A community manager’s role is one of a thousand small tasks.
Rewarding those who act, informing others of opportunities to engage, and ensuring stake-holder participation can take a lot of effort. But many of the actions of a Community Manager are in response to a specific action (or a specific inaction) by community members. The presence or absence of data is the “cause” for the Community Manager’s “effect”. Automation Rules recognizes this. Released to all clients in late 2014, Automation Rules presents a host of time saving opportunities for anyone running their online community through the Higher Logic platform.
Essentially, Higher Logic’s Automation Rules empowers you to use the data generated by your online community or the database back end. Thousands of data points exist for your active members. Automation Rules allow you to take actions based on the data automatically by performing queries across this data. No, you don’t have to know SQL. The interface is all in English – variables allow you to take such actions as “add the blogger ribbon to all members who blogged within the last 10 days”. User attributes can be added to profiles. Messages, including thank-yous and meeting reminders, can be triggered by user actions or as key dates approach. Snapshot reports are available any time or sent automatically with deeper reporting options available. With rules, the community manager can provide baseline nudges, rewards, compliments and alerts without one-off actions or 24/7 monitoring of community activity.
What kinds of rules are we talking about here? I’d give you a top-ten list, but this needs to be turned up to eleven.
- Welcoming new members
“Thanks for your membership, welcome to our online community.”
- Requesting and rewarding profile updates
“We see that your profile is only 50% complete – please let our community know more about you.”
“You did it – your profile is 100% complete”
- Activating lurkers based on logins without content creation
“Thanks for reviewing the content – isn’t it time your voice is heard?”
- Gamification: rewarding high-contributors
“You have achieved 1000 engagement points.”
“You have posted 10 times in the last week – keep it up!”
“You have 100 friends – thanks for connecting.”
“Your contributions have 10 recommendations from your peers.
- Reminding bloggers to post - “Your last blog was 40 days ago. Keep sharing!”
- Reminding your beta-testers and champions of their commitment
“You agreed to be a community champion but have not posted in 10 days. Please share!”
- Informing users of communities or threads they are interested in
“You have stated your interest in X – a Community is focusing on this topic now.”
- Reminding users who have yet to register for an event - “The Annual Meeting’s early bird registration date is closing tomorrow.”
- Acknowledging career milestones - “Congratulations on achieving your CAE!”
- Alerting new opportunities
“Online Mentoring just launched – become/find a mentor”
“Joe Superstar just wrote a blog – check it out!”
“Annual Meeting registration now open!”
- Delivering targeted messages - “We see you are interested in X and Y – this update is just for you!”
Note that some of these rules are “set it and forget it” while others allow you to perform queries for performing a specific action for a number of users. Higher Logic clients can see the Automation Rules tool in action in a recorded webinar by Higher Logic CEO Rob Wenger. Check out Laura Brook's list of automation rules brainstorming ideas and Martha Jack's reference guide to all the options available.
Data gives you the information to do more – Automation Rules give you the power to do more. Of course, curating the rules is as important as creating them. But you are in control. Higher Logic’s Automation Rules is a game changer for community managers.