Do you have an 'introduce yourself' topic?

(Sarah Hawk) #1

We’ve talked a lot in the past about the dubious success of introduction or welcome topics. We’ve also experimented with different approaches and I think the weekly 'What are you working on?" formula works best for us here, but I’d be interested to pick your brains and see what works in other communities.

What kind of community do you manage and what do you use as your main CTA for new members?

(Jess Burnham) #2

We manage a Community that connects and educates the users of our product, Unbounce, which is a landing page builder for marketers that allows them to run A/B tests on their marketing campaigns. Our Community primarily exists to act as an ecosystem for our customers to discuss how they’re using our product, new features that they’d like to see, and the workarounds that they’ve each come up with to enhance our page builder. Long winded answer, sorry!

We do have an introduction thread which we direct our new users to in our Community, it’s a good place to get started for those who aren’t really sure how to jump into conversations. It’s also a good opportunity for marketers to explain who they are, what they do, and how they use Unbounce. Some of our Community members even find jobs through our Community!

However, at this point that Introduction thread is over 130 posts long, and many of the introductions are buried now. I still see new members posting some really awesome introductions in there, so I don’t want to discontinue it by any means, but we’re exploring some different CTA’s lately.

Something we’ve found to be hugely successful is asking for feedback on new features that we release. We aim to be very transparent with our customers, so giving them a place to also be transparent with us has helped us immensely to build the best product for them.

Our current hurdle is learning how to encourage our lurkers to participate in conversations. We get hundreds of post views and not a ton of engagement (we were using GetSatisfaction for the last couple of years and our SEO tanked in the last few months, so we’re in a re-building process). I’m open to inspiration for how to get the lurkers to participate a bit more, if you have any ideas I’m all ears! :ear:

(Sarah Hawk) #3

I think that is a challenge that most communities have, and I’m curious as to whether anyone has solved it. I think it may relate in part to your lurker issue. I occasionally get feedback from people that say the length is daunting and they feel obliged to read the other responses before posting their own – making the barrier too high.

Your environment is different, but @Suzi_Nelson had some great success on this front. More info here: engaging lurkers.

(Jess Burnham) #4

I’ve been following along with this, and it’s great! I’m really glad @Suzi_Nelson went with “lurker”.

Our community environments are different, but we’re both working with marketers so I bet we have a lot in common! Nice to e-meet you, Suzi! Well done on your success with Love a Lurker Week!

(Suzi Nelson) #5

Hi Jess! So nice to “meet” you - I know all about Unbounce from my work at DigitalMarketer - we don’t use you guys but many of our customers do! We also dig your marketing funnels, nice work there. [quote=“jess_burnham, post:2, topic:4186”]
Something we’ve found to be hugely successful is asking for feedback on new features that we release. We aim to be very transparent with our customers, so giving them a place to also be transparent with us has helped us immensely to build the best product for them.

People LOVE giving their opinions and feeling like their voice can actually make a difference - this is a great idea.[quote=“jess_burnham, post:2, topic:4186”]
We get hundreds of post views and not a ton of engagement

I come from a marketing background, so I tend to think of posts in terms of offers. Forgive me as I nerd out a moment.

In marketing, the “offer” is anything you are trying to convince an audience to do - follow you on Facebook, sign up for a webinar, download a free resource, or buy a product. In communities, the content in the post is the offer - you’re offering a topic for open discussion - and just like in marketing, if the offer is bad, no one will take action.

Do tons of page views mean the offer is inherently bad? Not necessarily.

Can you look at the time spent on the page? Maybe your lurkers are the ones that dont have a practical need to weigh in - they are getting all the info they need, or they feel like their thoughts have already been articulated by someone else.

One big difference between marketing offers and community posts is that posts are “living” - conversation can change the tone of the offer as well. Do conversations often take a far left turn? Do people get rude or unwelcoming? Are only established members conversing amongst themselves and leaving newbies intimidated?

If your content gets little to no engagement, lots of page views and bounces, etc, take a look at the conversation you are “offering”. when marketers fail, 99.9% of the time its not the traffic source, the product, the landing page, the website design, or the ad… it’s the offer. does your offer of discussion hit on a certain pain point? does it speak to a specific benefit that resonates with your community? if they give you their time, energy and thoughts… what do they get in return? Is that communicated somehow in your content?

I hope my analogy didnt make things more confusing… i think i got on a soapbox, i’m stepping down off it now.

(Nick Emmett) #6

I post every Friday highlighting a few things that have happened, or bringing things to people’s attention, but also welcoming new people from the previous week. This has varying degrees of success with some weeks getting basically no response, with others getting plenty of engagement. No real trends, it just seems to depend on the people coming in to the community at that time.

It’s not specifically an “Introduce yourself” post, but I encourage people to if they want. We sometimes get current members posting and introducing themselves too which is cool.

(Kate Ambash) #7

I need to review this! I’m having trouble getting lurkers to participate. I’ve even been reaching out via DM to introduce people.

(Rob Bosch) #8

We use a welcoming thread. And thank god we have discourse, so every monday a new discussion is split off from the original thread. Every new member is mentioned in that new discussion. I must go and look in the statistics what response rate we have, but in general I think this is working quite well. Especially because a dedicated group of older members encourage the new members in those discussions too.

Besides that we have a ‘what are you working on’ discussion. This is recently introduced and I can’t yet say much about it’s effectiveness.

(Gear Buzz) #9

This thread has been inspirational

We have a hello thread but we are considering changing it to “tell us about your use of xxxx” (our forum topic)

(Jess Burnham) #10

I definitely can’t take credit for that but it’s still awfully nice to hear!

Absolutely! Thank you for nerding out! :nerd:

Your marketing background is perfect for this situation, as we’re building our Community for marketers. I guess what we’re aiming to do is use best Community Management practices and Marketing tactics. While also trying to simultaneously let the Community build itself organically… We have our work cut out for us :grin:

We can definitely find this out, and you bring up a good point. A lot of the activity in our Community is questions and answers, and questions rarely go unanswered – so lurkers are likely getting their answers before they feel the need to chime in.

Thanks so much for all of your input! You rock.