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5 ways to get new members to participate in a social network

Winning new members for your social network is not as much of a rocket science as you thought. See how.

A member who doesn't participate is a lurker, and lurkers hold very little value in a social network or any online community. So how do you get active participating members? Read on.

First things first, let’s measure it!

Look at the number of new people who have completed the registration process in the data and compare it with the number that have made a contribution. If this figure isn't immediately apparent in your data, as Google Analytics won't track this, then you may need a surveying technique. Use systematic sampling of 100-200 members.

This method picks member every Nth (e.g. 10) that as listed by date- relevant due to the likelihood of older members being more likely to have made a contribution than who joined yesterday.

Now ask yourself:
 / Of these 100-200 members, how many made a contribution?
 / How does this compare to last month?
 / If they didn't make a contribution, why didn't they make a contribution?
 / What could be done to improve this figure?

You should want to look at trends per month and identify if this figure is improving, getting worse, or has remained relatively flat.

Now here are ways to convert more newly registered members into active participants:

1. Change the post registration page

After clicking the confirmation link, don't send newcomers to the homepage. Instead send them to a page that highlights something that they can participate in straight away. This should be a topical discussion, poll, or registration for an upcoming event/ activity. Solicit that first contribution as soon as possible.

2. Change the welcome e-mail

Change the email sent after the confirmation link is sent. Keep this welcome email short and highlight a discussion that you want members to contribute to.

New Users and Social Network Particiaption

3. Create newcomer area

Create a visible, specific, newcomer area in the community, which explains the basics, and how newcomer can get involved. Make this a visible link from the homepage of the community.

4. Reminders to participate

If newcomers have joined but haven't made a contribution, schedule an automated reminder highlight saying that you are sorry about that and offer something they can do in the community.

5. Personal welcomes

In the early stages of the social network or a community, you may like to personally welcome members. If a personal welcome does get a member to participate over a long period of time compared with other methods, you should keep doing them. Otherwise stop doing them. Your time is limited; how you spend it matters.

Remember that active and participating members are your long-term assets and you must do everything to cultivate them.

IN A NUTSHELL
  • Send newcomers to a relevant page
  • Keep the welcome email short
  • Give exclusive place to newcomers
  • Schedule reminders
  • Add a personal touch

About Vinfotech

Vinfotech creates world's best social networks for employees, customers, interest groups and sports fans. We promise initial set of real engaged users to put turbo in your social network growth. Our award winning software vSocial™ allows us to build stellar customized communities faster and better. Our customers include Aston Martin, Burberry, Arabian Gulf League and Snapdeal.

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