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Invision Community Blog


Managing successful online communities

Launching a new community needs purpose, value and emotion

One of the most commonly asked questions we get is how to ensure your new community launch is successful. You may think that if you have the right features with the correct configuration, success is guaranteed, but it requires more than that. Way back in the early 2000s when the internet was in its infancy, there was an explosion of new communities. If you had some webspace, a little tec…

Matt

Matt

Community is your competitive advantage

Moats have been used for centuries as a way to defend a building from potential attack. A flooded ditch around a castle is a great way to make it harder to be taken. You can't push battering rams against walls, and neither can you dig under the castle. Quite frankly, a moat is a pretty decent deterrent when there are plenty of other castles to pillage. What does this mean for your busine…

Matt

Matt

Lessons from the Virus: Community Engagement from WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the world's most trusted source of information on international health, and a foremost partner to public health agencies combating the coronavirus.  They also understand the critical need for risk communication and community engagement to respond to the coronavirus pandemic -- a valuable strategy that any online community can adopt in these volatile times.   …

Joel R

Joel R

The Paradox of Choice: Why A Major Retail CEO Spent His First 100 Days Thinking About Can Openers

CEO Mark Triggon, previously the chief merchandising officer at Target, laid out his plans to turn around the beleaguered American retailer Bed Bath & Beyond.  Part of that plan was reducing the number of can openers from 12 to 3.  Sales rose.  In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Tritton explained how tests conducted in his first few months at the company showed that less i…

Joel R

Joel R

10 Easy Steps to Successfully Grow Your Online Community

The goal of every client here in the Invision peer community, myself included, is to launch and run successful communities.  Whether I’m going to be able to achieve that success in the new year depends entirely on trying these 10 steps.  I know if that if I stick to these steps, then my community will grow – and I know if you follow along, your community will too.  10. Ignore Google …

Joel R

Joel R

What Is The Engagement Trap (And What To Do About It)?

The engagement trap is a race to community activity for the sake of activity.  It's usually measured by simple aggregate numbers like the total number of posts, topics, likes, or members.   Many community managers and webmasters enjoy spouting engagement numbers.  It's an easy number to brag about.  It's an easy number to find.  It's also, unfortunately, a terrible metric to measure.  …

Joel R

Joel R

Three simple community building strategies

If you're reading this blog, then it's likely you already have a community and have been running it for some time. I'm going to go further and say that you've done all the right things; you've set it up correctly and themed it, so it matches your site. Once you have built your community and watched it spring into life, it's easy to think that you have done all you need to do. However, th…

Matt

Matt

4x4 Superuser Concepts 🏅

Whether you call them Champions 🤩, Advocates 🌟, or Superusers 🏆, every community contains an elite group of members that carries 🏋 the community.  They don't just drink the kool-aid 💧.  They mix, chug, and swim 🏊‍♀️in the community kool-aid. Learn 🔢 four community management concepts about Superusers in less than 🕓 four minutes. 1. 90-9-1 Rule (aka "1% rule"): The 90-9-1 principle refers…

Joel R

Joel R

Responding to the Contact Form

Think about all the different touchpoints where you try to connect with members: forum discussions, blog comments, personal messages, email newsletters, weekly meetings, and perhaps offline events.  You write witty and clever messages. You dedicate an entire section of your community to welcome and hello topics.  You spend enormous amounts of time trying to elicit engagement from members.  Wh…

Joel R

Joel R

How to keep your community secure

Security should never be an afterthought. Don't wait until an attack has compromised your site before you take action. All too often, site owners consider increasing their security only when it's too late, and their community has already been compromised. Taking some time now to check and improve the security of your community and server will pay dividends. In this blog, we run down…

Matt

Matt

How to Build an Audience with CHIP

Are you looking to launch a new online community or revitalize an existing community, and you're worried about the numbers of users? Gaining members - and retaining them - is always the hardest struggle for new communities.  Even if you're an established brand or organization, it can be a challenge to build a core group of members.  The problem?  Most communities launch too early.   The …

Joel R

Joel R

How to deal with negativity and toxicity in your community

The term "flame-wars" was coined way back in the 1970s when computer scientists talking in the first electronic discussion boards noticed that here was "an escalation of critical comments and an increase in the frequency with which people would respond with short negative messages." For anyone that has ventured into the comment section of Youtube, read Twitter for more than a few minutes or f…

Matt

Matt

Honor and Humiliation: Building Emotional Connection for Community

Emotion is energy in motion. Today’s article is the last element in our Sense of Community series, and it’s also the most powerful.  It allows new communities to win over legacy ones; niche communities to triumph over generic platforms; and impassioned communities to outlast everyone.  It’s also the hardest element to cultivate.  What is it?  According to a survey by psychologist Dr…

Joel R

Joel R

What are the benefits of a support community?

