When your community is just getting off the ground, it’s common for a Community Manager (referred to as CM for the rest of the article) to individually greet new users. This can be an effective way to get people engaged and encourage them to start participating in the community. I’ve seen a few different approaches to this:
- A single “Introduce Yourself Here!” thread, where a member posts if they want to be welcomed. Sometimes participation is mandatory, but opt in is most common.
- A welcoming thread, where the CM will post a welcome to new members. Generally this will be accompanied by an @ mention of some kind, to ensure the user doesn’t miss the post.
- The CM keeps an eye out for new members as they start posting, and give a quick welcome to them in the thread while engaging in conversation.
- New members create new threads to introduce themselves in.
Most community managers will use some variation on this theme in their communities. It’s something that takes a good deal of time to do, and is commonly on the list of Things You Just Have To Do. But is it really necessary? Beyond that, is it even a good idea?