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So you want to write a blog?

 

That's fantastic! As community managers and evangelists, we are often in the position of blogging in our own communities. In fact, you might want your community experts and advocates to feel empowered to write blogs about their subjects of expertise and their passions as well. Blogs are a great way to tell a story, educate your readers, and have fun!

 

Here's the thing: all blog posts are not created equal. Depending on the voice, the sentence and paragraph length and the value to the reader, a blog can be incredibly engaging or totally miss the mark. Since we want all blogs to be amazing and create connections with our customers, prospects, and others, I've come up with these five tips for successful blog posts.

 

 

Five tips to better blogs

 

1. Use the title to communicate value

What will readers get from the blog? Your title should clearly communicate to readers why they should read the blog and what they will get from it in the fewest words possible. See the title of this blog? Pretty clear, I hope. I want to help you all become amazing bloggers and so I came up with a short list of things to do to help you with that goal. I could've called the blog "Let Our Voices Be Heard" but that wouldn't really communicate what you're going to get from this content, would it? And since SEO is an incredibly important thing to consider for blogs, so be sure to connect with an SEO expert to see if your title can be optimized. See Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

 

2. Write in your talking voice

When writing a blog, it's more engaging to communicate in a casual personal tone. Blogs should be written in the first person (I did this, you can do that). You should be able to visualize speaking the blog to a person and them hearing it as part of a conversation. If your writing tends towards the news article style, a good tactic is to record yourself explaining to a real person what the article is about. Then write that down and it can become a blog.

 

3. Use lists, short sentences, short paragraphs, images

People do not have tons of time to read these days. And a whole bunch of readers are scanners. Be sure to write your blog with scanning in mind. Lists are a great way to pull content together in an easy-to-scan format. For paragraph style, break long sentences into shorter ones, be sure to organize sentences into topical paragraphs. A paragraph should be around five sentences long. Double space between paragraphs and break them up with subheadings that catch the readers attention. Add images to break up text and add visual interest.

 

4. Provide value to the reader

Writing a blog to get something off your mind is fine, but even better is to figure out how your thoughts can be helpful to your readers. You may have a great story to tell, but be sure to link it to some take-aways for your readers. Take some time to think about who your audience is and what they care about. Then be able to answer the question: why should the reader care about this blog and what's in it for them?

 

5. Finish off with a call to action

What's the final take away? Do you want readers to attend an event, read something in greater detail, watch a video or download a white paper? Even if the call to action is more conceptual (such as asking readers to consider the ways they can use your product) that's okay too.

 

While this list is not all encompassing, these tips are a great way to get started and to be sure you are hitting the big marks for blogs.

 

Try your hand at a blog today!

 

I'd like to challenge all of you to give these tips a try and write a blog this week.

  • Take a subject you feel passionate about and tell your story in your community.
  • Review and edit your blog to cover the tips above.
  • Collect feedback. Find a writer you admire in your own community or company and ask them to review your piece.
  • Determine the best place to post your blog. Depending upon the content and subject matter, your blog could end up on your community, on LinkedIn, or your personal blog channel. You can even try your hand at blogging in our The specified item was not found. blog channel here in the Jive Community. I'll get to review your blogs before they are posted. Guidelines are here: Blogging Guidelines.

 

And remember to have fun!

 

NOTE: If you would like to use this post in your own community to help encourage bloggers, feel free to copy and paste! Simply add a line attributing the content back to me here in the Jive Community. Thanks!

As Jive customers, you may have had the opportunity to work with Jive employees who have left you wanting to know more about them. We'd like to give you the opportunity to know a little more about the people you work with on your implementations and upgrades in our new blog series: Meet the Jivers. We're starting with Christy Schoon who has helped many of you get started using Jive. We hope this gives you the chance to get to know her a little better.

 

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Christy recently came into our Jive Palo Alto office

 

 

Carmel Schetrit: Could you start by telling me your official title and what you actually do?

