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Welcoming Members in Communities on Lunch

5 Ratings: 5.0
The act of welcoming new members to Communities on Lunch.

Welcoming Members in Communities on Lunch is when the founder, moderator, or other member of a Community on Lunch welcomes new members to the community.  This can be done in a variety of ways including profile comments, review/list/quick tip comments … see full wiki

1 review about Welcoming Members in Communities on Lunch

Welcoming Members in Communities on Lunch: Because It's Nice to Say Hello

  • Oct 7, 2010
Rating:
+5
When you walk into someone's home, isn't it nice to be warmly greeted?  Well, same concept applies in your Community on Lunch.  When somebody joins your community, it's nice to give them a welcome, and also goes a long way to engaging them to be an active member of your community.  Welcoming can be done in a variety of ways, including writing welcome comments on profile pages, sending a message and/or commenting and rating their reviews, lists, and quick tips.

If you've seen me hopping around the site over the past couple of years, you'll know that my preferred method of welcoming is by simply leaving a short and sweet greeting on a member's profile page, whether they've just joined Lunch in general, or a Community on Lunch specifically.  Not only is it a casual and laid-back welcome, but it's simple for the member to post a response to and it also acts as advertisement for your community if other Lunchers stumble upon that member's profile page.
 
As the Community Manager of Lunch who has left many a welcome comment, as well as received much feedback from new members about them, here are a few of my tips on how to leave a great welcome comment:
  • Keep it short and sweet.  Being succinct is key here.  Assume that the new member has a short attention span.  They're just getting to know Lunch, so you definitely do not want to give them information overload.  This is also more efficient for large communities that are getting large numbers of new members constantly.  Don't underestimate how far a simple hello from a friendly face can go!
  • Keep links to a minimum.  Again, you don't want your welcome comment to be information overload.  When adding links, try to link to content more than anything else, be it lists and reviews.  You might know of a review that the members might be interested in based on their reviews and profile, and that would be the best content to link to because it's relevant.  It gives the member something engaging to sink their teeth into straight away.
  • You can link to other Lunchers, too.  If you know of another Luncher who the new member might like, then by all means, make an introduction!  Extra tip: you can link to other members by simply adding the "@" symbol in front of their screen name.  The @-reply will trigger the screen name to automatically link, like @devora.  Try it!
  • Try to customize your comments.  Make it cater specifically to the member who you are welcoming.  I realize that this may be time consuming to do sometimes, but the results can be well worth it.  Again, the comments don't have to be long.  Short and sweet is what to aim for.  You don't have to super customize everything.  You can actually make a few templates that work for you and you can switch the links, names and wording around as needed.
  • Offer a helping hand.  Let the member know that they can reach out to you if they have any questions or feedback.  Or if you have a moderator who specifically handles such things, direct the member to that moderator.
  • Be genuine, sincere and human.  Because you are!  Nobody wants to be welcomed by a generic, robotic comment.  The stock comments are less likely to receive responses than the genuine, customized ones.  Furthermore, the stock comments often times come off as spam-like and are less likely to get the new member engaged.  In fact, it might have the opposite effect and turn off the member.
  • Try to refer to the member by name.  That is, if you can find it on their profile or it's in their screen name.  It definitely adds a nice, personal touch.  Hearing their name from someone from the community is like music to their ears.  Or erm, eyes, since it's online.  Well, you know what I mean!
  • Get some help from your moderators.  If you have a very large community that's growing at a rapid pace, or you simply don't have the time to welcome all of your members by yourself, you can always employ the aid of a .  Perhaps you can even have several who switch off days or weeks on when to greet new members.
  • Follow the member or send them a friend request.  This is an optional bonus step.  It's nice to follow members or send them a friend request after you welcomed them just to make them feel even more extra welcomed.  Whether you choose to receive email notifications or not is up to you (when you follow a Luncher, the notifications are automatically off, you would have to check the box to turn them on yourself).
  • Easter Egg: This is a super bonus tip.  There currently is no official way to sort members by newest membership to oldest, but... there is an Easter Egg to remedy this, which will make your search for new members to welcome a whole lot easier!  You can do this by manipulating the URL of your community's member page by changing the last number in the URL to the number 5.  You can access the members page on any community by just clicking on "Members" in the blue bar at the top.

    For example:
    Original URL: http://www.lunch.com/LunchFounders/Members-249-1-1.html
    Altered URL: http://www.lunch.com/LunchFounders/Members-249-1-5.html

Here are a couple of sample welcome comments:
  • Hey John, welcome to Lunch and thanks for joining my Awesomeness community!  I noticed on your profile that you're into video games, so I thought you might appreciate my review of Pac-Man.  I'm the community founder, so please feel free to let me know if you have any questions and I look forward to reading your awesome reviews! :)
  • Welcome to Lunch, John, and thanks for joining my Gourmand community!  I noticed that you rated the hot dog a +5, so you might be able to give some input on my question about great hot dog toppings.  I'm the community founder, so please feel free to let me know if you have any questions and I look forward to reading your tasty reviews! :)

Note: These comments are totally me though.  Make yours sound like you, which shouldn't be too hard because you're, well, you ;)

When your number of responses, follows and friend requests increase, and better yet, you have members contributing to your community, then you know you've been doing a good job :)  And to the community members reading this, feel free to welcome your fellow community members as well!

If you have any suggestions or feedback of your own, please do share in the comments.  We'd love to hear them!  And if you need a hand with your welcome comments, or a critique, please feel free to ask as well!
Welcoming Members in Communities on Lunch: Because It's Nice to Be Greeted

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November 25, 2010
Excellent write up and full of great advice, I have tried to do this as a moderator for WP's ASIANatomy community. I must admit that I have slacked a bit as of late due to some things going on.
 
October 18, 2010
Very great points raised here, Debbie! Any type of a welcome message is better than silence!
October 18, 2010
Thanks, Adrianna! Yup, as a member, it's always nice to get some sort of hello be it from the founder, moderator, or a fellow member! :)
October 19, 2010
Indeed! It was one of the main reasons I stuck with Lunch back in the day, lol.
 
October 14, 2010
This is something that needs to happen at more of the sites I belong to. It certainly made me feel welcome.
October 14, 2010
That's great to hear, Bill! I always feel really welcomed when someone reaches out to me on a site that I just joined, too, which is what inspires me to welcome new members and what inspired me to write this. Thanks for reading! :)
 
October 09, 2010
I used to make it a practice to say hello to each new member (until I got so busy at work among other things--Movie Hype is growing far faster than I had anticipated, which is amazing). I have a moderator to help out, but now I try to just find a review by the new member and welcome them there; also I make sure to welcome them in a weekly newsletter. Thanks for the sweet advise, Lady D.
October 13, 2010
If a member already has reviews, that's a great way to go! Another thing that you could do on top of that if you wanted is to leave a very simple comment on their profile page that says, "Welcome to Movie Hype!" or "Thanks for joining Movie Hype!", etc. Thanks for reading, Woo! :)
 
October 08, 2010
Great tips, Debbie. These are really helpful and so useful!
October 13, 2010
Thanks for reading, Bethany!
 
October 08, 2010
Thanks Debbie! I've been welcoming members for a year and a half and even I learned something from your review, I had no idea about the Easter Egg super bonus tip. Thanks! It was frustrating not being able to sort members by newest in my community.
October 13, 2010
Thanks, Anastasia! Perhaps that'll be an official feature some day ;)
 
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