I run a journaling community. I used to use another software which had a way of delivering weekly topics to journal on and then a place on a person's page to journal and their friends or the whole community could see and comment on what they wrote. I am trying to figure out a way to duplicate that as closely as possible.I thought maybe there was some kind of integration with Constant Contact but I can't figure out how.
I'd also like their friends to be notified somehow that a response happened or something like that.
Can anyone help or direct me to where I can get such help?
I am interested in hearing the answer to this as well. I want to be able to send mail to all new members.
Hi Maia, I will be interested to hear what you come up with on this too.
I can offer some direction on use of a Ning site for this for your consideration though.
Technically speaking, there are so many different ways you can do this as a structured social media campaign that accomplishes the objectives you have laid out. The suggestions above are just some ideas to point you in the right direction. If you have any question about these, or would like help customizing a solution for your project along these lines, feel free to drop me a line.
You are a sweetheart. I shall get to this sometime next week and I shall holler if I need help. Thank you so much.
Right on Maia. My pleasure ;) -Anthony
Is this what you do for your business? I have been unable to really get help. I have a call with a person from Constant Contact today and I'll see if he can help. I really tried to unravel your suggestions with little success. I think I don't speak "ning" very well and so what you say isn't clear to me. :(
It will be my pleasure to break down my suggestions to you.
To begin, you are looking at Constant Contact for your purposes. Constant Contact is a reputable product for e-mail marketing, so would probably be received well by your members. I've heard Ning network creators speak highly of other e-mail services such as MailChimp too.
As far as my suggestions, I was pointing you to ways that you could use the features built into your Ning network to accomplish your objectives.
You have broadcast messages, for instance, which can be formatted to present very nice looking announcements to your entire community. It's a little different than Constant Contact, but ultimately I hope you can see broadcast messaging can accomplish essentially the same thing.
The thing I like about that is you are already paying for the tool. How is that for a start?
I use broadcast messages too, but they don't automatically save themselves in an archive that newer members can go back & look at. So I copy my broadcast messages into a blog and tag them & then save them there. I know that I can then "share" that message with my members, but those don't include the whole message, just the beginning part (I think that's true, isn't it?).
Having it in a blog also allows me to share it on Facebook - hopefully generating some interest from folks who are members of my network yet.
So I have the messages available two ways - as a broadcast message sent directly to members and as a blog, which is available to anyone who comes to the site and which can be shared via FB.
Very good Deb,
Just for sake of discussion, the Ning Help Center has some general information about Broadcast Messaging for those not up to speed with the Ning term.
If you look at how Ning Creators does this with their periodic community digests, it's almost always a formula of summary and link. Within the constraints of the standard broadcast message editor, this is easy and works great. However, you can actually use HTML e-mail templates too.
Overall, I would not want to present any kind of extensive content in the message. Better to have a dedicated page (or discussion/ blog post) and link to it. I think there's a good point for services like Constant Contact where you have some advanced content editting capabilities and you can really see the communication as a stand alone presentation. It's more crucial in e-mail marketing to hit the home run on the first swing, and broadcast messaging is more designed for community maintenance from what I've seen.
Whenever using a "share" function, if I see it looks like a fragment text, I won't send it. It might seem more efficient, but you lose some of your professional equity each time you do it. Better to write up a quick manual message with a link in my opinion.
If you have an image, then you can upload that to Facebook with the link and perhaps a summary text, and then you have a better presentation than the standard share to FB...like Ning does on their FB page.
The great thing with the summary and link to content approach is it's more attractive in the contemporary sense, digestible, and you can go lights out with the presentation you link to on your site. Altogether part of a well orchestrated social media campaign!
great ideas, Anthony. thanks!
I thank everyone. I put a signup form in ning and the members will receive their weekly topics in their home inbox with a link that takes them to the discussion in the community. It'll work fine and I'm happy
If you are using Constant Contact, your members will not have to sign up again in a form on your site, they will automatically be added to your Constant Contact list. You can then send to them as often as you wish through Constant Contact.
If your goal is "the members will receive their weekly topics in their home inbox with a link that takes them to the discussion in the community", then you can do that for free with the built in "Message Broadcast" tool. A weekly "Best of..." message is a fantastic idea that all NC's should be doing with their members. It drives activity and traffic from your members.
If you are using a different email service provider / autoresponder, you can import their email addresses from the .CSV member database backup. (Find it at Manage Tab / Members / Manage and then click the link at the bottom right of the page below your list of members that says "Export All Member Data (.CSV)")
By importing your member list instead of having them sign up again, you will get all of your members rather than the much smaller number that sign up again on your web form.
PS. Depending on your number of members, Constant Contact can be really expensive. The built in "Message Broadcast" is free and will get to all your members as well. It's just not an automated solution. I use a different autoresponder than Constant Contact for my members. I do this so I can send an automated series of emails - something that can't be done with the built in tools.
Right on Deb, my pleasure Maia ;)