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Andy Steggles

Andy is the President and Chief Customer Officer at Higher Logic. He is an industry thought leader and frequent keynote speaker at conferences and events, traveling the globe to educate professionals about the importance of collaborative software, the cloud and the impact technology makes on the community it serves. He is the author of the best selling book Social Networking for Nonprofits. Prior to joining Higher Logic, Andy spent ten years serving as the Chief Information Officer at the Risk & Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS) where he headed their technology and social strategy initiatives.
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Recent Posts

Increasing Member Retention Using Integrated Automation

Written by Andy Steggles | on June 9, 2015 at 3:24 PM | 3 minute read

Address your association’s common pain points using automated engagement tactics. If you’re like many associations, member retention can be a struggle. Start with identifying and measuring your member engagement tactics that surround key member benefits (e.g. Annual Conference, Mentoring Program, Advocacy Efforts, Chapter/Components) or processes (New Member Integration, Conference First Timer, Committee Volunteerism). We’ve outlined a few easy examples below using one of the most common pain points for association member management: First Year Member Retention.

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Topics: Member Retention, Online Community Software, Member Engagement, Marketing Automation, Online Community

When to Open, When to Close: Adding New Communities

Written by Andy Steggles | on April 10, 2015 at 4:21 PM | 3 minute read

Many communities feel the pressure from committees, interest groups and other members to open new communities within their site (example: a Community for teachers has a lot of discussions on curriculum across the state, and members of a committee would like to start a separate community within the site). It's a tall order if those groups aren't prepared to develop a community plan, create seed questions and advocate on its behalf for support and engagement. These frequent requests can wear on community managers, who don't want to give out free tickets to possibly non-active communities.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Online Community

2015 Association TRENDS Partner of the Year: Thank You

Written by Andy Steggles | on February 6, 2015 at 3:31 PM | 3 minute read

For those of you who don't know, I'm currently in my third, decade-long career. I left school at 15 years old with absolutely no idea what to do.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Associations, Online Community

Why Your Online Community Needs the Board of Directors

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 28, 2014 at 10:30 AM | 3 minute read

What's the one thing almost all associations have in common? It's formal volunteer leadership programs. Volunteer leaders are highly visible, engaged MVPs in the association, lending credibility and encouraging other members to attend events and participate in activities. There are volunteer trainings, guidelines and formal committee structures and procedures, all of which boost the program's credibility and desirability; members aspire to join the ranks of these MVPs.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Associations, Member Engagement, Online Community

The Pros and Cons of Auto-Login for Discussion Emails

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 22, 2014 at 1:00 PM | 3 minute read

A topic of frequent interest and debate among Higher Logic clients is the auto-login feature. Auto-login embeds a user's credentials into community discussion group emails, enabling users to click on links in emails generated by the community platform to engage in the community site without having to manually log in.

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Topics: Community Platforms & Updates, Communications, Associations, Member Engagement, Online Community

Automatic Enrollment Will Always Trump The Opt-In Route

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 15, 2014 at 11:00 AM | 2 minute read

When organizations launch a new private online community that includes a member directory feature, one of the big questions that always comes up is whether or not to automatically include all members, or require individuals to "opt-in". Privacy is a big concern these days, so it's understandable that associations want to give members complete control over whether or not they're included in a member directory.

However, asking members to opt-in just doesn't work. Success rates will be much higher using automatic enrollment with the option to opt-out, versus asking users to opt-in.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

Seven Detractor Considerations for Private Communities

Written by Andy Steggles | on July 8, 2014 at 12:00 PM | 3 minute read

What happens when a member posts a negative or inflammatory comment in your online community? Having negative comments, or "detractors," in your community is not a bad thing; in fact it's a great opportunity for an organization to demonstrate transparency and a culture of openness.

There's a saying: "The conversation is happening whether you're listening or not." If a member voices a concern related to the profession/industry, or even about the organization itself, the odds are that other members have similar thoughts. It's best to address concerns head-on and open up a dialogue about the issue. Although after looking at the moderation analytics from over 400 organizations representing over 100,000 communities, it actually appears to be a fairly infrequent scenario.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Social Media, Online Community

Measuring Online Member Engagement: Hats Off to You!

Written by Andy Steggles | on June 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM | 2 minute read

I know it's tough to keep up with all of the tools and tricks for retaining and engaging your members - hats off to you. When it comes to achieving your organization's goals, you often need to wear many hats. How do you measure online member engagement? And how does it correlate to increased revenue and greater satisfaction?

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Topics: Online Community Management, Member Engagement, Online Community

Three Critical Must-Do's for Member-Onboarding Success

Written by Andy Steggles | on May 13, 2014 at 11:00 AM | 3 minute read

Launching a new community is exciting, and overwhelming. Your online community is an incredible tool that can be used to fully embrace new members and, at the same time, increase your overall level of member engagement. It can be easy to get so caught up in the details of planning and launching your community that you forget one key component: getting people to participate when it's live.

Assuming you've fully launched your community, one of the most important next steps is to ensure any new member to the organization is properly onboarded and welcomed into that community. For most organizations, the new member will be the most likely not to renew.

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Topics: Communications, Member Engagement, Online Community

Why It's a Mistake to Compare Private Communities to Social Networking Sites

Written by Andy Steggles | on March 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM | 2 minute read

Association execs often mistakenly think that private communities are nothing but smaller-scale, social networking sites. That's why I loved Ernie Smith's article, In Defense of the Insular Social Network, on Associations Now last week. The article talks about Virtual Management, Inc's recent study, the 2013 Association Operations Survey

As Ernie points out, the study did something interesting: in surveying respondents about their use of "social media sites," it lumps together public social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with private community platforms including Higher Logic, Jive and others. While I was admittedly happy to see Higher Logic used by the highest number of respondents, I couldn't help but wonder why the private community platforms were lumped with the public social networking sites.

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Topics: Social Media, Online Community Software, Online Community

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