Bring back one community member every day

by Martin Reed on 28 July 2011 in Snippets

Add this to your community manager ‘to do’ list – bring back one inactive member every single day.¬†Instead of trying to attract new members, focus on getting existing members to return and contribute.

A few ways you can do this:

  • Find a discussion you think they’ll find interesting and tell them about it.
  • Find a discussion about a subject they’re an expert in and encourage them to share their wisdom.
  • Find other members they formed friendships with and get those members to drop your AWOL member a line.

You can even bring the entire community in on this. Let’s say a particularly prominent member disappears – make it a community goal for that member to be lured back. Get other members to compete to see who can bring back the most members – special prominence goes to the member who can bring back the really valuable members who have drifted away.

Even if you can’t bring every member back, you’re likely to end up with some valuable feedback.

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Ana Lewis July 28, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I absolutely LOVE your tips and site. Thank you so much for writing these tips to help us create and grow better, more inclusive communities. I have been following your advice, and look forward to every tip your send to us. Thank you.

Murray Lunn September 7, 2011 at 1:51 am

I love this so much, I can’t begin to tell you how fresh this was because I’m experiencing a weird time in my blog, at the moment. I’ve been going strong for over a year now with my blog, Murlu, but lately things have started to slip in terms of the people that were frequenting the site.

I’m getting more traffic than before but less participation. One thing I think I’ll need to do is an audit of the site and get in contact with people that have been active before – maybe send them and email to see where they’re off to and what I could do to bring them back in.

Tommy T May 8, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Indeed, I did this successfully after I’d finally waged war against the cliques and stamped them out. During the whole affair a lot of old regs left. Don’t get me wrong, I valued my new regs just as much as I did the old ones – but, they were there from the beginning. The originals. They built the community, not me, I merely provided it. It wasn’t fair that they felt the need to leave because of all the arguments going on with the newer regs.

Once things had settled down, cliques were stamped out and the original atmosphere of the site was restored, more staff taken on, a new vibrant ‘fresh’ template to signify a new beginning, I invited my most missed old regs back, one, for example, was an expert in computers – so I asked him if he could do me a ‘favour’ and write articles on various computer-related topics. He wrote my “viruses & malware” page, while doing this, he’d pop onto the forums, say hi etc, and before I knew it, he was integrated back into the community visiting more and more often.

I’ll definitely be deploying this tactic on the new project, as many of the old, core member base of my former community will be invaluable to getting the new one off the ground.

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