Onboard new community members and make them feel welcome.
A community is a group of people who connect around a common topic to learn, share and discuss. Each community has its own mission, values and culture. Community managers work to create spaces that support the community strategy and culture.
Community managers should help new members get oriented. The first step in the onboarding process is to make new members feel welcome and comfortable in the community. In this lesson, we will review different ways to onboard new members of your community.
How can you make new members feel welcome?
New members may have a hard time engaging with your community at first. Help them to feel more comfortable with these strategies:
Post a welcome message.
A greeting makes new members feel appreciated and accepted. Each platform your community uses offers a unique opportunity to welcome new people. For instance, in Facebook Groups, you can tag new members in a welcome message. In Pages and on Instagram, you can post a photo that invites new members to introduce themselves in the comments. Across platforms, you can create a welcome post that invites new members to say hello and prompts current members to greet them.
Encourage members to welcome each other.
Empower your community members to support one another and contribute to the community culture. For instance, your members can organize a welcome committee that greets new members. Members can also tag each other to make connections and start conversations. Reach out to members who help you make your community a welcoming space, and thank them for their support.
Involve everyone on your team in the onboarding process.
Encourage your teammates to welcome new members and to introduce themselves and share their roles in the community. This helps new members get to know the different community management team members and feel acknowledged.
Refer new members to your community guidelines.
If you are using Pages, make a pinned public post to share your community code of conduct. If you are using Groups, make an announcement, which you can refer to whenever you need it, or create rules for your group. Be explicit with your new members about your values and rules. Include a link to your community guidelines in your welcome post in order to set clear expectations, encourage positive behaviors and help new members understand more about your culture. As an added bonus, sharing the community guidelines in frequent welcome posts will help to reiterate the rules for everyone.
Create a safe environment for your community.
Building a welcoming community culture is an ongoing effort. Encourage members to engage with your community content and each other in a friendly manner. Cultivate respectful conversations so everyone feels invited to participate.
Use membership questions.
In Groups, membership questions can help you screen new members. Learn more about potential members before introducing them to your community—for instance, you can ask them why they want to join the community, and ask them to adhere to your guidelines.
Your onboarding strategy will depend on the platform you are using. For instance, membership questions and rules sections are available in Groups, while in Pages you can post a welcome message with your guidelines and pin it to the top. With Pages, you can also create a group in which your Page is the admin, and move your community-building strategies from your Page to a group. Adjust and revise your strategies to make them suitable for your platform and community.