Christy Schoon: I am Senior Strategy Consultant in Professional Services.  I get to work with lots of different types of customers on internal and external community launches, upgrades, and health checks.  If you look at a community launch from three aspects: Technology, People, and Business - I focus on the People and Business.  In strategy, we focus on things like program strategy, identifying and developing use cases, measurement, adoption planning, governance, gamification, and the list goes on. Even though I talk about the same topics almost every day it's never the same because the customers aren't the same. I love what I do!

 

 

CS: Where do you work?

Christy: I am based in Denver so when I'm around I work from home. Half of the time I'm traveling which means I often work from the back seat of an Uber car, airport chairs, hotels and customer sites. But I would have to say that the most interesting place I've had the chance to work from is Tokyo. Fabulous sushi and wonderful people.

 

 

CS: How do you use Jive at Jive?

Christy: I use both Brewspace (Jive's internal community) and the Jive Community all day long. I use Brewspace in order to get answers on questions from product experts. I also use it to connect with colleagues especially since I work remotely and I feel that engagement is extremely important to me. I'd go crazy working from home if I didn't have Brewspace.  I use the Jive Community to work on projects with customers, every customer has a private project where we collaborate. I also like to participate in general conversation about internal and external communities. I use the desktop and mobile version of Jive Chime to message co-workers. Since I am constantly on the go I use Jive in all of its forms. From my desktop, tablet, and phone - it allows me to always stay connected.

 


CS: What is your WorkType (TM)?

Christy: I'm a Producer and my secondary WorkType is Coach. I think this means I like to cross the finish line. I don't always take the time to appreciate the journey. But I'm working on it. Especially with my secondary WorkType being a Coach I think that means that I do sometimes get to appreciate the journey from the beginning through someone else's eyes and see things a little differently (while still helping people cross their finish lines, of course).

 


CS: What is your desk setup like?

Christy: During a video conference one of my co-workers called me Harry Potter because my setup at home is a desk under the stairs. I live in a loft so getting creative for space is essential. My cat sits in a box on my desk, this way he feels like he's keeping me company but doesn't keep sitting in my monitor stand and blocking my view. The loft style office can get loud at times and I have to admit that I've taken calls in the pantry before...it's not pretty.


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Meet kitten in the box.

 

CS: What's the one thing you've done that no one would ever guess about you?

Christy: I'm a certified sommelier.  My husband says that means I'm a wine snob.  It really means I know just enough to be dangerous.  If you ever need a wine and food pairing suggestion let me know!

 


CS: If you had a spirit animal what would it be?

Christy: I have no idea what my spirit animal would be. I'm a voracious reader. So maybe a bookworm? That's kind of gross. I'd love to say something cool like a lion but I'm drawing a blank.  Bookworm it is.

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Christy's kitten is a bookworm as well.

 

A huge thank you goes out to the brave Christy for being the first interviewee! It was a pleasure getting to know her better.

 

 

If you have questions or comments, please post them below! What is YOUR spirit animal?

When I say the word "brand" are thinking... whatever, who cares? That's easy enough to understand if I was talking about another logo or another set of corporate colors. For Jive, our motto of Connect, Communicate and Collaborate needed to come alive. And it did on canvas.

 

Only Art is Human

 

For Jive, our brand is something we live and breathe. It's part of what makes us Jive and makes us human. It was with those thoughts in mind that we launched a new brand last year which was the result of an online collaboration between artists. A group of fine artists came together to collaborate on making their pieces work together regardless of the medium. Some artists used canvas and paint, others fabric and some were digital. In case you missed that story, you can read more about it here: Only Art is Human: The Story Behind Our New Brand - Jive Software

 

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You'll notice some of the art above in our community headers and textures

 

Turns out that we won an award for this brand approach: Jive Wins 2015 PR Daily Award and Unveils the Jive Canvas Project - Jive Software and it kicked off another great activity for our offices, the Jive Canvas Project.

 

Art Brings Us Together – The Jive Canvas Project

The exciting thing about our brand identity is that it continues to evolve. It lives and breathes as our Jivers and our community provide input and break out their own inner-artist to paint a picture of the Jive brand.

