New Member Onboarding Playbook from Facebook


August 31, 2021

This month we got to learn from Kara Cronin and Logan Johnston, who work on the Community Partnerships Team at Facebook. They talked about how they are designing the community experience for Facebook’s Blueprint Certification program for Community Managers.

If you missed the event, watch the full recording here or scroll down for the summary. If you attended, help us improve future events by sharing your feedback!

TL;DR: Top 5 Takeaways

  • Think of community as a circle, not a funnel - overcome the temptation to chase conversion rates.
  • Onboarding process is a never-ending circle with 3 key stages - Awareness, Education and Development.
  • Public onboarding plan for members who are yet to reach a milestone. Drive awareness, encourage transparency, give a preview of what to expect, collect feedback.
  • Private onboarding for members who have crossed a significant milestone. Create a safe space for them to set personal goals, provide curated connections and accountability partners.
  • Build momentum by rewarding our best advocates and elevating them into different roles to feed the momentum back into the community.

Full Event Summary

  • Why would you want to separate the onboarding experience into private and public? What are the key differences and benefits of each?
    • Public group is for raising awareness for the Certification and making it as accessible as possible. This allows us to build in public with key stakeholders.
    • Private community to create an intimate experience for Community Managers who pass the certification exam. This creates a safe space to discuss growth mindset, set personal goals and create plans for reaching them.
  • You advocate for thinking of community as a flywheel instead of a funnel. Can you explain that?
    • Builds momentum by rewarding our best advocates and elevating them into different roles to feed the momentum back into the community.
    • 3 parts of our Certification Community flywheel - Awareness, Education and Development.
      • Awareness: to raise awareness about the program through the public learning group
      • Education: through social learning experiences supported by learning mentors
      • Development: to support certified community managers through their careers and find learning mentors
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  • Can you share some tactics for how to identify and empower your superusers to be more active in the community?
    • Any community can find people who are engaging the most or who are most vocal. Nurture relationships with them and build the community in partnership with them - look at them as collaborators and members of team
    • Take on the mindset that you are supporting the community, not driving it.
  • Take us to the moment when you started on creating the onboarding sequences. What was the ‘Aha’ moment when you realised that it’s working?
    • It was 1 week after we did the first onboarding for our Learning Mentors and they started hosting study sessions. Following week, there was an influx of posts from candidates tagging the learning mentors, thanking them for their success.
  • What are the engagement metrics that you track for both public and private groups?
    • Are folks who get the support of learning mentors more inclined to pass the certification exam than those who don’t
    • Active members in groups
    • Even more than the metrics, we focus on the posts where members share feedback or wins.
  • Can you share some of the best practices for cohort based onboarding and how you structure the onboarding calls?
    • New cohort every week
    • We do 2 onboarding calls - one in learning group and another in certified group
    • Cohort based strategy was useful for a global async group. Dedicated groups and Learning Mentors made people feel a sense of community.
    • Now, we’re shifting away from cohorts to allow flexible individual timelines.
    • Structure of onboarding calls - 1 hr long, 4 parts
      • Clarity - why the community exists
      • Culture - what are the core values
      • Connection - get community members to interact with each other
      • Follow Up - get community members to do something check-in on the progress
  • What is one key lesson you have learnt throughout your career that you can pass on?
    • Logan: Lead with your values. Industry changes, platforms change but stay true to values.
    • Kara: Don’t be afraid to fail, don’t be afraid to try new things. If you have good intentions, your community members want you to succeed. Don’t let fear be your blocker.
Interested to learn more about the Facebook Certification program? Click here.

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