#protip: Stay In Touch With Your Community’s Long-Time Members

When you have a growing online community, social profile or blog, it’s easy to get bowled over by the size of it.

As a result you might forget about the people who were there with you at the start and have stuck with you.

These most senior members of your community are the ones who are teaching the ropes to the new members, are engaging most often with topics, and are likely seeing themselves holding some level of seniority or authority.

You can’t forget about those members.

While your newest members are indicators of your community’s growing popularity, your oldest members are an example that your community is serving its purpose of being useful and engaging. You need the older members to make the newer members feel welcome.

This is called Membership Management.

In a recent post to the Social Fish blog, Maddie Grant defines it as the following:

1.) managing association members–both long-time, and first-year members who are most at risk of dropping their membership.

2.) maintaining contact with community members–former members, prospective members, students, and other stakeholders who care about the work of the organization.

You want to stay in touch with these long-time and first-year members because they’re the bedrock of your community or blog.

They’re the members who are recommending the community to their network of friends and colleagues.

If they leave, it’s more likely to be because of a real-or-perceived slight, than because the community isn’t as active as it once was. Getting them back will require one-on-one outreach and assurances that changes have been made.

Photo credit: Flickr/Voka Kamer van Koophandel Limburg