Great habits for growing your Ning Network

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Growing a Ning Network by populating it with lots of members is often considered to be the Holy Grail for many Network Creators. As a result, we see Ning Networks that are so excited to grow — and grow quickly — that their invitation lists more closely resemble the population of a small country. But, as the saying goes, it’s about quality not quantity. The key to building a vibrant Ning Network is to attract people that will love to be part of it and regularly contribute. Think before you hit send; are these invitees likely to be active, engaged members? That’s why it’s important to invite the right connections and friends that share your passion. To reach them, we’re highlighting four simple ways to best share with and invite the people that can make your Ning Network stellar.

1. Be choosy

We give you an easy way to invite friends and family by importing your email address book from Gmail, Yahoo, AOL and Hotmail. While you may be tempted to invite all of your email contacts, it’s also important to appeal to the people you think will most enjoy jumping on the bandwagon. Sometimes, it pays to be choosy; otherwise you might accidentally invite your vegetarian friend to join the Griller’s Index.

2. Leverage your online presence

If you’d like to invite your friends from Facebook and Twitter, or include an invite on your blog, you can post or send an invitation link to join. This link will send them directly to your Ning Network’s sign up page. To grab this link, go to the Manage page and select Privacy. At the bottom of the Privacy page, copy the invitation link and share it wherever you have a web presence.

3. Personalize your invitation

Adding a personal note to a friend or highlighting your favorite part of the social network gives more context to any invitation. You can also include links to interesting things posted by members, which fosters engagement within your Ning Network.

4. Share what matters most to you

Your Ning Network might have hundreds of photos and videos posted by you and other members. Sharing the content that matters most to you is likely also meaningful to your connections and real-world friends. Look for the Share link available on most pages to spotlight compelling content through email or posts to online services like Digg. This is a great way to draw people back to content you think is fantastic and it’s a nice way to tip your hat to members contributing positively to your Ning Network.

Jason Rand, a Policies & Abuse associate, is making an invite list and checking it twice.

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2 thoughts on “Great habits for growing your Ning Network

  1. David Appell

    Good advice, for the most part, but there was much left unsaid. For example, you guys have left us hanging on some key tools here. For example, in the invitation e-mails you say add a note. Well, first you have to get people to open the e-mail, and if you don’t allow any customization of the subject line, most of the time it will not get opened “Please join me on xx network” — I mean, if you got something like that, and weren’t sure what it was about, would you bother? I don’t know that I would.

    Also, management of invitees leaves quite a bit to be desired; for example, currently it’s impossible to track whom you’ve invited and whom not. I recently sent a batch out and later discovered I had either already invited several, or even worse, several others were already members. This is quite the recipe for irritating current and prospective members, don’t you think?

    So instead of adding silly gimmicks like gift giving and so forth, better admin tools would be much appreciated, for starters. Thanks!

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