Community: Turn that Lurker into a Poster?

Kathy

Tazmanian Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2004
Messages
9,030
Kathy submitted a new Article:

Community: Turn that Lurker into a Poster?

Turn that Lurker into a Poster in Your Online Community?

If your community has plenty of traffic, plenty of guests and perhaps enough registrations but no one seems to be posting, here are some ideas that might help get your lurkers out of the shadows and into the posting forums.

Make your site user friendly

Log out of your site and dump your cookies and take a good look at your site as a new visitor. Is the registration button easy to find? Is the "welcome" text friendly? Is there a clear message of what your website is all about? Is there an invitation to "Come on in and join us!" ?

Some forums have found success in altering the language of the registration process: Renaming the word: "Register" and replacing it with "Join!" has been a helpful and simple change.

Taking the time to insure that your site is welcoming, easy to navigate is the first step.

Create an introduction forum

This isn't original but it works especially if you invite them in the "welcome email" they receive when they register. Invite them to stop by and post a bit about themselves. Give them a few prompts in the description of the Introduction forum and/or in the registration email. Give them a reason to participate. A new member posting is an indication that your forums are open for other new members.

Be sure and respond to "HI" posts within a few hours. Letting those sit for days sends a message not only to this new member but to others who are contemplating their first post that you don't really care. Reply to their post and ask more questions. It doesn't take long and it worth the effort in creating a friendly beginning for a new member.

Instruct Mods to be Friendly

This is another no brainer but as simple as it is, forum mods may get the ho-hum when a new member appears from the shadows to post. Put this in your mod manual: Be friendly! Welcome new members! Encourage your moderators to pay attention. Don't overlook the opportunities to be a gracious host.

Teach your Members to be Friendly, too

Add it to your TOS, put it in your welcome email: Be friendly!

In one particularly large forum, the members and mods notice new members who will usually say: I've been lurking but had to register to post to this message. Members and mods all jump to the reply button with "Welcome!" smilies and friendly "howdy swapping". (Add "welcome" smilies and use them!)

If your community gets a few...
Read more about this article here...
 
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snowcrash

loafing
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Messages
356
Yes, nice article, with some good tips.

It's easy to forget (or not even properly think about) what it's like for someone new joining your forum

thanks Kathy
 

BiReL41r

TheBuySellTradeForum
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Messages
215
Another good article, I've done everything you mentioned but the people that view the forum, stay for about 5mins but they never register. In a week I've only got 53 members registered! Whats wrong!
 

simsim

means seasme
Joined
Nov 3, 2005
Messages
148
BiReL41r said:
Another good article, I've done everything you mentioned but the people that view the forum, stay for about 5mins but they never register. In a week I've only got 53 members registered! Whats wrong!
Your forum is just doing great & there is no need to worry about it!
I checked it, & noticed that you launched it at 11-19-2005. Having 140 members in about 2 weeks is really great. & even they're increasing by geometrical sequence: 53 on 1st week, 87 on 2nd week :)

Well, if I am to advice you about attracting more members, I would tell you to change the grey-based skin you're using. Since your board is a Buy/Sell/Trade one, you need colors that reflect movement & interaction.

Also, I think you need to do more visualizations to the site. For example, add a unique image for every sub-forum in the Buy/Sell/Trade forum.
 

Doris

Aspirant
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
14
A Fun way to turn Lurkers into posters

We started a monthly "Meet and Greet" event. We involve the entire site (we have two chat rooms) and have fun games and a themed scavenger hunt. The hunt also draws people all around our rather large forum The event is normally 12 hours - with various activities during the day.

We normally will also start a new forum that fits the theme of the event. (This month's event is Viva Las Vegas) Last month we had a Luau - we archive the event forums for a few months after the event.

Many of our Lurkers will start posting then.
 
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FaNtEcH

Aspirant
Joined
Aug 1, 2007
Messages
10
I'm sorry because i am bringing this thread from the dead, but i had to thank Kathy.
Thanks! This is the best article that i have read on increasing traffic. And probably the most interesting one too. It's one of the few that i've fully read!
 

Elle1971

Neophyte
Joined
Sep 23, 2007
Messages
3
Very helpful. Thank you! We are doing most of it... but some of it we haven't - but will be trying soon.

Thanks again!

Elle xx :wave:
 
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