Make it a Habit

We do things every day out of habit . . . brush our teeth, drive to work, get a cup of coffee. Has logging onto your favorite social media sites become one of your morning routines or habits? And how can you get others to make it a habit to log onto them with you?

I read this article on Feverbee and it made me think just how much – or actually, how little time, a site has to engage and “connect” with a user.

When someone joins your online community, you’ve got a three-week window to draw them in, writes Richard Millington. Most people abandon online communities within a few days of joining — but if you can find ways to keep visitors engaged and involved every day for the first three weeks, Millington argues, there’s a strong chance they’ll become permanent members of your community. “It’s really hard work, but the reward is a member for life,” he adds.

He suggested several ways to reach out to the newcomer to your site and make them a “regular.” These were my favorite:

  • Early Achievements. Find a way to let newcomers achieve something with a limited amount of effort.
  • Newcomer of the month award. Tell each member they’ve been entered for the newcomer of the month award. Create a hall of fame and criteria for that award.
  • Weekly Newcomer List. Everyone gets a chance to write a sentence that best describes them, introduce themselves to the group, highlight what they want to contribute.
  • A topical primer. Send all newcomers a quick overview of the hot issues in the community. Then invite them to offer their fresh perspective. Be sure to respond to their posts. This gets them caught in the whirlwind of discussion (which keeps people coming back!).
  • Have a graduation. What can you offer once they’ve stayed engaged for 21 days? Why not have a mini-graduation for new members – Give them a badge for their profiles. They can even brag about achievements.

Get your readers engaged and get them “hooked.”