3 Things You Need To Know About Free Popover Genie Special Offer

This special offer is good for a one year subscription to the Popover Genuie Starter plan.

1. What does Popover Genie do?

Clients told us they need users who visit their forum to actually sign up/register. Many users, especially those who find the forum from a Google search, will reap some advice and then disappear forever.

Popover Genie prompts users to sign up/register before they disappear which in turn allows Ninja Post clients to grow and monetize their forum communities faster.

2. How do I take advantage of this free special offer?

Start by signing up for your 15-day free trial with Ninja Post. After you begin your Ninja Post trial, the Ninja Post team will contact you to design and activate your Popover Genie popover.

3. Does Popover Genie work?

Ninja Post clients that use Popover Genie on their forum report that sign-ups/registrations increase by 30-50% after inserting their popover. Examples utilized by Bill Belew and We Get Around are shown below.

Questions? Chat with us.

Popover Genie example - We Get Around
Popover Genie example - Bill Belew
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How I Convert Twitter Followers Into Active Forum Users

Note: Guest blog post by Bill Belew. Bill is the founder of the Content marketer Forum which is powered by Ninja Post. Thanks, Bill!

On May 23, 2014, relying on Ninja Post, I launched my forum:

Content Marketer Forum. <= Sure. Check it out. You know want to. But more importantly you will be able to see what it is I am writing about here.

Before May of 2014, I had never been actively involved in a forum and what I didn’t know about forums far outweighed anything I knew. That didn’t deter me. What I did know was that a community of like-minded users could be a great resource to have.

Build a tribe

2 Big Problems New Forum Owners Face

Like many who have visions of creating a tribe, the immediate problem #1 was, “How do you get a whole bunch of people to hang out where nobody is hanging out?”

Then once you form a base of users, problem #2 was, “How do you get even more people to happen on your forum and stay engaged?

I know the answer to both of these questions. However, it’s the second question that I want to address is this post.

The short answer: Twitter.*

Say what?

Twitter. Twitter can be a good source of new forum users.

Forum users from Twitter

Six months ago I thought Twitter was more or less a useless platform. Believe it or not, it was one of my forum users who taught me how to effectively use the platform. It shouldn’t surprise me that in a forum devoted to how to do content marketing, someone in the forum would teach me more about content marketing.

The real goal, however, was to get people off of Twitter and onto the forum.

How to Get Tweebs to Visit and Stay in Your Forum

Step 1 – Get a lot of Twitter followers.

Not so easy you say.

Not as difficult as you think.

Step 2 – Watch this => WEBINAR: Real Followers and Engagement on Twitter.

This webinar was done by Steve Cartwright, consistently recognized as one of the top 5 content marketers in the world … and has nearly 200K legitimate Twitter followers.

In this webinar you will be introduced to CrowdFireApp. CrowdFireApp allows you to follow and unfollow Tweebs that you would like to engage with or not be seen in the same screen shot with. You can target who you want to follow, or you can follow indiscriminately. It depends on your strategy.

CrowdFire App Twitter followers to forum users

In July of last year, I had 11,400 followers on Twitter. As of this writing I have grown to 42,300 followers by using CrowdFireApp (there are others). Not bad, not bad. All I did was follow the advice in that webinar.

Read this part first and last.

Step 3 – Pay $10 for the advanced PLUTO version.

There’s an advanced function on CrowdFireApp that makes all the difference. It costs $9.99 / month (Pluto). No, I don’t have an affiliate link. Maybe I should. 8-)

With the $9.99/month version you can follow and unfollow considerably more people than with the free version. You can follow up to 1000 people, and unfollow an unlimited number.

But what you really get with the advanced version is the ability to direct message (DM), new followers. More than 30,000 new followers were DMmed when they followed me.

CrowdFire App DM Twitter followers to forum

You can see my DMs in the screen shot.

CrowdFire App DM Twitter followers to forum Part 2

Every time I was followed by someone they got a message that invited them to check out my forum.

And they came.

Here’s a screen shot of how many visitors I have had from Twitter since I implemented this strategy.

Visits to Belew's Forum referred by Twitter
(Click for full size image)

Full disclosure: I also have a really cool header, a rock star profile blurb that includes and invite to my forum, and I tweet a LOT (automated).

I can tweet a LOT because I can automatically recycle old content from my home site – billbelew.com where I have a deep well of relevant content – nearly 2,000 posts.

