This week, I was asked to give a presentation at the Chase Conference in London highlighting the benefits of private social networks and presenting six strategies for increasing an organisation’s engagement and retention rates. The attendees were decision makers for organizations whose members work to make the world a better place. They were there to share best practices and to find ways to better engage their members using private social networks.

I was excited about this presentation because I believe that online collaboration is the new way to work, and I love promoting the idea. Members and employees in organizations and companies will find ways to network and collaborate with each other online. Businesses and organizations will benefit both themselves and their customers by providing those capabilities. Below are my talking notes.
To request a speaking engagement, please email

What does a private social network do?

PSNs are a tool for connecting and engaging members with the organization and each other

  1. Network with colleagues around the world in a trusted, safe, and moderated environment
    • Member directory and profiles help users find each other
    • Welcome page feeds the latest, most important information
    • Map gives geographic context
  2. Resource hubs consolidate knowledge in one place and your organization becomes the go-to place
    • Blogs are a great tool for providing thought leadership and expertise to a large audience
    • Libraries give users the ability to share and access files from anywhere
    • Forums collect conversations and questions in one place
  3. Collaboration tool allows you to work with the best from anywhere
    • Groups allow people to organize around topics of mutual interest and talk/archive conversations
    • Calendar helps people schedule and find events
    • Wikis enable people to work on documents together

How to create a place where great things happen

To successfully recruit, retain, and engage members, you need to design an engagement strategy for your community

  1. Understand your audience
  2. Define success for your organisation
  3. Define success for your members
  4. Choose an area of focus
  5. Evaluate and refine your strategy

As your members interact inside the network, you have access to an increasing treasure trove of useful data

The data will help you determine who is involved, engaged, and enchanted. When a member shows up to the community, they are involved. When they do something in the community, they are engaged. And when the community is mutually beneficial to both the members and the organizations, they are enchanted.

Six strategies for increasing engagement and retention:

  1. Appoint a community manager
  2. Identify champions inside and outside the community
  3. Share resources generously
  4. Make it easy and infuse fun
  5. Inspire dialogue
  6. Trust organic growth

Conclusion: provide value and thrive!
The more value your organisation can provide, the more you will recruit, retain, and engage members. Your organisation can provide increasing value to existing members – while giving incentives for new members to join – by constantly honing the engagement strategy to meet member needs.

I invite you to view my presentation and offer your thoughts and feedback!