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Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

20 thoughts on “Welcoming New Members to your Online Community

  1. It’s used more often with games than community websites, tho linkedin also does it: leading a newcomer through an active tutorial-type-thing step by step with pop up boxes or a side panel where they have points or a progress bar as each step is completed before a new suggestion is made. At any time the user can get rid of it and do things in their own order, but most people would probably go along for the ride at introduction stage, and even feel a slight compulsion to ‘fill in all the boxes’ to complete the tasks suggested. Depending on the type of community, that might be too much hand holding, but there could be more subtle ways of doing it, such as one suggestion per visit.

    1. Completely agree that welcome should be optional not forced.
      I usually offer:
      – video for ppl who like visuals, not reading
      – FAQs for people who like dot point lists (quick grab)
      – Did you know (brief facts on 3 things you can do)
      – links to a forum or group for newcomers

      YouTube has a special landing page with
      Get started using YouTube
      Customize your channel page
      Upload and share your video
      Set your account preferences

      I checked Facebook
      http://www.facebook.com/gettingstarted.php
      Add friends, find friends, profile info, profile picture.
      Facebook has a variety of tools – including a box that you can click close when you first log in (top, under status).

      Google blogspot has a “first things” too.

      I don’t see welcome info used enough in games as they assume some level of game playing and techiness, but usually quite well in sites that have a less techy audience, an older audience or a less “developer” audience. however, while games may not have the Help info up front and center (welcome screen) they do usually have a good ecosystem of help forums and FAQs. YMMV 🙂 (have to admit, the big sites usually employ a team of writers to get their documentation support messages out ASAP – smaller sites can’t afford to and can’t afford not to…).

  2. Nice idea about the welcome emails. Most welcome emails would just give you a link to activate account or something. So why not really try to jazz it up and grab it as an opportunity to let your members know more about the community, encourage activity and participation or update them of things that are happening. It i something new and I think it will work.

  3. our site since the beginning elect new members annually to become apart of a welcome committee… it is one of our greatest compliments the love shown from day one.. including from myself the site creator… I welcome every new member.

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