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Invision Community Blog


Our take on managing successful online communities

Matt
 

New: Promoting Content

There are many strategies for growing your community, such as newsletters, mailing lists and advertising on other sites.

IPS Community Suite 4.2 puts a new tool at your disposal: promotions.

There’s no denying the popularity of social media. Worldwide, Facebook has 1.86 billion users active monthly. Every day, millions of people are using Facebook to speak with friends, to talk about their interests and to find new people to connect with.

Of that 1.86 billion people, a good portion of those are actively discussing topics your forum covers. There is a huge opportunity to tap into social media to join in the discussion and to promote your community and provide a venue to carry on the discussion.

For a while, we’ve had social media log in extensions, which means that your users can sign into your community simply by clicking a relevant button. We’ve also had the ability to share things to a personal Facebook account. These tools are great for your users, but how do they help you, forum owner?

IPS Community Suite 4.2 introduces a way to promote your content directly to your brand’s Facebook page and your brand’s Twitter account.

You can curate fun and engaging topics and share them. The workflow is simple. Simply browse your community and queue up interesting topics, comments, gallery items, blog posts or database articles for posting throughout the day to your brand’s social media accounts. You choose the schedule, the hashtags and the wording to send.

Let’s look at the feature set in more detail.

Your first stop is to set up the feature from the admin panel. The system will guide you through the necessary steps of connecting your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Once Facebook has been set up, you can select any page that you are an administrator of on Facebook.

 

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The admin panel also offers scheduling options and permissions.

 

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You can pre-set the times for when content will be posted. Facebook and Twitter both have analytic tools to determine when your visitors are most frequently online. A good tip here is to set the time to a slightly odd number, so 11:45am is better than 12:00pm as you are likely to catch the attention of someone waiting for lunch, or a lunchtime meeting.

 

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You have full control over who can promote items to your social media accounts. You can specify by group or pick individual members who may not be in those groups.

Now that you’ve set up the backend, we can get promoting.

Each item, that is a topic, gallery album, blog entry or article has its own Promote button.

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Each post and comment can also be shared individually, which is an easy way to share great content your visitors add to existing conversations.

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Clicking this brings up the sharer.

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This is where you can customize the text that is sent out to each social media channel. You’ll also notice space to promote this item within your own community in addition (or instead of) Facebook or Twitter, we will explore that shortly.

The sharer is smart enough to pull attachments already added in the post, and you can upload your own images to be sent. Generally, shared items that have an image get better organic reach than just text alone so you’ll almost always want to choose or add an image. Twitter can use up to 4 images, and Facebook allows 1000 pictures per album, but you’ll never want to upload that many!

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Once you’ve filled out your content and picked your images, you can schedule the promotion. Generally, you’ll want to use the auto schedule option as this allows you to just stack up multiple items and let the auto scheduler post the items according to your pre-set schedule. You can also set a specific date and time if you are looking to run a promotion or other time sensitive event.

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The promoted content viewed in Facebook and Twitter

It’s easy to see the status of your queued and sent items from the moderator view.

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This area allows you to see previous promotions and modify pending promotions.

Earlier, we mentioned that the system has the ability to promote content internally. Promoting items to your own community lets you, the community manager, curate interesting items and comments and present this to your community. This is a great way to allow your visitors to explore content you think they’d enjoy.

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Promoting content to your community via Our Picks also allow you to promote content if you cannot or choose not to use social networks. It has the advantage that social networks do not have over a community platform like IPS Community Suite: consistency. The content on your community is always there whereas a social network is all about right here right now. Miss it and you miss out. On your community you can engage and re-engage a subject all you want. 

Of course, we’ve built a widget that you can drag and drop to most pages to make this curated list more visible.

IPS Community Suite 4.2 gives you, the site owner and community manager the tools you need to reach out and engage new users already discussing the topics on social media your community covers. With single click sign in and the built in retention functionality the suite offers, you’ll have a powerful way of growing your user base. It furthers that goal by created a list of that promoted content for continual reference and promotion for visitors already on your site.

We’ve got lots more to discuss on this subject, and in the coming months we’ll be putting together some guides on social media best practices and how to leverage Facebook’s excellent post promotion / pay per click tools to further boost your site’s visibility to social media users.

We’re here to help you make a success of your community and to give social media users a venue for when they outgrow Facebook.

Edited by Matt


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Very nice, thank you for this.

Setting up Facebook for my website communities has been such a nightmare in the past, I gave up and stuck with Twitter. I don't have time to nurture Twitter so my IPS just feeds new content which gets automatically tweeted. I lie the idea of being able to also cherry pick content using this system.

I recently saw in your Facebook guide it's got even more complex to intergrate. My communities ideally do need that Facebook presence and although Facebook wouldn't accept that I was really me (despite sending I them personal information, card details etc) preventing me from creating the necessary API keys etc, I'd be willing to give it another try but I don't want a personal Facebook account for myself, just Facebook pages for the websites/communities I admin.

