapt on any device, it will conform to your user’s screen, creating the most intuitive browsing experience.

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Advanced Rich Content Plugin – Manage your images you have uploaded using the Rich Content Editor, and delete the useless images from your site amongst other features!

Czech Language Pack – Translate your site into Czech with this language pack.

Slovak Language Pack – Translate your site into Slovak with this language pack.

Blossom Theme – Attractive customized menu with awesome effects for easy navigation.

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Advance Signup Group Selection – Use our plugin and let your users select multiple groups to join while they are in the signup process!

Full page preloader – Modern full page preloader animation with 30 unique design based on css3 and html 5. Included colors and backgrounds customization and Random feature, which will select from 30 design options. Check all design before purchasing by special link.

Community Owner Spotlight:

For this month we wanted to highlight some of our favorite SocialEngine Cloud sites that are using the Challenge Theme:

Ugeek.club – A unique online hub for geeks by geeks.

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Superyachters.com – Promoting and Supporting the SuperYacht industry with social media and social networking tools to entertain, inform and connect.

Ukfilmnetwork.com – A new UK Film social space to share, promote and connect.

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Network.socialater.com – Social network to connect and support technology people, startups and small business.

What Others are Saying:

Muy buena plataforma pero no tiene soporte en Español…espero que pronto este disponible

Posted by Ariel Ynoa Pita on Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Excellent company, excellent service and excellent team. Special thanks to your service team for patience in dealing with clients!

Posted by Evalds Kokins on Monday, January 11, 2016

I own a socialengine website now going on 3 years I have never has any issues that I could not fix myself. Until…

Posted by Lock N Rock on Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Posted in Client Spotlight, Company Updates, Developer Spotlight | Leave a comment