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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

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

Which is More Important in Online Communities: Engagement or Satisfaction?

Written by Andy Steggles | on February 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM | 3 minute read

A few weeks ago, Joe Rominiecki wrote a good article addressing the fallacy that higher member engagement leads to higher renewal rates. Instead, he points to Sheri Jacob's new book asserting that it's actually member satisfaction rather than member engagement that drives renewals.

I absolutely agree with Sheri but there is one fundamental flaw with Joe's article: The assumption that the act of consuming content is not an act of engagement. Consumers of content (or "lurkers" as we like to call them) are engaged, it's just a different type of engagement.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Engagement, Online Community

Community Manager Appreciation From Higher Logic

Written by Andy Steggles | on January 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM | 2 minute read

Monday, January 27 marks the fifth annual Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD). CMAD is a day to appreciate the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes making online communities succeed.

At Higher Logic, we have nothing but respect and admiration for the people who run the 100,000+ communities powered by our platform, not to mention just community managers as a whole. We know the work that goes into managing online communities, from getting users to adopt a new system to mitigating disputes among community members to convincing staff and volunteer leaders to lead by example and participate to navigating new relationships with IT departments - community management is definitely a challenging job.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Online Community

#1 Community Management Tip from the Professional Photographers of America

Written by Andy Steggles | on December 26, 2013 at 10:30 AM | 3 minute read

We had our users' group conference earlier this month and, aside from our best attendance yet with over 300 attendees, we were treated to some really great sessions by seriously smart Higher Logic clients.

One of the tips that's stuck with me over the past few weeks was one from Lindsay Starke, Online Community Coordinator from Professional Photographers of America, who did a fantastic session on the psychology of community management. The tip is something I've seen many times in various communities but which I'd never given much thought to until I heard her explain how and why her organization does it.

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Topics: Online Community Management, Member Engagement, Online Community

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