Mary Napoleon

Successful community management starts with understanding your members and what they care about most. You can learn a lot about your earliest users by making it a regular practice to analyze your recent app signups to see who’s joining your community.

Additionally, knowing who’s signing up for your community app could help you discover target audiences you might not have previously considered. Community managers can use these strategies to keep a pulse on how the community is growing and changing.

Create daily reports summarizing who’s signed up.

Look at the types of email addresses coming in — an email address with ‘.edu’ might signal that your community app is popular with students or academics. If you see multiple signups from people within the same organization, it might mean there are partnership opportunities for offline events or sponsorships. Additionally, knowing who’s signing up can help you identify similar groups and organizations to reach out to that might be interested in joining the community. Summarizing this information will help you identify trends quickly.

Comb your recent signups for influencers.

In the early days of your customer community, look for influencers to build relationships with. Ask them to do AMAs or better yet welcome new community members. Influencers tend to have subject matter expertise that’s useful to your members. Some might even have their own audiences and channels where they can promote your community app and invite others to join.

Developing a go-to list of experts and power users who can answer community members’ questions may also be a good way to nudge early users to answer questions and optimize response times.

Use Facebook Insights to dig deeper into your signup data.

Take your new signups a step further by uploading a csv file of email addresses to Facebook Insights. This feature is typically used to set up audience targeting for Facebook ads, but you don’t need to run ads to use it.

Facebook will assign interest and demographic data to your community list. This is a powerful tool for learning more about your community like relationship status, job titles, age demographics, gender, location, household income–even the types of devices your customer community uses.

Compare this data with your pre-existing customer profiles; your community app might be serving a niche that you hadn’t been focused on previously.

Follow up with personalized welcome messages.

Send a personal follow-up email welcoming new members to the community once they’ve created a profile in your app. Take advantage of this opportunity to allow new members to set newsletter opt-in preferences and get even more information on your new members.

Allowing your community members to choose which topics they’re most interested in will give you a deeper understanding of what they’re looking for in joining your community. Community managers can use this information during slow times to continue seeding the community with questions that relate members’ interests.

You might also consider including additional fields in your app signup process for the information you most want to know, like company name, job title, or areas of expertise etc. These fields should address common interests that community members share. However, it’s important not to overwhelm new users with too many fields so that they complete the signup process and start asking and answering questions within your community app.

You can ask for additional information via surveys later so as not to overwhelm new community members with a tedious registration process.

Identifying trends and characteristics about your earliest users will go a long way in finding creative ways to acquire new members when you first launch your customer community.