A great tool in any community manager’s tool belt is a well crafted automation rule. It makes life simpler and takes away some emailing tedium.
With so many combinations and ways of creating a rule, the possibilities seem endless. As time goes by, every community manager will develop their own set of rules to help manage their unique community. Yet sometimes the more flexibility and potential – i.e. seemingly limitless automated rules for emails, notifications, events and more – the harder it is to know where to start.
Intimidated by the options and wondering how to be creative? We have five fun suggestions to get you started:
Isn’t it disappointing when one of your active members hasn’t posted for a while? You rely on your community champions to keep discussions lively and interesting. Set up an automation rule that goes out to people who have posted at least X number of posts, but haven’t posted anything within the past X number of days. This will show them that their contributions were appreciated and are missed. Hopefully this will prod them back onto the band wagon.
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This is a good way to remind people how important their thoughts and contributions are, since members can be hesitant to contribute publicly – even if they do want to be part of the conversation. We love lurkers, but when they decide to get more active, it’s good to encourage public discussions. For a new member, it could also have been a mistake to reply privately rather than publicly – that’s a great teaching moment!
Word of caution: sometimes this rule can feel a little “Big Brother” in theory to a community member. They sent a private reply, yet the community manager seems to be looking over their shoulder and noticed what they did. Two ways of addressing this:
If you have an open community for your organization, chances are some of the community members haven’t joined your organization yet. They’ve got one foot in the door, but now you want to reel them into membership. When they sign up, create a rule that sends out an email thanking them for joining and explaining the added benefits of becoming a dues-paying member.
If you want to target specific audiences, use a rule to send emails to just them. For example, if your community has a mobile app associated with it, look and see who is using it. For people who haven’t logged in via app, send out a rule reminding them it exists. Watch as the number of people using your app increases after this email blast.
You can use automation rules even if you aren’t planning on emailing reminders to members. Curious about who lives where? Who is a student and who is a professional? Community administrators can generate lists with automation rules to help with demographic and reporting data.
We told you automation rules aren’t that intimidating! Because of the flexibility, any community manager can tailor automation rules to work for them. A little creativity also helps – think outside the box and you’ll unlock a whole new way of using automation rules.
What are some of your favorite automation rules or ways to use them?