How do you educate your new Community members?

Currently, I provide monthly webinars to our new members to educate them about the site’s navigation and features. I’m curious as to how other people welcome and educate their new members. Have you done webinars/tours? Videos on the site? Guides? What has seemed to work best for you?

Thanks for any input!

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Hi @akempton,

I’m curious, how many people attend these webinars?

I genuinely haven’t done too much in trying to explain people how to use a community. Generally, if the technology isn’t intuitive, I prefer to improve the technology side :slight_smile: .

My favourite thing are on-site notifications which are easy to hide/minimise.

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I hosted webinars for a while but stopped because they didn’t attract many participants. Those who did show up said they got a lot from the experience, but there wasn’t enough interest to continue. We do have tutorial videos, and a series of welcome emails that point to key areas of the community. We’re always interested in new ways to integrate members so I’ll be interested in any other insights people have to offer.

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Setting up weekly campaigns, giving online sessions, taking monthly classes over common issues, due to which society lacks basic knowledge.
The one nifty way to accomplish in educating them is to by gathering powerful surveys that will reflect where does the community slips and working over that specific topic woould be extremely helpful.

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Hey @akempton - agree with @richard_millington that if your navigation requires explaining then you’re probably in trouble! But I think every platform has a few useful features most garden-variety community members will not discover on their own, probably because they just aren’t looking for them.

For example, my community has a button than enables members to invite non-members - but this button is a simple plus sign, so a lot of members miss it. Since I manage a private community looking to grow organically, this is an important feature for me to broadcast. A series of quickly digestible “did you know?” posts focused on individual features can sometimes be more efficient/effective than general walkthroughs - especially if you can tag them all so they appear in a single library.

Good for you if you’re regularly attracting members to your monthly webinars! It’s great to have such a highly engaged membership :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the feedback, Richard!

We hold our webinars on a bi-weekly basis and attract quite a few as our Community welcomes in a good amount of members each day.

Our site is in-depth with tools and information/resources that’s sometimes over-looked by our members, so we try to educate them on what’s available along with some value statements. It seems to help them leverage their membership.

That’s a great point about making sure the technology is intuitive to avoid the need for a walk-through. I’ll definitely look at any confusion or misdirection as opportunities for improving the layout and intuitiveness.

Thanks again!

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Great insight, Josh.

Do you feel the tutorial videos and welcome emails do just as good of a job with educating the members? Curious to hear your thoughts!

Best,
Alexa

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It’s hard to say, I think there are advantages to both approaches. It’s great to have a video library available that we can point people to whenever they have questions, and they can watch as many or as few as they want as many times as they want. Webinars aren’t as accessible, but the opportunity to connect with a human is always nice. We had both going initially and only decided to drop the webinars because of low attendance.

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Some great items here. Thanks for sharing. My community has a very diverse audience, including people from older generations, not so quick with new tech… So no easy task.

Webinars sound like a good idea!

I’ve started to create several how-to topics in a dedicated help section. For myself, whenever trying a new service or product, I always hunt for the documentation.

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Hi Dennis!

It sounds like we have a similar audience. I’ve gotten some good feedback from the webinars and I might even open the lines of the webinars to generate more of a discussion around the functionality of the site. Could be a good way to collect feedback too!

Documentation has been a great help to us, especially being utilized as a reference when explaining the site’s functionality to members.

Thanks for your reply!

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Just curious, are your training webinars focused on new user functionality of the platform (eg. Click here to start a new topic) or focused on how to solve things (eg. Click here to find our resources dedicated to X)?

It might help you re-frame the context of these webinars.

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Is your community based in Discourse? If so, I would be interested to know if you, or others here, rely on Discobot (or other levels of automation) to help new users navigate the onboarding/new user experience. It is something we are considering integrating into our community as a means to improve site navigation. Any thoughts on this? What have been other members’ experiences?

Hi @growernick .
My organization’s Community is not based in Discourse. Being that we currently don’t have the resources to build a Discobot type of feature, we’ve built our own “Scavenger Hunt” activity for new users to complete. This is an interactive PDF that instructs users to navigate and complete tasks on the site. After they submit the Scavenger Hunt, they are entered into a raffle for a prize. Just a navigational tool idea that we use. Curious to hear more about Discobot!

When we approve the entrance of a new member, we send an e-mail directing him/her to our welcome topic. But we are working on or tech gaps to apply a guide welcome such as in apps welcome - interactive, with great look and feel and the possibility to skip the layers if the user wants to do so.