Some say the rise of social networks like Facebook and Twitter has led to a decline in forum use. Others say the shift to mobile has led people to abandon forums. However, many forum communities continue to thrive in the age of social media. This tells us that even if your forum is on life support, there is still hope.
What steps can you take to revive your community? In the short term, it takes a blast of adrenaline. Over the long term, it requires good old-fashioned persistence.
When relaunching a forum community after migrating to Ninja Post, we incorporate elements of Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula into the process to pique interest and to collect feedback from users. After the launch, we take steps to keep users engaged and attract new members. The steps break down like this:
- Pre-launch Announcement #1. Send announcement to all users that “something big is coming soon”. Take this opportunity to ask users to complete a short survey. The survey can be used to see what users want from their community.
- Pre-launch Announcement #2. Send a follow-up announcement to all users. Remind them that “something big is coming soon” and remind them to take the survey.
- Big announcement. Share high level survey findings with users and invite users to the new forum.
- Regular newsletter. Send a weekly newsletter to all members to recognize contributors and highlight popular content. This step is about training users to visit the forum regularly.
- Funnel users from the main site. Forums sustain themselves by adding new users to the mix. We know the best forum users come from your main site so we advise funneling them from your main site to your forum.
Following these steps will give your forum community a rosy outlook. As soon as you get a pulse back, the best long terms solution for any forum community is to post fresh content on a daily basis. This takes dedication and persistence and creativity. Although you could do all the heavy lifting yourself, we recommend engaging your most passionate and prolific users using the steps outlined above to revive a dead forum.