Depending on the size of your organization, you may have only one community or several, with specific purposes. Regardless of size, many organizations want one large open community that every member can join to promote high engagement and knowledge sharing.
In this article, you'll learn how to:
- Create a community and configure its settings to function as an open community
- Set up an Automation Rule to automatically add all of your members to it
Create an open community
NOTE: Whether you need to create a community depends on your needs. If you have an existing community you'd like to use as your open community, you can likely just update its configuration settings, namely its Join and View permissions (more on these below).
If you plan to use an existing community, refer to the tips below and then move on to the Automation Rule section.
If you need to create a community to function as your open community, everything you need to know about this process is explained in Create and Manage Your Communities. Some of the more important settings to keep in mind are highlighted below.
- When configuring the community's settings, two of the most important are its Join and View permissions, as these dictate whether members will be able to see it and join.
- With open communities, you want this process to be as easy as possible for your members, so we generally recommending setting Join permissions to [your site] Members. This means all members who have an account can join, making it widely accessible.
- Depending on how accessible the content should be to non-members who are able to access your community site, View permissions can either be set to [your site] Members or Authenticated (this means anyone with a login can view the community, regardless of whether they're a member).
NOTE: You'll learn how to create an Automation Rule shortly that will automatically add members to this community for you, but these are still the recommended settings so members can join manually, if needed.
- You'll also want to focus on what types of content the community will have available, like Discussions, Q&A, and Libraries (for file sharing). You can control this in the Features section via the checkboxes.
- Once configured, click Save to create the community. Now, refer to the Add Members via an Automation Rule section below.
Add members via an Automation Rule
Once your open community is set up, you're ready to create an Automation Rule that will automatically add all of your members to it. This will both streamline the process for you and help your open community achieve high engagement as quickly as possible.
For an overview of Automation Rules, check out Manage Automation Rules.
- Access the Admin interface.
- Navigate to Automation > Automation Rules.
- Click Create.
- Configure the Rule as shown in the image below:
- Schedule the Rule (toggle at the top).
- Select the Add to a Community option from the first dropdown.
- From the every contact who dropdown, select is a member (search "is a member" in the search field). Then, click Add.
- For the next two dropdowns, select Immediately add to the [your open community].
- Configure the remaining options, as desired (e.g., decide whether to send notifications to these members, set subscriptions, etc.).
- Give your Automation Rule an appropriate name so its easily identifiable and its purpose is clear (e.g., "Add members to [your open community]").
- Lastly, decide whether to just Save the Rule and have it run according to your Automation Rule schedule (see Automation Rule Settings) OR select Save and Run Now from the Save dropdown to have it run (nearly) instantaneously.
That's all there is to it. Now, your Automation Rule will run over time and continue to add members to this community, helping its members and engagement grow.