SocialEngine Blog

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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.

Add-ons and Updates:

Advanced Footer Plugin – Convey the Right Information from the Footer of your website.

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Notes – Create notes and categorize them or make sticky notes anywhere on your site!

Uplinks – Uplinks adds a level of convenience for your members to add content.

Google Translate Plugin – Google Translate widget with easy install and setup.

Buffer Share Plugin – Buffer share integration widget. Share to popular social media sites with Buffer.

Responsive Elegant Theme – Get your site a Responsive Slideshow, beautiful Landing Page and much more!

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Page Builder and Shortcodes Plugin – Easily create pricing tables, Popups, Accordions & Tabs, Progress Bars, etc.

Member Profiles Cover Photo Plugin – Show users the Cover Photo – a large unique image on top of the member profiles.

Content Profiles Cover Photo Plugin – Show users the Cover Photo – large unique image on top of the content profiles.

Site Tour by Auto Login Test User – Allow visitors to login into website using Test Users and explore the system.

Advanced Blog Plugin – Writing blogs on your websites with custom Publish date, location, reviews, etc.

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Multi-Use Team Plugin – Showcase your Team Members, Testimonials, or any type of similar content.

Jokes plugin – You’ll laugh at the jokes of your users, unless your network grows!

Mega Spam Control – Comfortable tool for managing comments, private messages, post, blogs.

Marketplace plugin – Create your own online store for both physical and digital goods!

 

Community Owner Spotlight:

Aapmd.onsocialengine.com – Booming business network for successful people.

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Mejunction.news – A new community for small businesses to gather and trade ideas.

Bestofhyatt.onsocialengine.com – Recipes for those who appreciate a good drink and a good meal.

Frsbank.com – A community centered around investing in and the use of cryptocurrency.

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Iquiero.org – Moutain climbers gather! Come check out this community based around climbers and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Montanamixer.com – An online hub for people in Montana looking to connect.

Posted in Client Spotlight, Company Updates | Leave a comment

A Private Custom Social Network Makes CRM Easy and More Effective

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When the average person thinks of a social network, they think of their favorite personal platforms like LinkedIN, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, etc.

When business owners think of social networks, they think of how they can use the platforms to generate sales and attract customers. However, savvy business owners are realizing that there’s more to social networking and the ways it can accelerate business growth.

When your business builds a private custom social network for your staff and customers to communicate and thrive; you take customer service to the next level.

Private networks can quickly become intimate, fun communities your customers enjoy checking into several times a day. Social media platforms naturally drive people to think that way.

When you and your staff interact on your private network, you learn:

  • Where to take your organization in the future,
  • What new products and upgrades customers are craving,
  • What the prime frustrations and issues are with your current product or service offerings,
  • Who your target demographic is on a deeper level, and
  • Where more opportunities for joint ventures with other firms exist

Social networks create brand advocates because the act of socializing is rewarding for many people. In addition, when they meet others who share their interests on your network, you have enhanced their lives.

Private social networks are especially ideal for B2B businesses.

In a professional climate, customers expect you to value their input on product and service development. Your products and services drive their business models. In many cases, your firm is one of a short list of vendors that business has. Social media platforms make it simple and efficient for executives to check in with every client often.

Now’s a great time to show that your modern business cares and that your plan for the future includes the people who matter most, Contact us today at SocialEngine. Let us help you create a safe, innovative space for your business to grow and engage with your customers.

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Ways to Engage Your Members within SocialEngine

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Social networks are dynamic. They’re full of action as opposed to a static website. Members interact, post things that interest them, “like” or vote up the things they enjoy, and generally play with all of the toys available on a site.

It’s this activity that keeps them coming back. If members come to the site and find no activity, they’ll be far less likely to participate or might even cancel their membership. To avoid losing members, you need to find ways to engage them. You need to get them interacting and participating on the site. This activity will draw in members and grow a strong community. Here are some ways you can engage your members on your SocialEngine social network.

Blog, blog, and blog some more.

Blogs about topics relevant to your site niche can grow your member base with people looking for that topic. It can help get discussions going amongst your members as they comment back and forth about it. If the blogs are particularly helpful or entertaining, members will keep coming back just to read the next post, and will be more encouraged to post their own blog.

SocialEngine has a great Blog plugin that takes advantage of the TinyMCE editor for full formatting options. If you don’t have the Blog plugin, log into your client area and purchase it from the Customer Store page. Once you have it installed, you’ll want to set up the categories according to your niche.