My members get engaged. Not only do they get engaged, they have become paying students, which more than cover the costs of my forum. Some of my forum members have become contractors, earning them and me more money. The best part is some of my members have become friends. Not all of them, but some have come from Twitter.

The Most Important Takeaway Questions & Answers

Are you using Twitter to grow your forum membership? If not, then when?

Can I help? You won’t be the first nor the last person to ask me, “Bill, how did you do that? Can you teach me?”

Contact me at my forum via private message.

* Twitter is NOT the only way I acquire new forum users.

Posted in Marketing Your Forum | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Client Profile: The Matterport User Group Forum

Note: Guest blog post by Dan Smigrod. Dan is the founder of the Matterport User Group Forum which is powered by Ninja Post. Thanks, Dan!

we-get-around-logo-matterport-3D

Here’s why we created the Matterport User Group Forum and why we engaged Ninja Post to host it.

First some context. Atlanta-based We Get Around is Georgia’s first and only photography service company dedicated solely to providing Matterport three-dimensional (3D) photography services. We started a Network of 3D photographers from around the globe in September 2014 and needed a way to bring everyone together.

We launched our Ninja Post forum so that we could connect Matterport 3D content creators worldwide. As I wrote then, “Our vision is a community of Matterport users getting help and helping others with Matterport capture, creation and sharing.” Or as Ninja Post describes: “Collaboration. New friends. Inspiration.”

Now, on any given day, as many as 300+ people worldwide check-out our Forum to browse 1,500+ thread posts among 150+ topics. More than 100 Matterport Pro 3D Camera photographers from five continents have registered as members. Forum readers have collectively spent more than 1,000+ hours on the Forum, including more than 41,500+ page views and spend an average of 5:43 minutes on the site during each visit. All that in just our first six months!

Forum members often comment how helpful and quick other members are responding to questions. Plus, members have created an awesome knowledge base for those who are just thinking about buying a Matterport Pro 3D Camera to those of us who are prolific 3D content creators. For example, I posted a question about Matterport iFrame embed code for WordPress before I went to bed and the next morning there was a very detailed answer waiting for me (and subsequently many thread posts on this topic).

Starting the Forum has also helped us find other Matterport pros for our Network and helped with SEO for We Get Around. (To see for yourself, Google: Atlanta Matterport Photographer)

As you can imagine, starting a Forum just a month after the Matterport 3D Showcase solution was announced meant that it was likely that we would only have a couple of members to start. Mike coached us on suggested thread topics, initial content strategy and, enabled Matterport 3D Showcase content to be easily embedded in thread posts. Essentially, everything that would help us success in forming a robust community around the Matterport platform.

We’re thrilled with the Matterport User Group Forum powered by Ninja Post. That’s why I asked if I could share my enthusiasm for Ninja Post in this guest post.

inner_page

Posted in Marketing Your Forum | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

5 Steps To Revive A Dead Forum

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Big announcement. Share high level survey findings with users and invite users to the new forum.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

relaunching_your_forum_community

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3 “Must Have” Rules For The Like Button On Your Forum

Last week, we discussed how the “Like” button on your forum triggers an engagement loop. In the same way that forum communities must make the registration process for new users both obvious and easy, the “Like” experience must be intuitive.

Here are the rules we follow for the “Like” button on our forum communities:

  1. Make it prominent. The “Like” button must be obvious and easy to use.
  2. Provide visual feedback. Give feedback to the user after he or she presses or taps the “Like” button, so they know their feedback was recorded. This needs to happen almost instantly even though this can be challenging if the user has a slow connection.
  3. Reward and notify the recipient. Award reputation points to the content creator who earned the “Like” and send them an email notification with the good news. Chances are that user will come back and pay it forward to someone else, which will spark a new loop.

The “Like” experience is satisfying for everyone involved. It draws people into the conversation because it does not require much effort. Finally, it’s a great tool for both new and old members alike to stay engaged with the community and bring the tribe members closer together.

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The Fog Behavior Model, Forum Software, And Community Apps

One way to think about user behavior and forum communities is to apply B.J. Fogg’s Behavior Model. The Behavior Model states that Motivation, Ability, and a Trigger must converge at the same moment for a Behavior to occur.


forum_software_and_community_apps

When you have an icon for your forum on the home screen of your users’ phones, you just created a shortcut (both literally and figuratively) to achieve the user behavior you desire (e.g., repeat visits).