It would be great if there was a complete built in wizard using their API to take you through Facebook setup and linking to their systems.

I'm wary but can see how it will benefit many Admins.

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46 minutes ago, WAQAS DAR said:

great feature and easy solution for promoting communities . Thanks :)  hope to get 4.2 version soon :p 

Thank you! Our goal here was to encourage you to promote your community on different channels and make it easy to do so. We also know that Facebook's organic reach algorithms favours media posts, so we felt that it was important to make it easy to share not only the link, but also any relevant images you may have. It all helps to be visible.

18 minutes ago, The Old Man said:

Very nice, thank you for this.

Setting up Facebook for my website communities has been such a nightmare in the past, I gave up and stuck with Twitter. I don't have time to nurture Twitter so my IPS just feeds new content which gets automatically tweeted. I lie the idea of being able to also cherry pick content using this system.

I recently saw in your Facebook guide it's got even more complex to intergrate. My communities ideally do need that Facebook presence and although Facebook wouldn't accept that I was really me (despite sending I them personal information, card details etc) preventing me from creating the necessary API keys etc, I'd be willing to give it another try but I don't want a personal Facebook account for myself, just Facebook pages for the websites/communities I admin.

It would be great if there was a complete built in wizard using their API to take you through Facebook setup and linking to their systems.

I'm wary but can see how it will benefit many Admins.

We'll have a detailed guide ready for the release of 4.2 on how to set up a Facebook app with the correct permissions. But if you do not want to use Facebook, that's fine as you can stick with Twitter and Our Picks to curate interesting content for your audience.

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A question -- is there any way on the IPS side to specify and store exactly where on Facebook the content will be shared - a default value?  As it works today, each time I click the FB icon, I must first select the group or page that the content will be shared to, else it goes to my own Timeline.  Note that my site has both a corresponding FB page and a FB group (in addition to my own personal Timeline).

I'd like to set the default share to go to the corresponding FB group to save this additional step each time.... This is even more important if things are to be fed programmatically...

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3 minutes ago, KentT said:

A question -- is there any way on the IPS side to specify and store exactly where on Facebook the content will be shared - a default value?  As it works today, each time I click the FB icon, I must first select the group or page that the content will be shared to, else it goes to my own Timeline.  Note that my site has both a corresponding FB page and a FB group (in addition to my own personal Timeline).

I'd like to set the default share to go to the corresponding FB group to save this additional step each time.... This is even more important if things are to be fed programmatically...

Hi Kent, thanks for your interest.

As part of the Facebook set up process, you define which page you'd like to share these updates to. So, we'd pick our "Invision Power Services" page. This is shown in the article in the first screenshot if you'd like to take a look.

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9 minutes ago, Kirill Gromov said:

This feedback -> https://invisionpower.com/forums/topic/436847-integration-with-vkcom/

Let's support my request!

 

As Charles said, once we gauge interest, we can look at other social networks. I wrote the system to allow you to drop in a new class and it can then be used.

5 minutes ago, PrettyPixels said:

This is fantastic! :) Great job, guys!

Will we have the ability to post to multiple sources (such as multiple FaceBook Pages or Twitter accounts) or are we limited to one page per each social media service?

Some of our content is relevant to our other communities, so it would be helpful to cross-promote.

Great feature suggestion. Right now it's locked to one Facebook page and one Twitter account, but I like this idea for the future.

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Great great feature...

Google plus is must ... as it gives you upper edge in search listings...

I wish we can have email invitations possible as well... importing contacts from gmail - yahoo or uploading CSV contacts ...

 

Regards

Saurabh

 

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3 minutes ago, FlorinP said:

Will it be possible for the Facebook users to react to the posts in a very simple way? Something like how Disqus does?

How do you mean? They will see the social sign in button where the reply field should be, so it's easy for them to sign up and contribute.

Just now, Joy Rex said:

Wow, 4.2 is going to be amazing! Great work on all the new features!

Thanks!

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If for example a topic is promoted, is there a visual indication that the topic is promoted (or scheduled) within that content, ie while you browse the topic? This is important for mods and people who are going to use this feature.

And if someone tries to re-promote it, will it get a message to re-promote promote now / re-schedule promotion?
Unless promoted content can't be re-promoted anayway...

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6 minutes ago, PasXal said:

Do you plan to adding Instagram? 

And a other point: WOW! I love the new features in 4.2! GREAT JOB!

Instagram has no API to post on its behalf. 

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1 hour ago, Saurabh Jain said:

Great great feature...

Google plus is must ... as it gives you upper edge in search listings...

This is a great feature. Definitely would like G+, since Google cheats to promote their own products.  I always get better search engine placement with stuff we post to G+

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I like, this reactions and clubs are great additions. I've always wondered, I have an app for Facebook log in, and then a Facebook page for my site. Is this the correct way? My login isn't asssociated with my page at all, the whole Facebook connect seems a bit of a mess

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