New members are your most important asset. They are what make your forum a community, and are the future members that keep it going. Say to yourself, and to your staff members, that new members are your most important asset.
You must recognize that, they took interest in your community, and they bothered to register. What that means is that they noticed your forum, they liked it, they wanted to be a part of it.
Accommodating New Members
You need to take steps to ensure that your new member will come back, and give something to the community.
1. The Introduction Section- Get one. Although it may seem repetitive, a lot of times this really breaks the ice.
The art to welcoming a member is to make your welcome message original. Look at their post, and reply with a personal comment. The new member will notice, and will feel more comfortable on your board.
2.Make sure if a newbie asks for help ,make sure you give to him no matter how stupid the question and make sure no members tease him about this.
3. Meeting Other Members- Tell your staff, as well as seasoned members that you would appreciate if they welcomed new members, and treated them well.
4. Showing them Around- Asking them if they need help finding anything is a good idea too!
Saying "Use The Search Button" may help you lose members.
Even if your community is small, if you treat your new members like humans, and recognize that they ARE your community, you will succeed.Without members, your forum is a waste of space. So treat members well, and your community will feel like a community.