When your customers buy or use your products, they will have many questions. They may have issues using the product, or they may have requests for future versions based on their needs. Managing and responding to those questions and requests quickly increases conversion, satisfaction and the likelihood or purchasing again. The statistics back this up. There is no doubt tha…

Matt

Matt

Ideation within Invision Community

Collecting, curating and organising ideas and feedback is a critical part of managing a community for a product. Even though here at Invision Community, we have a relaxed approach to ideation, we do read and review ideas and feature requests that come into us via our support community and via emails and tickets and organise them off-site. If you wanted to add more rigour to your ideati…

Matt

Matt

4x4 Growth Hacks 🚀

Are you curious 🤔about ways to boost your engagement that don't require a lot of effort?  Want some shortcuts to set your engagement on fire 🔥?    Check out these 4x4 tips of four growth hacks that you can implement in less than four minutes ⏳ to boost engagement. 1. Add a content block at the bottom of topics.  Sounds upside down 🙃, right?  Most admins add content blocks at the tops of …

Joel R

Joel R

Rewards & Reinforcement: Delivering Member Greatness in Online Communities

Bad communities promise great things to its members. Good communities offer great things to its members. Great communities fulfill the greatness of its members.  A primary purpose of every community is to fulfill the needs of its members.  A strong community will go beyond the immediate, basic needs and ensure that fulfillment is a positive experience.  By doing so, it builds in positive rewa…

Joel R

Joel R

4x4 What Do Visitors See When They Visit?

What do visitors see when they visit your online community? And when was the last time you logged out to browse like a visitor?   Check out these 4x4 tips of four items in less than four minutes for the visitor experience: Check your Registration Process, especially any social sign-ins. You may want to increase or reduce security checks.  You may need to fix social logins. And you may …

Joel R

Joel R

The State of the Internet: Mary Meeker at 2019 Code Conference

Mary Meeker delivered a rapid-fire review at the 2019 Code Conference of her latest Internet Trends Report, widely considered to be one of the most influential and comprehensive reports on Internet trends.  The report covers 11 broad areas from ecommerce to education, data growth to usage, work to immigration, and China.  The report's foreword includes the following statement: Thi…

Joel R

Joel R

The Power of Influence: Building Trust and Governance in a Community

Communities are bound by a code of conduct that govern user behavior.  Sometimes these rules are explicitly written, such as terms, guidelines, or my personal favorite: “Must Read Before Posting Or Banned!!!” topics. (That’s a joke.  Please don’t ever write a topic like that!)  Sometimes the rules are unwritten, based on evolving behaviors and user-to-user interaction.  No matter the method o…

Joel R

Joel R

The 3 things your community needs to succeed

A successful community only needs three core elements to flourish and begin producing results. Your community will require some care and effort to flourish, but with the right strategies in place, you'll ensure that the value your community produces continues to increase as time goes by. Let's take a look at the three elements that make for a successful community. Content Content …

Matt

Matt

Work smarter with 5 of our best time saving features

Have you ever found yourself muttering "there has to be an easier way" when managing your community? If you have, it's likely that you are not the first person to think that. Invision Community has been refined over nearly two decades, and in that time we've received a lot of feedback from clients running very large and busy sites. We love a short cut, especially when it makes our client…

Matt

Matt

Boundaries & Identity: Building Membership in a Community

Cultivating a strong Sense of Community is a clear goal for community builders.  Develop a strong sense of community, and you’ve built a community experience that sparks a more meaningful and connected community that your members will love.  A strong sense of community means: An integrated community where members feel personally related An impactful community where a member can …

Joel R

Joel R

Master your community's lifecycle to increase your growth

“Every success story is a tale of constant adaption, revision and change.” – Richard Branson, billionaire and founder of Virgin Group. We all seek success with our Invision Communities. For too many of our communities, however, we yearn for success but we don’t plot the correct navigation to get there. We haphazardly pursue our strategies, trying new ideas and hoping one will stick. It’s time…

Joel R

Joel R

The incredible power of anonymity when growing your community

We attach a significant amount of personally identifiable data to our social media profiles daily. I regularly use social media to share photos of my kids and holidays. I post my personal thoughts on products I've used and TV shows I've watched. I'm even tagged in location-based check-ins. It's all there in my news feed for anyone to see. I'm not alone. More and more of us live our …

Matt

Matt

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