Community Management: Welcome them! Win them!

How would you feel when you walk into a party where everyone is busy doing something: singing, dancing, eating, vomiting (yuck!)… ? You move around and see small and big groups busy in their small games and chit-chats. There is food and drink but no one is offering it to you! How long will you stay alone?

I am sure most of us will walk out!

Are you treating your community members like this? Are you there when they join the community? How do you welcome them? or lemme ask, do you welcome them? image

When someone joins a community, you need to get them to participate in an interaction immediately. If you get this right, your ratio of newcomers to regulars will skyrocket. How to get them to join the party? Here are few tips but I am sure there are many. Do feel free to comment and share if you have any other brilliant idea.

Send a personalized welcome note. Yes, I hear you that Connections sends out a notification – it is not a personal note! Your job is to manage the community – take out time to send that note to new comers. It can be weekly, bi-weekly but most effective is daily! How about you getting a welcome note after 2 weeks? It’s sad and pathetic to send a welcome note even after 2 days. Point 4 in this blog begs you to think from your member’s perspective, “That’s where you need to think from while you don the community manager’s hat. If you don’t you will never know what they need…”

Your note should have relevant links embedded while the tone has to be personal. And not to forget the other steps needed to make any communication a success.

So the question comes, how do we get to know who has joined the community, in real time. Well IBM Connections has an answer: Click on Members tab in your community and you will see “Feed for these members“. Right click on this link and copy the link. Now use any RSS reader like RSSOWL to get the feeds. Now you will get notified as and when you will get a new member in your community.

Be smart not to overload the welcome note with not more than 2-3 links, else no one will read your mail. Get them started by asking them to ‘introduce themselves’ or ‘share your twitter handles’ to the community. Once they get the hang of the community – they will use it.

Be a learning party host (as my friend and colleague Sarah Siegel says) and your community will grow!



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