Most communities have terrible newcomer to regular conversion ratios. If you can improve this, you can rapidly increase the number of active members in your community. Most other problems you think you have in your community pale in comparison to a terrible newcomer to regular conversion process.
In this five step process, you can design the perfect journey for your members from newcomer to regular. Treat these each as unique steps. You can optimize each one in turn. These steps are also numbered in the priority of importance. If you get the first step right, the rest might just take care of themselves.
Step 1) Awareness
Goal: Motivate members to participate in a specific activity within the community
This step usually gets ignored. How do people hear about your community? Do you wait for people to join or approach them? The biggest influence upon someone’s likelihood of becoming a regular participant is their level of interest in the topic.
This means two things. First, you need to make sure you have a tight (very focused) community concept. A community for social media professionals working at humanitarian organizations in Geneva has a better focus than a broad social media community. If in doubt, tighten the concept.
Second, you need to reach out to members with the strongest level of interest in the topic. Don't wait for members to join, proactively seek them out. Identify people that have taken actions in the past (such as blogging, Tweeting, participating in comments of blogs, LinkedIn, Facebook groups) that have shown they have an above average level of interest in the topic.
What you tell these prospective members is important. Don't invite these members to join. Don't tell prospective members that there is a new community. People don't care about this.
Tell them about activities taking place within the community. For example, invite prospects to participate in an interesting discussion, an event or activity, or to contribute an opinion/column in response to a previous contribution.
You want them to be in the participant mindset before they even reach the community platform.
Next Step: First Visit
To view all the Newcomer to Regular Journey steps, click here.