As your community grows, you’ll still need to roll out the welcome mat for new members. When people join, they should feel at home, familiar and part of the environment. The sooner you can bed them in, the sooner they’ll start sharing content, making friends and contributing to the community. You can’t stand by the door of your private social network and shake everyone by the hand as they register, but there are a few things that you can do to bring people from the entrance into the heart of the private social network.
The first thing you should be doing is sending welcome emails. You’re probably doing that anyway, but make sure that the first email doesn’t just give your new member a username and password. It should also thank them for joining and lay out three things that they should do next. They should include uploading an avatar, connecting with friends and publishing a post. Once someone stops lurking and starts receiving notifications, they’ll be hooked.
You can also turn them quickly from new members to loyal participants by taking them through some introductory content. The messages will vary depending on the nature of the community but when lots of communities use jargon and in-jokes, you’ll want to bring curious visitors up to speed fast. Post a link on your welcome page to some basic content so that your new members won’t feel left out.
Finally, build connections. Some communities assign new members to mentors but you don’t have to go that far. Tag them in the comments you make at the bottom of other people’s posts and you’ll bring them into the conversation.
It’s the sort of thing you’d do at a party. There’s no faster way to get a new arrival off the wall and into the heart of your social scene.
That’s all for now! Next time, I’ll be talking about moods.