How to get early engagement in your Slack community

Getting your community off the ground can seem like a mountain of work, but if you take it one step at a time it’s not so bad!

You’ve gotten past the first step in starting your bustling Slack community… you’ve created it and you have a few members that are relatively active and a few more who are less active. You might be considering laying back, watching it grow, taking the hands off approach. But, this is a slippery slope and and an easy way to lose all the traction you managed to gain early on.

It is imperative that you actively engage with your early members and create value for them. That’s why people will come back, bring their friends and spark the growth you’re looking for. The best way to do this is to set up a ‘welcome bot’ with Zapier that welcomes all your new members to the group. You can customize your message to include community guidelines, and encourage them to introduce themselves or simply welcome them to group.

Here are the two most popular welcome bots:
Send a New Slack Member a Message and
Welcome new Slack users in #general

They are highly effective. We don’t recommend launching without them.

One of the coolest things about Slack is how customizable it is. There are bots and integrations for almost everything you can think of (and if you can’t find what you need, we can help you build it!)

Spark early engagement with powerful integrations:

Donut — Donut will introduce your group members to each other (in a DM or channel you specify) and give them a ‘buddy’ in the community to stay in touch with. Think of Donut as the ultimate Slack icebreaker.

Notion — Let your members see the content you’re creating, and encourage them to collaborate — great if you’re writing a guide, book or course, or have premium articles you want to share with your community.

Twitter — Twitter’s Slack integration is a great way to seed your community with relevant content. You can hook it up to your own Twitter account or some of your favorites. Often times the tweets will start conversations among your members!

PaperBot — You and your community members will be posting links and relevant articles all the time. PaperBot will help you keep track of those links and send you a curated list of the content that’s being shared and engaged with in your group.

Google Hangouts / Skype — Set up a weekly or monthly time for your community members to meet up and chat with each other live on Google Hangouts. The integration is seamless and will drop a link directly into your Slack group!

SendInBlue — Carsten Pleiser of Founders &Creators uses SendInBlue to send a welcome email 1 day after a user joins his Slack group to inform them about different channels (with a direct link to access the relevant channel) and further memberships benefits. He finds this, combined with Typeform and a custom direct message (possible through Zapier) as soon as the user joins gives great early engagement.

A few other tips:

Seed your community with users — give some friends, colleagues and experts who are in your space free invites to join your community as soon as it’s off the ground. You can even give free (or discounted) access to your first 10 (or 20, or 100) members before switching your group to a paid membership. These early users will go far in creating an engaging space early on.

Schedule AMAs — You can do these yourself or bring in VIPs and experts in your space. Communities love the ability to interact and get answers to their questions. Having them at scheduled times is important for creating stickiness, and letting members know when they should be around!

Engage your users directly — ask your community members questions directly. “What are you working on?” “What would you like to learn?” and “What can we do better as a community?” are all really great questions to get conversations rolling, both with individuals and your community at large.

Want to learn more, and get started on your path toward a profitable Slack? Check us out at LaunchPass !