 

Such was the case a few months ago when we decided to take three core attributes of Jive — connect, communicate and collaborate — and do something unique and fun—and totally outside the usual day-to-day activities of a global tech company. We celebrated them.

 

Last fall, across the U.S., U.K. and Israel, Jive employees took their creativity and the passion for what they do, and turned it into abstract art. Each location worked together to produce their interpretation of the Jive brand on canvas.

 

The thing is, we’re used to working together across continents, without borders. But the outcome of this project—seeing an actual, physical example of our collaboration? It was even cooler than we’d imagined.

 

How we did it

 

As with all good things, the Jive canvas project kicked off with a festive happy hour in each office. Jivers were then equipped with blank canvases, acrylic and tempera paint, brushes, markers and other tools aimed to release their creative mojo. Soon, people from all parts of our business—co-workers whose paths wouldn’t naturally cross—were collaborating, talking and literally getting their hands dirty.

 

I hope you enjoyed this story behind the Jive brand.

May it inspire you to use your communities in surprising ways to connect, communicate and collaborate!

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Did you know that Jive's Connect, Communicate and Collaborate Roadshow Series will be visiting a city near you?

 

We would like to cordially invite anyone who is interested in the forefront of the social business revolution including Marketing, Service and Operations leaders to our Connect, Communicate and Collaborate National Roadshow Series in:

 


Why attend, you ask?We've custom-designed our two track session to cover the needs of IT and line-of-business leaders. Both tracks will cover real-world practices for leveraging Social Business inside( Internal Communities) and outside( External Communities) your organization. You'll leave armed with:


  • The know-how to make social a strategic part of your business
  • Hear from a business leader on how they’ve implemented social to produce measurable business results
  • In our track sessions, learn more about the business value or technology innovation
  • Network with fellow trailblazers who are looking for new ways to engage their employees, customers, and the broader social web
  • Provide better service and loyalty while reducing operating costs
  • Drive co-innovation from customers, partners, as well as colleagues and team members
  • Drive connectedness and alignment with corporate strategy across the team and company
  • Capture, centralize and share institutional knowledge
  • Modernize your intranets and portals to get all employees engaged
  • Foster innovation while maintaining necessary enterprise controls


We believe that our products unleash ideas and inspire the people who matter most to your business. Your employees. Your customers. Your partners.  Imagine your employees informed and aligned. Your customers and partners engaged. Everyone working together in ways that deliver the most value for your business – regardless of where they are, what device they’re on, or how they prefer to work. To that end, Marketing, Business and IT leaders will come together to listen to a keynote by some of our most interesting customers along with the Jive POV, presented by a Jive executive host.

 

These sessions will not be a series of one way monologues. Come prepared to interact, ask questions and connect with others who find themselves facing the same kind of challenges you face and ultimately change the way you view social business.

 

Join us at our complimentary Connect, Communicate and Collaborate Roadshow Series and take the first step to truly engaging your employees and customers. You can't afford not to.

 

See you there!

 

Register now #Jiveconnect15 in #SanFrancisco and #Austin

 

Location:

Marriott Union Square Hotel

480 Sutter Street

San Francisco, CA 94108
(415) 398-8900

 

Date: Tuesday, June 23 2015

Time: 3:00pm-7:00pm

RSVP Here

 

Location:

Omni Austin Hotel Downtown

700 San Jacinto

Austin, TX 78701

(512) 476-3700

 

Date: Thursday, June 25 2015

Time: 1:00pm - 6:00pm

RSVP Here

 

*Registration is complimentary


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Introduction by Libby Taylor: Jive has rich partnerships with many amazing companies, two of which are featured in this blog post. I invite our customers to explore the expertise and technologies that our partners offer in order to reach the full potential of their communities. My thanks for Jen and Elysha for presenting this information today.

 

As an internal community manager, you are charged with the task of driving employees into Jive to connect, communicate and collaborate. The power of a social community rests upon its members wanting to spend time there and return frequently, which requires user-generated content that people find interesting and useful. If this is happening in the confines of an enterprise community, that content also needs to be relevant to the business. Expecting a community manager alone to fuel that community can be a big ask, which is why Jen Callahan of Social Edge Consulting and Elysha Ames of TemboSocial came together to share our thoughts about peer recognition in Jive as a powerful tool for driving an active and productive community.

