You’ve got your Guild account set up and you’ve named your first group. Welcome to Guild!

In this article we share tips and advice on how to get started with a group to make the best impression on your group’s members and get them eagerly participating.

Customise the branding of your group(s)

One of Guild's unique features is that you can customise the branding per group. Via the Web Admin (at https://guild.co/app/admin/guilds) just click on the group name and as an Account Admin you can change the default Guild logo in the masthead of the group to your logo and customise the header image to reflect your brand.

This makes the group environment feel more special, more premium, less vanilla, and encourages members to want to be seen, to make an effort to make their profiles also look their best.

Update the information for each of your group(s)

Also in the web admin (in the same place as above - https://guild.co/app/admin/guilds) you can update the name of the group, its purpose (what it is for/why you’ve set it up), add any special guidelines (e.g. rules or expected behaviours in the group), and customise the default text that goes in the email invitations you send out to new members.

Spending some time getting all these details right, before you invite in new members, or soon after, is worth it because it makes your group look and sound much more professional and fit with your branding.

Post a welcome message (and video?) for new joiners and pin it to the top

It is particularly important for a new group that the Host posts a welcome message to introduce new joiners to the group and its purpose. If you particularly want to impress then film yourself doing a welcome on your phone and then attach that to your welcome message so members can hear it from you direct!

For a little while, as people join, you should ‘pin’ the welcome message/video (swipe left on the message to pin it) in order to keep it at the top of the conversations so it is easily and immediately visible.

Following is some suggested copy for your welcome message (you can then make the video attached to this more personal rather than instructional) which gives some more details about Guild and how it works to help educate your new members.

Title: Welcome to [group name]

Welcome to our group. You can find out more about the group and its members by tapping the group name above or via the three dots icon top right.

If you click the nav icon top left, or swipe right, you’ll see the navigation with the Groups you belong to, Direct Messages, your Profile (which you are encouraged to add to/update) and Settings.

You can use a web version of Guild on your desktop/laptop too – can be easier to type etc. That is at https://guild.co/app/(only viewable on desktop/laptop).

Feel free to post a message to the group – which anyone in the group can see – or direct message individuals which is entirely 1-to-1 and private.

We look forward to your contributions.

Direct message each new joiner personally to welcome them

It may feel onerous to direct message every new joiner individually to welcome them but it is powerful. Not only do they feel more likely to engage but it gets them used to the direct message feature and established that direct channel between you and them. If they reply (which they usually do) then they have also ‘broken the ice’ in feeling comfortable posting to Guild so are more likely to do so in the group setting too.

In your message to them, or a follow up, you could suggest they introduce themselves to the group themselves. Or ask for help with something. Or you could suggest they fill in the profile further so other members of your group can get to know them better e.g. with links to their LinkedIn profile, Twitter, company website etc.

Welcome each individual in the group with an @ mention

As well as a direct (1-to-1) message to the individual joiner, you should also welcome them personally to the group when they join. You might say how you know them and why you have invited them in to the group.

You should use the @ mention feature in Guild so that a) they get a notification that you have mentioned them which encourages them to reply b) it gets members used to the @ mention feature c) other members can click on your @ mention to see the profile of the new joiner in more detail.

Reward participation with your applause

Particularly early on, when your members are brave enough to contribute, make sure you reward them by tapping the applaud icon on their message to show that you are there and you are appreciative of their contribution.

Set a fun, informal tone if appropriate 😊

Set the tone from the very beginning that you'd like your community to adopt. If you don't want it to feel too formal, use an informal tone and/or emojis to make people feel comfortable. The more relaxed and welcome they feel within your group, the more likely they are to feel confident in posting their own content and encourage interaction across the group.

The way you launch and pitch new tech makes a big difference

How you introduce the tech that you want your group to use contributes to how well they adopt it. If you sound excited about it, and sell in the benefits, they'll be more likely to get on board with it.

Hosts often introduce Guild by email, but some of the most engaged groups are (also) on-boarded in-person at an event. Feel free to contact us if you'd like help with any brand copy – although we've found that the most success comes from the host's own words.

Read next >> 22 ways to create engagement in your Guild group(s)