The Next Step in Community Management

By Rob Wenger posted Jun 23, 2014 02:35 PM

As you know, our goal at Higher Logic is not just to deliver great software but also to help you get the most out of it. For most of you, this means doing whatever we can to help you increase your member/client/partner engagement.

This help takes multiple forms, including: And many others.

Today we are introducing a new tool that we think will really help you to take your communities to the next level. It is called Automation Rules and it is the next step in combining the features of the product, feedback from the HUG community, and our own internal research on best practices for community engagement.

What Does It Do?

Automation Rules allow the Super Admin to automate some of the tasks that you would (or should) do to promote community engagement. Examples are:
  • Send a welcome email to anyone who has just joined a community
  • Add a badge/ribbon to anyone who has started more than 10 discussion threads
  • Apply a demographic to anyone who has visited a page promoting an upcoming program
  • Add anyone who is a member of the Board of Directors OR the Executive Committee to a Leaders Security group
  • Create a Network based on people’s designations/certifications
  • Add anyone who has registered for the annual meeting to a community for that meeting
How Does It Work?

There are just three steps to creating an Automation Rule:
  1. Select what you want the rule to do. Right now your choices are:
    • Send an Email
    • Add A Badge/Ribbon
    • Apply a Demographic
    • Add to a Security Group
    • Create a Network
    • Add or Invite to a community

  2. Select the criteria that decides who qualifies

    We are delivering 65 different criteria from which to choose in this initial release. You can combine together any number of them using AND or OR logic to get the group of people you desire. More criteria will be added in the future (see below).

  3. Specify When you want it to run

    You can run it right away, save it to run periodically, or just view and export the results to be used in an external program.
What Can I Do With It?

The possibilities are endless! We have many ideas in mind but we expect that you’ll have many, many more. To that end we have started a new community called Automation Rules Ideas where we would love to hear your thoughts. Ideally, this will be a place where you: the HUG members, as well as our staff, can share the rules that you have created and the results that you have seen. Ultimately, we’ll deliver new systems with the best rules already in place. But for now we’d love to see a highly interactive discussion aimed at generating awesome results!

We’d also love feedback on what additional criteria you need to make your rules come to life. Please use the community to suggest those as well. Don’t let the current list limit your thinking! We’ll add more criteria often until we all feel like we’ve got that base covered.

When Can I Use It?

You can start playing with it now. It is in CCADMIN under Tools. We are calling it “beta” until we get some feedback from you.

For the next few weeks we have the periodic part turned off because we want to make sure that you understand it and how to use it before it starts automatically doing stuff on your behalf. But we are very excited to get that turned on and get the work flowing! In the mean-time, you can push the “Do It Now” as often as you would like.

What Are The Future Plans For It?

We have a list of features we plan to add in the near future. These include:
  • Add more criteria!
  • Show contacts that would be removed by the rule, where applicable
  • Add the ability to Activate and Deactivate rules
  • Build out the reports on the rules that were run (i.e., who qualified with each run)
  • Allow for criteria with more than 1 parameter
  • Enhance the Email Templates to include more data for automation rules messages
  • Create a generic control to show people with a given demographic
  • Work with our partners to get (and give) more data to be used in rules
Further out, we are exploring adding other types of automation rules, that would apply to things in the system other than just people. For example, “Remove this community on X date”, “Create a newsletter with content that has the most recommends every month”, or “archive this content after x months”.

Is your mind spinning? Let me know in the comments, or better yet, join the new Automation Rules Ideas community and let us all know!