The icon helps solve the ‘Ability’ and ‘Trigger’ challenges. With regards to Ability, the icon is easy to click on; it does not require much skill. In so far as a Trigger, the icon acts that way every time the user looks at their phone when he or she is bored.

But what about Motivation? We think Motivation is driven by having a critical mass of users. Users are motivated by the opportunity to build friendships, share knowledge, and garner respect from other members.

We notice that large-scale, multi-topic communities such as reddit and Quora combine accessibility on both desktop and phone, a user in search of entertainment, and a large audience to impress.

We think this combination of factors is why such apps are so successful and it explains why we’re pushing to have our communities listed in the Apple and Android app stores.

Posted in Misc. Forum Discussion | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

3 Components To The “Forum Success Cycle”

We theorize three components feed on each other in a cyclical manner so that a site owner is willing to work on his or her forum community over an extended period of time:

  • User activity
  • Motivation for site owner
  • Effort by site owner

User activity motivates the site owner to put effort into his or her forum community. In turn, this generates more user activity which creates renewed motivation for the site owner which compels him or her to keep working hard. We believe this cycle is one way to describe why site owners are willing to invest so much time and energy into their forum communities. It also illustrates how the site owner feeds off the users and vice versa. Can’t have one without the other, it seems.


Forum Success Cycle

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Why Large Groups Generate The Best Forum Content

Earlier this week, we examined why unpopular forums require so much effort. One reason is that it’s easier for large crowds of people to generate compelling content than for a single individual or a small group. Let’s explore this notion in more detail.

We know that compelling content is usually controversial, provocative, or extreme in some way. However, many site owners simply don’t have time to create provocative content or they prefer to remain neutral because of their status as leaders in the community.

In other words, the court jester can entertain crowds in a way that a king cannot. It is exhausting to play the role of king and court jester at the same time. And, successful forum communities usually a have a large number of “court jesters” operating at the same time.

But it’s not just the court jester-types that make forum communities spring to life. In actuality, popular forum communities are filled with all types of people. It’s the variety of viewpoints, personal experiences, and character traits that make forum conversations so compelling. Large groups generate the best forum content because it is impossible for a single person or small group of people to emulate this vast array of personalities.

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The Greatest Thread Topic Of All Time?

We previously examined some creative ideas to add seed threads to your forum. And once your community is self-propelling and people know each other, it’s still a good idea for site owners to chime in from time to time. If you’re a site owner, what should you say?

One of the all time great conversation starters/icebreakers is as follows:

Name one thing you’re grateful for.

This topic generates replies all over the map from humorous to sincere and from “inside” community jokes to general items that anyone would celebrate. Chances are you will be blown away by some of the comments. Some users will follow the rules and list only one thing while others will list many more.

In many forum communities the most popular topics often revolve around hotly contested debates, “attention whore” drama, and scandalous gossip. If it’s salacious, it sells. While such topics are always intriguing, they become cloying after a while.

By asking this simple question you can make your community a happier, more positive place. We like to say that “gratitude begets gratitude.” And which forum community wouldn’t benefit from a little more gratitude?

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3 Strategies To Test Your Forum Community Concept

Assuming you have enough traffic to make a forum viable, what steps can a webmaster take to test their concept prior to investing too much time or money into a new forum?

After all, galvanizing users to contribute to your forum can be challenging. Overcoming the empty restaurant problem, getting users to make their first contribution, or simply finding likely participants is often easier said that done. Even when done correctly, this process can be tedious and slow moving.

In this post, we identify three techniques to test your community concept and generate more activity in less time.

  1. Lighting rod. This strategy involves bringing in a well known, well respected, and possibly even controversial figure to the forum. Think of this person as a high powered influencer, like a company’s CEO or a special guest brought in to entertain questions from users. (Note: mature forums often have a handful of “power users” that serve as de facto lightning rods.)
  2. Magnetic force. This strategy relates to the subject matter of your forum. How is your forum positioned? We have found that if your forum can help people get laid or make money, users will flock to you. In cases where the forum topic is mundane, we advise altering the topic to be more appealing or employing the lightning rod strategy described above.
  3. Anchor. The “anchor” strategy refers to common interest that brings people together. For example, an anchor could be a physical location such as an office building or college campus or it could be a cause that binds people together (such as those afflicted by the same disease). Another example of the anchoring strategy is bringing together people who share the same goal.

If you have adequate traffic and feel prepared to employ at least two (if not all three) of the strategies described above you should be in good shape to proceed with your forum community. If not, take a step back and consider how you can make your concept more provocative.

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