Creating a successful online community requires you to wear many hats. Welcoming newcomers is arguably one of the most important roles you’ll take on. First impressions happen quickly.
Use these tips to make sure your new members don’t turn around and walk out the door as soon as they join.
1. Send a welcome email campaign
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it does need to communicate some basics. Set up an email template that will automatically send out to a new member once they’ve joined. Include things like a brief hello from you and who you are, the community mission statement, where to find the community guidelines, and how to ask for help.
2. Use inclusive language
It’s important to keep in mind that the community isn’t just yours. It’s everybody’s. That mean everyone needs to feel included, heard, and respected. Getting feedback on this is also tough, given that those that feel left out will rarely speak up. It’s your responsibility to be aware of any threatening language, disrespectful users, or missing guidelines. Take a few minutes to look over what you have and be sure to stress the importance of inclusivity in your wording.
3. Review your community guidelines
Jumping off of the importance of inclusive language, your community guidelines are the lifeblood of the group. This is where folks learn about your brand’s tone, mission, values, rules, and gauge whether or not they belong. Ask yourself a few questions as you review:
- Are the guidelines clear?
- Can I learn the purpose of the group from the guidelines?
- Is this in line with my brand’s voice? Why/Why not?
- Is the language welcoming and inclusive?
Go through and make edits as you answer each question.
4. Update your brand’s information
Lastly, make sure all your brand information is up to date. All your visual assets like logos and media should be relevant. Any copy writing and bios should be updated. This is an ongoing tip. As your brand evolves and grows, so should your community.
That’s all we’ve got for now! Thanks for stopping by. Remember you can always contact us for more on creating a welcoming online community.
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