By MobileUp Software
Our blog is a place for encouragement and happiness.
But today, we are what some might consider the bearers of bad news: It's the middle of August and summer break is basically over.
So while it's sad to put our swimsuits and sunscreen in storage for another year, we are also quickly turning our attention to the rites of fall.
That's right, conference season is near and most schools are back in session already.
It also means your affinity groups and memberships are reuniting and talking about the things that matter to them!
There are the personal conversations of course. But the challenge for you as an app administrator is to determine where their online interactions are taking place.
No doubt, many are using social media and texting apps to communicate one-to-one or in small groups.
But when it comes to group-wide dialog, there is no better place to manage the conversations than your own MobileUp app.
Our Discussions feature provides the tools you need and several advantages over some alternative approaches. Consider the following five reasons:
Many engagement leaders have told us how frustrating it is when they discover an individual member of their groups has gone on their own and created an "official" discussion forum with a third party website.
This approach leaves an organization leadership sidelined in terms of direct management of the conversations, leading to potentially false information being shared.
The sites also exclude some members or students who don't have an account with the third party. Everyone doesn't have a Facebook account to join a Facebook Group, for example.
And because an organization's leadership is not in control of the forum, it is not likely to be promoted in the group's official announcements. For this reason, some members or students simply never know it exists and don't participate.
Discussions in your MobileUp app solves this with a centralized place for conversations that is accessible in the same place your other content is.
Many organizations promote their causes with hashtags and other methods on social media.
However, these networks are not the areas to share group-wide information that is intended for members or students only. (Hat tip to Captain Obvious, a recurring character in our blog.)
You better find a different place (aka Discussions in your MobileUp app) unless you are prepared for anyone to read and comment on your business.
Speaking of conversations among friends, your MobileUp app provides it right now by default.
Our apps are intended to engage affinity groups or memberships.
If someone does not “belong” to your group with an approved ID in your database, they cannot access the app.
In addition, every user is recognized by their first and last names in the app and made up handles or aliases (e.g. @ToughGuy2018, @TooCool4UAll, @AlwayzRite, etc.) are not allowed.
This carries through to your MobileUp-based discussions.
Studies show putting a real name to every comment greatly reduces the chances a troll will show up in online conversations.
When it comes to Discussions then, the chances of an offensive comment appearing in your threaded conversations are greatly minimized.
And as opposed to some third party sites, you as an app administrator have complete conversation moderation control through our message flagging threshold system.
Every time your app users go to another site or app, you lose a chance to position your organization and brand as a digital resource for them.
In the case of Discussions, the potential is there to bring the same user back to your app for numerous visits he or she will take elsewhere if the same conversation is on another site or app.
Why wouldn't you want your users to use your app as often as possible? Don't miss the opportunities to add value to your users' experiences!
Discussions encourage interaction between members of your group.
As a by-product, you gain insight and feedback you might not otherwise get.
Suppose members are discussing a legislative issue that affects your association. This would be an opportune time for your leadership group to inject helpful information and guidance.
Or suppose members or students are discussing a problem with registering for an event. Such information can help your leadership team be pro-active in addressing member or student needs.
And it's all right there in your app. How convenient!
The Discussions module is a standard feature in all MobileUp apps. Visit the Discussions link in your app administrator's console to create your first topic or contact your MobileUp client services representative if you need assistance.