11 Rules to Launch a Buzzing Messaging Community on Day One

Written by Tom Gayner

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and build a messaging community. Chances are that mixed up with that excitement is a nagging fear that you’ll launch to the sound of silence.

But you know what? We’ve got you covered. We’ve done this before, so we know the magic formula that goes into creating a super-engaged community from day one.

Meet the 11 step plan you need in your messaging community life.

1. Know your purpose and be clear and confident in what you are offering

The number 1 rule with any community: be clear on its purpose. Any potential member should be able to come to your community landing page on Levellr and work out in seconds why they should join.

The best communities help their members:

  1. Learn (from you and/or other members)
  2. Create results (help people improve/grow)
  3. Connect (meet other amazing people in the community)

Become less focused on features in your community, and more focused on how you are going to add value to your members.

What is the purpose of your community?

The Anfield Wrap community has a clear purpose: A place for Liverpool football fans to get all the latest insights on their club from the experts, and chat with other passionate fans. The outcome? A highly engaged community that is active 24/7
The Anfield Wrap community has a clear purpose: A place for Liverpool football fans to get all the latest insights on their club from the experts, and chat with other passionate fans. The outcome? A highly engaged community that is active 24/7

2. Use waiting lists

Not sure how many people want to sign up to your community? By creating a waiting list (which you can do with Levellr in minutes), you cover the most important aspect: making sure you’re about to launch something that people want to be a part of.

We’d recommend building your waiting list for two weeks so you can get as many people within your network excited about joining, and to help you validate how much interest you have.

And if you don’t get the response you want? No problem - it just means you need to do a little more promotion & research into what your people love, and adjust your offering accordingly.

Levellr waitlist tools help you validate how much interest you have in your community before launching, and make sure you can launch on day one with a big bang rather than a whimper…
Levellr waitlist tools help you validate how much interest you have in your community before launching, and make sure you can launch on day one with a big bang rather than a whimper…

3. Promote, promote, promote

Not everyone is going to see your announcement video. Loads of people will miss your promo tweet. That Instagram video won’t be in everyone’s feed. Basically, it’s up to you to make sure that everyone you count as a fan knows about what you’re offering. Because it’s awesome, and they deserve to be a part of it!

If you feel uncomfortable about how much you are promoting your community, you are probably doing just enough.

Double gold Olympian, Becky Adlington, using Instagram posts & stories to tell her followers about her private messaging community with Levellr
Double gold Olympian, Becky Adlington, using Instagram posts & stories to tell her followers about her private messaging community with Levellr

4. Welcome new members

So you’re up and running, and new members are joining all the time. Now take a lesson from Peloton: members go absolutely nuts when they’re shouted out by instructors in live classes. Don’t underestimate the value of a bit of recognition. With Levellr’s dashboard, you can easily see the most recent members to join your community and say hi.

With Levellr’s dashboard tools, you can check out who your most recent sign ups are so you can easily welcome them into the community
With Levellr’s dashboard tools, you can check out who your most recent sign ups are so you can easily welcome them into the community

5. Encourage members to chat amongst themselves

When a messaging group is getting along nicely without your involvement it’s a wonderful feeling, and as we’ve learnt, is essential to the longevity of a community. The best communities become less about the owner, and more about members chatting with members.

In order to get to that point, you need to let your members know that you’re one happy family. Connect members who you think might have things in common (“You loved my live mac and cheese cookalong video? You should talk to Casey, she’s got a banging secret ingredient”) or just ignite the conversation (“Everyone’s favourite type of 30 minute exercise. GO”) and watch it fly.

6. Be clear on how you want members to use the community

With Levellr, you not only set the tone of your community, you set the rules. That makes it super-easy to deal with anyone using the group in a negative way, so you need to lay out the ground rules. If you want people to stay on topic, say so. And if you feel like things are taking a turn for the negative, point that out and explain that you’re not here for that. Your other members will thank you for it.

Our advice? Have a well written and clear message that you pin to your community for all new joiners to read upon entry. Don’t be scared to call out:

  1. What the community is for
  2. Who you are
  3. What you’d like members to do
  4. What behaviour you expect
  5. The rules & community guidelines
Bloggers & YouTubers City Xtra pinned a message to their Telegram community which gave new joiners a clear expectation from the minute they entered the community
Bloggers & YouTubers City Xtra pinned a message to their Telegram community which gave new joiners a clear expectation from the minute they entered the community

7. Provide immediate value

On day one, and as much as possible in the first few days, we’d encourage you to provide initial value (e.g. exclusive content, live video talk, giveaway). What can you offer your new members that tells them within minutes that they made the right decision to sign up? Value on day one means a lot more value to come!

8. Host a live launch party

When it comes to Launch Day, make it an event for everyone. Decide on a time and share a countdown, and then encourage everyone to get online as soon as you go live. You can host a live video Q&A, run a quiz with prizes, get everyone to simultaneously celebrate with their favourite pizza - whatever you think your fans will love. It creates excitement from the first moment, and allows your members to get to know each other

9. Use feedback to decide where to go next

Communities are living and breathing organisms. Your community will no doubt be very different 6 months after launch! Why? Because the best community owners use member feedback to evolve the community.

Ask your members what new groups they want in the community, or if a topic keeps on coming up, be proactive and create a specific place for that chat. Telegram’s poll functionality is an awesome tool to make your members feel engaged & to give them a voice on what they want to see in the community.

Podcasters & YouTubers Stretford Paddock reached out to their messaging community with Telegram’s messaging community to ask which new groups they’d like setup
Podcasters & YouTubers Stretford Paddock reached out to their messaging community with Telegram’s messaging community to ask which new groups they’d like setup

10. Promote your most engaged members to community managers

We’d recommend you keep an eye on who your most engaged members are in the community in the first couple of weeks via the ‘Interactions’ tab on your Levellr dashboard. Those who interact the most are great members to ask to become community managers! Not only does it make them feel super special, but these ‘power’ users are often more than happy to help you drive the conversation & ensure community guidelines are consistently adhered to.

Levellr’s dashboard allows you to set custom titles for your members of your community in a couple of clicks, a great way to promote ‘power’ members to community managers
Levellr’s dashboard allows you to set custom titles for your members of your community in a couple of clicks, a great way to promote ‘power’ members to community managers

11. Keep on growing & don’t be scared to ask for referrals

You know that as a creator, you don’t always keep the same fans. Some fall away, others join, and hopefully as word spreads, your numbers rise. The same goes for a messaging group.

Remember that new fans might not know about your messaging group, so keep promoting it and letting people know about this amazing community you’ve built up. And once your first members are settled & clearly enjoying the community, don’t be scared to ask them to invite friends. You’ll be surprised how encouraging your members can be!

Ready to launch your first messaging group? Get started on our free plan.