5 Ways to onboard your community successfully
Onboarding your community to a new platform can feel like a daunting task, even for seasoned and experienced Community Managers. But with just a few easy steps you can ensure that the process runs smoothly. Cut out any unnecessary stress, and discover 5 easy ways to onboard your community successfully.
A warm welcome: The importance of the first email
Once your members are invited into the community, an introductory email goes a long way to make them feel welcome. This email should contain all the necessary information for them to get started in the community: be clear on the value proposition and intent of the community, guide them to take actions (like updating their profiles, joining discussion groups, or looking out for upcoming events), and important contact details should they experience any challenges or tech-related issues. On the Panion platform, for instance, members receive a welcome email in which you can add all of these details, and once they’re onboarded onto the community, they’re immediately prompted to complete their profiles.
Your fresh new faces: Keeping track of new members
Any new community or platform can be overwhelming at first, so be sure to keep track of all your new members. This could mean keeping an eye on activity and data, but it also means reaching out to them after two weeks. In your follow-up, be sure to ask about their experience, and whether they have any questions or challenges. A direct line of communication is not only comforting for new members as they find their feet but inspires a sense of connection and investment.
Little helpers: Tapping into the power of trusted members
Whether you’re just starting out or already have an established community that you’re migrating to, you’re like to have trusted colleagues or community members who can assist you in the onboarding process. These individuals can help scan for questions in the comments section, help create events, moderate content, and more. Additionally, this level of activity will help keep the community active and responsive, and ultimately negate the need for you to be in all places at all times. Encourage those helping you to reach out to new members to make them feel visible and welcome in their very first experience in the community.
Stats and facts: Closely checking analytics and data
Data and analytics are crucial for any community: it gives you valuable insight into member activity and can shed light on what works, and what doesn’t. Keep a close eye and track how your members are adopting the platform, and if at any time the numbers look worrying, be sure to come up with an intervention. Is activity low? It could be time to organize a fun event or masterclass. Or perhaps engagement is low? It could be time to create an incentive or rewards program. Your analytics will guide you in making the best decisions.
Q ‘n As: Getting the conversation going
Regardless of where your community is on its journey, there is great value in strategically asking and posting questions, polls, and surveys. On one hand, you allow members to have their voices heard, while on the other hand, you are able to take a temperature check. If these posts aren’t effective, or you’re not able to get enough feedback, consider sending direct messages or quarterly survey emails.
An introductory networking event
From small groups to large organizations, an introductory networking event is a great way of celebrating the onboarding, while using the opportunity to cover the basics of the platform you’re using. Start with a small demo of the platform, and an overview of its features. Then, move on to a networking session where members can either break away into smaller discussion groups or use the opportunity to pitch ideas or share introductions. It’s fun, effective, but most importantly, instantly creates a sense of community and connection.
A recorded video introduction and demo
As new members join, it’s not always possible to host networking events. In these cases, a recorded video introduction and platform demo is a great way of showing them how everything works without needing to invest additional money or time.
A comprehensive PDF with info and FAQs
Just like a recorded video, a comprehensive PDF with info and FAQs is a great way of equipping new members with everything they need to make the most of the community. With a PDF, you can go into greater detail: share your value proposition, key features of the platform, as well as tips and tricks on how to leverage the community for success. You can even highlight certain members or share testimonials to make the document more personal.
Remember that throughout the process of onboarding, the most important thing is to keep lines of communication open. Remain visible and transparent at all times, and answer all questions as soon as possible. Once your community is onboarded smoothly and successfully, you can start focusing on engagement (you can find great tips by opening our blog article here), networking, events, and other community activities. If you’re ready to migrate your community, find out why Panion is the perfect solution for you, by booking a demo.