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We suggest that you write at least one blog per week, more if you have time. Formatting blogs with nice fonts, bold print where necessary, images and lists can make them more enjoyable. Explore the various formatting features as you write your blogs. Make sure you check them for spelling or grammar errors. Blogs with good content can get members commenting regularly and even interacting with each other as they debate the topic.

Keep the activity feed active.

The activity feed shows everything that’s happening in your community. If a member signs in and sees nothing new in the activity feed for several days, it makes the site look dead. You can avoid a barren activity feed by logging in each day and posting a status, photo, link, or something relevant to your niche. If you don’t have time to log in each day, get helpers from family and/or friends to help you with this.

You can control the activity feed items in order to show more or less content from members, change the update frequency, and change what shows up in the activity feed.

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If your site is new, you’ll want to show more items per member. When your site grows, you can set the setting lower in order to show various items from different members. With all of the controls that SocialEngine offers for the activity feed, you’ll be able to engage your members in ways that are more satisfying to them.

Encourage with “likes” and comments.

Members enjoy seeing “likes” or positive comments about their items. It bolsters them on to add more content. You can encourage your members to be more active by commenting on their items or “liking” their items. It also helps to show that you are actively engaged in your community. Members do enjoy getting (good) attention from the site owner/admin.

You’ll want to check each plugin (Blog, Albums, Music, etc) to ensure that your members are allowed to comment on that item. As you, and your members, “like” and comment on items, the member that posted it will get notified of the activity. In most cases, this will bring them back to the site and they can react to the activity.

Add plugins to help with engagement.

Plugins can help engage your users by providing them tools, toys, interactive quizzes or contests, etc. Here are some plugins that can help with member engagement. There are quite a few more in the SocialEngine Marketplace.  

Contest Plugin by Hire-Experts LLC – Create photo contests to get your members in a frenzy to win!

Badge/Award Plugin by Radcodes – This lets you give badges or awards to your members for various activities.

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Suggestions and Recommendations Plugin by SocialEngineAddOns – Show recommended content and friend suggestions to help your members find people and things that interest them.

Challenges by SocialEnginePro – Give your members challenges and they’ll be more encouraged to log in to update their progress.

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Questions and Answers Plugin by WebHive – Let your members ask and answer questions, vote on the best answers, and earn points.

As you can see from the above tips, there are some great ways you can engage your members and keep your site active. If this article intrigues you but you don’t yet have a SocialEngine license, you can get a free trial here!

These are just a few tips to help you get your members more engaged in your community. If you need more help, please feel free to post in our community. We love to help when we can! Not a member of our community? Contact us to learn how to join!

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3 Community Complainers You’ll Meet and How to Respond

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Running a successful online community inherently means there will be some nay-saying. It’s not the end of the world, but there are some reliable ways to deal with it. Learning what to expect from your community and how to manage complaints within your online community is important. Listening and responding quickly are always your best bet, but let’s get more specific.

These are three common voices that speak out within online communities and here’s how to handle them.

1. The Loudmouth

Okay, this one’s a bit obvious but it’s a major one. When a member loudly, publicly, and angrily complains about anything related to your community it’s time to act fast. Delaying or not checking in frequently will only anger the loudmouth more. Resist the urge to give excuses. Respond both publicly and privately, so he or she gets the attention sought out and also a cohesive answer and promise of resolution in private. Then fix the issue or listen in for more details. Swift action and attention to detail are usually all it takes to calm that member down.

2. The Highroller

These members pay the big bucks and expect the royal treatment. If you’re selling high-end goods or services, these voices are more common within those communities. Again, they’re not interested in excuses though they’ll usually be more cordial about voicing their complaints. Speed and clarity are important. Make them feel like a top client. Use your language and maybe even a small gift of thanks. It shows you’ll always go above and beyond for your best clients and this mistake will never happen again.

3. The Bargainer

This member is always looking for a quick buck (or free one!). They’re complaining specifically to win something for free or get a discount. Don’t give in if that’s not the way you conduct business. Stay empathetic to the complaints, but don’t engage in emotional conversation with this member.

Listen, show you care, and always stay positive when sharing your updates and insight with your community. Genuine compassion goes a long way.

Thanks again for stopping by. We hope this help out. If you have any questions feel free to contact us and if you want to try your hand at creating your very own SocialNetwork, give one of our Free Trials a shot!

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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 | 12 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:

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

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

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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