Welcoming new members to your community is one of the most important parts of your company’s community strategy, but it’s a step that is often overlooked by new and experienced community managers alike. When new members feel welcome, they feel encouraged to participate in conversation, reach out to other community members, and share the community with those who aren’t a part of it yet. When new members haven’t been properly welcomed, they may instead feel confused or alienated.
If you’re wondering how to build a community and think that welcoming your new members effectively might be a step you’re missing, here are just a few ways you can apply community engagement principles to help newbies integrate seamlessly into your space.
New members of the community might feel overwhelmed or confused if they don’t know where to go. As such, it’s important to provide easy-to-access ways for members to navigate around the community and find important checkpoints, like how to access community moderation features or reach moderators if they need help. Using Slack, Discord, and other platforms, you can easily create an automated message to send out to members that include all of this information when they join.
You may want to create a guide for your newest members that includes a directory, whom to contact for more information if help is required, and how to use the app in which the community is based. You should make your community as accessible as possible, as not everyone has the same knowledge of technology or access to resources. It’s a great idea to include direct links to helpful channels, for example, so they can be located with the click of a button.
Even when you provide guides and information about how to navigate your community, not everyone will instantly feel welcomed or understand where to go based on an automated message you’ve written. Reaching out with a personalized message can help clear up any lingering questions. Plus, a direct message can really add that special touch that makes members feel included and encourages them to participate more regularly in the community.
When reaching out to new members personally, you’ll need to craft a message that properly represents your organization and leaves a few questions unanswered. In your welcome message, you’ll probably want to include a few, or all, of the following features:
Your personal welcome message will be your first opportunity to interact directly with most of your community members. So take time to craft a message that applies good engagement principles, helps newbies feel welcome, and warms prospects up to your organization.
Use our 30-minute Community Onboarding Worksheet to develop an initial 3-step onboarding flow for new community members.
You can encourage new community members to interact not only with community moderators but also with one another, right after they join your group. After breaking the ice early, it’s a lot easier for people to feel comfortable joining in on the conversation again, fostering a healthy community with lots of activity. If members don’t feel they can join the conversation and feel excited to do so, they may forget your group even exists. As such, encouraging early interaction should be a critical part of your community strategy plan.
You can encourage early interaction by creating an introductions channel, where new community members can say hello and greet existing members who may share their interests. You can include a template that includes basic information like name, job title, and hobbies, or you can let members introduce themselves however they like. Use whichever format feels more natural for your community’s space.
Hosting other interaction-based channels, like a question of the day or debate channel (keep it light, with discussion topics such as, ‘Does pineapple belong on pizza?’) to regularly encourage participation among those new to the chat and veterans alike.
These are just a few ways you can apply key principles of community engagement to make members feel more welcome in your community. To make it easier for you to reach out to new members of your community on all your platforms all at once. Including Facebook, Slack, Discord, and more – you can harness the power of Burb, we empower community managers with the ability to communicate with their communities from one convenient application.
In an upcoming post, we're going to dive into the types of community member profiles. Before you dig through these, it's important to understand the 5 stages of a community member....
You can now schedule direct messages to your community members using Burb!