Note: Sara Latham, Communications Director at COPD Foundation, was a featured presented in this
on-demand webinar about building a community on your website. To get a sense for what Sara covered in the webinar, here's a Q&A that I did with her.
Tell us about COPD360social?
Launched in November 2014, COPD360social is the COPD Foundation’s social collaboration platform uniting patients, family members, caregivers and medical professionals in the form of a novel online social community.
The community provides members with a comfortable and secure venue to
share thoughts and ideas, ask questions, start discussions, comment on blogs and communicate with peers, thought leaders and community managers.
At the same time, members are able to access educational materials, event information, support groups, research opportunities and related resources. This centralized location facilitates communication with all patients providing
the COPD Foundation the best opportunity to understand the specific needs of our community.
Community members have the unique ability to choose what they want most from the platform. This could be sharing ideas and inspiration, taking part in research, or learning how to lobby on Capitol Hill. COPD360 will be the only social platform dedicated to COPD conceptualized from patient input, run by patients and which meets the digital requirements of the community.
What’s the value of hosting your community directly on your website?
The value of hosting our community on our website is that users are able to shift seamlessly from our online community to our website, where they are able to access educational materials, our online journals and news events, all without having to leave the umbrella of the COPD Foundation.
What’s the value to end users?
The value of
COPD360social is that it truly is an environment that speaks to all people affected by COPD. In addition to patients, caregivers and family members are able to share stories, gain insights and encouragement. Healthcare providers are also invited to participate in discussions and answer questions, making the site a place where all are welcomed.
Tell us about the member engagement metrics you track?
"Our community manager is constantly monitoring the topics where users are most engaged."
Currently we are tracking the following:
Number of new users
- Monthly active users
- Cumulative time spent on the site
- Number of questions posted
- Number of answers posted to questions
- Number of questions that don’t have answers within 24 hours
How COPD Foundation Built and Grew Its Branded Online Community
By Dennis Shiao
In addition, our community manager is constantly monitoring the topics where users are most engaged. During our weekly internal team meetings, we discuss those topics and see if there are ways that we expand on what our community seems most interested in by posting blog entries, new Q&A or soliciting feedback directly from our members.
Since launching the community last year, how are things going?
"COPD360social has been a lifeline for me."
We are very excited about how COPD360social has taken off. We are quickly approaching 7,000 members and our registrations continue to increase month over month. We also have received very positive feedback and testimonials from patients who have shared with us that COPD360social has made an impact in their lives and made them feel less isolated and alone.
One of the reasons I think we have been effective is that
our community manager is a COPD patient himself. Members on the site are able to tell that his comments are authentic and come from true experience from having the disease. His compassion and thoughtfulness have gone a long way in building trust with our community.
One member, BonBon, recently wrote “COPD360social has been a lifeline for me. I don't know anyone else with COPD in my area. I have found needed info, made new friends (who understand) and I hope I've been in some way helpful to the other COPDers. I no longer feel alone. Thank you all.”
In the end, we strive to be better every single day and I think our community appreciates our efforts.
Thanks, Sara. Keep up the great work!
View the Webinar Now