Strategic Launch Question... Incentives for early registrations/activities?

StateDOG

New Beginnings...
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Messages
757
As I mentioned in a different thread, I'm jumping back in. I'll be starting on a fresh install (IPB or XF) with zero members and zero topics/posts. BUT....

I great a High School Sports community on InvisionBoard over the years but then joined a national College sports network w/ proprietary forum software (which wasn't terrible, but was still only a C grade in terms of features/management capabilities). Anyhow, they're closing their High School sites.... and I'm getting the boot.

So I have a fair amount of members posting. I have over 5000 Twitter followers on the sites account, and I HOPE I can send a mass email to the current board's database (this is still uncertain if they'll let me) telling of the move. So I'm hoping to get the word out.

But of course there are the regular barriers of entry: convincing folks to register, start topics, and be semi-active to get some traction and momentum going. What incentives would you offer to early registrations and activities to entice people to join the "old" community on a "new platform" from the get go? What's your strategic launch advice?
 

Zelda

Enthusiast
Joined
Feb 25, 2021
Messages
123
"If you build it, they will come" is completely false on the Internet. Just because something exists or looks nice does not mean everyone will come running through the gate. Also, adding content alone is not enough. You, posting all by your lonesome amounts to a blog shouting out in the vastness of the world wide web. People want to see engagement but seldom do people want to be the first to engage, especially if they see there is little point and only you will be the one to see and hear their thoughts.

What I am about to suggest will be controversial. Yet, it has nearly always been successful for me.

Create multiple accounts and interact with yourself. Compliment yourself, disagree with yourself, argue a little with yourself, and perhaps even troll yourself a little. Make your site appear more active than it actually will be when you first open the gates. Many of the successful sites I know were founded by people who were passionate about their particular niche and could easily find others online just as passionate but knew few (if any) just as passionate offline. For them, inviting their friends or family to join in on the fun was not an option. "If you build it, they will come" is seldom reality, and most people have few things, if anything, to say if they believe it's just you alone on your mountain top. People wish to be heard far and wide, and when you first open your site, in many instances, it will be just you, and that is often not sufficient enough. The biggest challenge will be to make it look organic.

You are fortunate. You may already have possible 'word of mouth' and possible advertisement in your particular situation. But unless you can booker an agreement where you import everything from their site to your site, acquiring your members and content along with it, you're still just a guy on his mountain top. The first people who hear of your site will visit your site, perhaps join, and lurk. You need to overcome all that.
 

StateDOG

New Beginnings...
Joined
Feb 20, 2004
Messages
757
You are fortunate. You may already have possible 'word of mouth' and possible advertisement in your particular situation. But unless you can booker an agreement where you import everything from their site to your site, acquiring your members and content along with it, you're still just a guy on his mountain top. The first people who hear of your site will visit your site, perhaps join, and lurk. You need to overcome all that.
You're right in that I have an audience I might be able to entice to come over. But time is limited in getting the word out. So I'm needing to make an immediate software decision, install/configure, and then open for public. Regrettably there is no way to import users/topics/ect at all. So it'll be starting on a blank canvas.... but... with a collective of people interested already. But they'd have to go through the registration process again.

And I'm intrigued by your suggestion of the multi-account strategy.
 

zappaDPJ

Administrator
Joined
Aug 26, 2010
Messages
7,752
And I'm intrigued by your suggestion of the multi-account strategy.

Creating good quality content that your target membership can relate to is almost always going help more than presenting them with a blank canvas. There are a number of ways of going about it including the 'sock puppet' suggestion. Another option would be to invite a few like minded friends or colleagues to help you get started.
 
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