 

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Here are the top 5 reasons why integrating your employee recognition program with your Jive community is so powerful:

  1. By leveraging your Jive Community for recognition, you are giving employees another reason to go there. And while they are there, they will likely spend time exploring the community and engaging with other content
  2. Employee recognition populates your community with interesting and engaging content as managers recognize their teams and employees applaud each other
  3. Making recognition visible to everyone surfaces the values and repeatable behaviors your organization wants employees to emulate
  4. Community availability of recognition allows  success stories to be visible, browseable and searchable across the organization
  5. Rising stars in the organization are more identifiable based on the recognition they are giving and receiving

 

 

Jive’s partners understand the truth of the matter. With a leading social recognition program that integrates with Jive’s architecture, TemboSocial knows having a static intranet isn’t enough. A useful enterprise community is one with user-generated content that helps employees do their jobs better. Employees that spend time in Jive get a better understanding of what’s happening in the company, and learn from their colleague’s behaviors that drive success. The community become a place where employees want to spend time and adds value to the business by reducing inefficiencies and increasing productivity, knowledge-sharing and innovation. That’s a true social enterprise.

 

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This is why expert consultants, such as those from Jive partner Social Edge, work with community managers and advocates to move Jive Communities from static document repositories to dynamic social environments; it takes an army of employee ambassadors to fuel a social community. Community managers and advocates work hard to ensure that the community is a primary destination in employees’ day and that it is a personal, social, and useful experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your strategy for building an army of advocates?

 

For more information on developing a successful advocate strategy, consider contacting a Jive partner today and check out Social Edge’s latest blog post on recruiting advocates.

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Today is a big day. It’s the release of The Community Roundtable’s biggest annual research study - the State of Community Management. This is the sixth year - it’s no longer new and because of that, perhaps not quite as exciting. What it lacks in novelty, however, it makes up for in value - including more detailed data and new analysis that adds richness to the research.

 

When we started The Community Roundtable we felt that research into the practices and resulting impacts of community was a core missing piece that could help demonstrate the value of community management. The research we do at TheCR is a collaboration between members of TheCR Network and TheCR research team. We work together with our members to ensure that we focus on and exploring the areas of biggest need to practitioners, so that the research is immediately practical and valuable – and evolves as quickly as the discipline does.

 

At the leading edges, the discipline of community management has moved beyond the idea that engagement is purely a matter of tactical execution and our members are working to build the operational structures and processes that reinforce a culture of engagement. We are also seeing organizations start to contemplate how business models and organizational strategies will need to change as a result of engagement with their ecosystems. For this reason, we broke up this year’s key findings into three critical categories for those working to make a community approach successful within larger organizations: strategy, operations and tactics.

 

This year’s key finding are:

  •     Strategy: Invest in people and systems, not just platforms
  •     Operations: Advocacy Programs are More Than a Checkbox
  •     Tactics: Quick Wins Exist to Improve Engagement

 

In each of these areas, TheCR Network members told us that there was not enough data to help them educate their stakeholders, or an understanding of what it meant to do these things well. We took that input to heart, and asked for more detail in our research. As an example, advocacy and advocacy programs are a much-discussed topic but there is a wide variation what people think advocacy programs look like and it is often seen as an easy thing when, in fact, it requires a lot of planning, thought and investment to do well. This year’s research bears that out, showing that basic advocacy programs have minimal impact on engagement but multi-faceted programs, which address multiple roles and have significant benefits for advocates do have an impact on engagement and value.

 

We hope this research supports your work and contributes to your success. If it does, we hope you will consider joining TheCR Network, contributing to the development of the discipline by sharing what you know, asking questions about what you don’t and participating in the evolution of our research in the future. The results will provide fuel for discussions and programming throughout the coming year, and we’d love to expand the conversation – and the number of people getting the benefits of TheCR Network.

 

Happy reading and please let us know if you have questions, suggestions or comments!

 

Preview and Download the report here.

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