People are at the heart of Social Pinpoint and there's a number of great features that help you build and manage an active online community of users.

User registration and membership

Visitors of your site can join your online community by becoming Members. They do this via a registration form to create a user account that includes a username and password along with other personal information of your choosing like age, gender, location etc.

By becoming Members your users can log into their account to update personal details and adjust preferences for receiving email notifications about things they're interested in. For example, users may select the categories and locations they're interested in and receive an automatic email when a new project that matches their interests is published.

Members can also choose to 'follow' projects that they're interested in and receive news and events updates to keep them in the loop (selected subscriptions only).

The user registration system of Social Pinpoint is flexible and can be configured in a number of ways.

Configuring the registration system

At a sitewide level, you can force people to register in order to leave feedback via the participation tools (mandatory), or you can leave registration up to the user (optional). Some sites may have the registration system disabled entirely.

There is no right or wrong answer when choosing the registration defaults for your site, it will depend on your objectives and your target audience. Mandatory registration is great for ensuring data quality and integrity but can present a barrier to participation. Optional registration can lower this barrier, but give you data that is patchy or unreliable. There is often a trade-off to be made between quality vs quantity.

You also have the flexibility to decide whether you want to enable or disable registration at each participation tool, regardless of the default configuration of your site.

For example, let's say that our site had mandatory registration enabled by default, but you wanted to conduct a survey where the objective was to get as many people participating as possible and wanted to remove the barrier that registration may create. You could go into the settings of the survey and disable the registration requirement so that participants would not have to register to complete that survey. The opposite could be the case in sites where registration is optional by default.

Setting up registration

Given the complex nature of the registration system, our customer support team will help you get it setup.

Usually, this is done through the on-boarding process, and while it is possible to make changes after the setup, there are potentially significant consequences you should consider (see below for details).

At a minimum, your registration form will include an email address, screen name and password. You can add your own custom fields to obtain information that makes sense for your organisation.

There are a few different question types to choose from:

  • Short text - To collect short format text-based information like First or Last Name
  • Long text - To collect long format text-based information.
  • Multiple choice - To allow users to select from a list of pre-defined options. This can either be single select or multiple select. There is also
  • Geo-places- To collect and validate spatial information such as an address, postcode or zipcode, suburb or neighbourhood, etc.
  • Checkbox - To collect a single binary response, useful for obtaining consent
  • Number - To collect information in a number format such as phone number
  • Year of Birth - To collect age information. This is a specialised question that unlocks unique reporting capabilities.

Currently, there is no ability to add logic in the registration form to ask dependent questions.

You also have the flexibility to override the default within the settings of each participation tool. That means you can decide whether registration is appropriate for the specific engagement activity at hand.

While visitors to a Site can view content, and in most cases actively participate, converting these visitors into registered Members adds them to the Site’s online community and helps track their visitation and Contributions over time.

Building an online community helps Customers learn more about their audience including the online behaviours and preferences of its Membership. This information can be used to qualify engagement activities, tailor content to particular user groups, and notify end users of upcoming projects to keep them coming back.

Member Registration

Social Pinpoint contains a flexible Member Registration system that converts visitors to Members and sets up a Member account so they can login to the Site. Their information is stored in a Member Profile which can be viewed and updated by them as necessary.

The registration method of a Site is determined at a site-wide level and can be configured in three different ways:

  • Disabled - Visitors are unable to register on a Site and can only leave personal information via individual participation activities.
  • Optional -Visitors can optionally become Members by completing the registration, but are still able to use participation tools as non-Members.
  • Mandatory - Visitors must become Members by completing the registration in order to use participation tools. Non-Members will be prompted to register when attempting to use any participation tools.

The registration method can be overridden on some participation tools to either force or exempt registration for a particular activity. For example, a Site may have a mandatory registration method in place, but may exempt registration from being required on a specific survey tool to encourage the highest number of contributions as possible.

Member Attributes

Each Member is associated with a set of Member Attributes that include personal details, demographic information and various Site preferences. The following Member Attributes are standard when setting up your registration process:

  • Username* - This is a unique screen-name that is displayed publicly to identify the Member.
  • Email* - The email address of the Member.
  • Gender - The gender of the Member.
  • Age - The age group of the Member based on standard age categories.
  • Postcode - The postal code or other location code of the Member.
  • Topics of Interest - Topics or categories that the Member is interested in. These relate to tags on the projects and can be linked to automatic email updates.
  • Locations of Interest - Locations or places that the Member is interested in. These relate to tags on the projects and can be linked to automatic email updates.
  • Newsletter* - Whether the Member has opted-in to receive the Sitewide newsletter.

*These Member attributes are required for all registrations.

Additional Member Attributes can be added (with support from Harvest) and collected through the registration process or at the time a Contribution is submitted through a participation activity.

Key actions

The Members area of the Dashboard is where most user management functions relating to Members occur. To view a list of Members, navigate to the ‘Members’ area of the Dashboard.

This will display a list of all Members on a Site and their associated Member Attributes. Member data can be quickly searched by typing a keyword into the ‘search’ field to return Members who contain that keyword in any of their Member Attributes.

Members data can be filtered by selecting the Show Filters button next to the keyword search, setting the desired values and selecting the green Apply filter button. This will apply the filter criteria to the data table, displaying only Members who meet the selected criteria.

Using this function, search by filter, you can effectively discover where you might have gaps in your online community. By doing this you can then target your messaging to groups based on the gaps if you want to increase membership in that area. For example, a search by location or postcode may show geographic areas where membership is low. Developing a communications campaign targeting that area (such as a postcard letterbox drop) and inviting people to check out the site is a good way to drive membership.

Data can also be sorted by Member Attribute in ascending or descending order by selecting the column heading in the data table.

In most cases, visitors become Members by filling out a registration form after selecting the Register or Sign-up link on a site. However, Members can also be manually added by a Site Administrator who can create a Member account on behalf of a visitor.

To manually create a Member:

  1. Navigate to the Members area of the Dashboard and select the Add User button in the upper-right hand corner
  2. Select Community Member from the dropdown menu
  3. Fill out the required information on behalf of the public user. All usernames must have a minimum of three characters and cannot have any spaces or apostrophes.
  4. Select the blue Add button to submit the submission

The newly created Member will now appear in the Members interface, and will need to be notified of their user passwords to access their accounts.

When a new Member is added to a Site, either automatically or manually, a Member Profile is created. Member Profiles can be viewed by Members when they are logged into a Site, and can edit their details at any time.

Member Profiles can be viewed by Site Administrators by following the ‘username’ link on the Members table in the Members area from the Dashboard Panel. This will open the Member’s Profile.

Should a member request their account be deactivated from your site. This can be achieved in the members profile.

Member data can be exported out of the Platform to analyse a Site’s Membership or create filtered Members lists for communication purposes.

To export Member data, navigate to the Members area of the Dashboard and select the Export button located at the top-right of the page. A file in a .csv format containing all Member information will be downloaded through the browser.

User Tip

Files exported as .csv do not have any styling applied to the table of information. To expand the data to see all values using Microsoft Excel, ‘double click’ the area at the top-left of the data between the 1 and A cells.

There may be scenarios where you need to convert a community member into a site user (e.g if someone in your organisation signed up for your site as a community member but now needs to work on a project)

To convert a community member into a site user:

  1. Navigate to the Members area of the Dashboard
  2. From the community member table select the users profile by clicking on their linked username
  3. On the profile page select the Convert to site user button located to the top right of the screen
  4. You should see confirmation that the user was converted to a site user

Last updated: 7th January 2022