Activity slump over summer


(Sarah Hawk) #1

Who noticed a drop in traffic and/or activity at the end of July (summer in half the world)? I suspect it’s more prevalent in CoPs than internal or support communities.

It’s definitely a pattern that I’ve noticed over the years, and it can be stressful if you’re keeping a close eye on your numbers.

Anyone else affected? Do you do anything in particular to mitigate it?


(Michael Norton) #2

Hi Sarah

That’s something that we have every year due to most of our members working in the Public Sector.

So we always have a slight slow down during the summer months and around Christmas.

We have encouraged our communities to try out some fun activities to keep the communities ticking over.

I’ve seen examples of photo sharing from their holidays, books to read, activities based around sporting events such as the Olympics and World Cups that have worked really well.

Has anyone tried anything else that I could borrow?


(Linda Missal) #3

I’ve definitely noticed a slowdown in participation and weekly active users (our metric du jour for this quarter). A couple of things that have helped are:

  1. An increase in efforts to grow the community during this time (seeing fresh faces in the network excites the folks who ARE still around)

  2. We’re running a series of personalized emails to several of our members asking them to participate on particular topics (we actually did a prompt about summer slowdowns in business, as our community is for small business owners!).

Seems to be working a bit, but it’s also important to not sweat the slow periods, and use that time to prep for maybe testing a new engagement strategy when everyone gets back!


(Paula Munch) #4

Hi Sarah,

We have a site that is all about career - and we do see a slow down in engagement in the summer.
Job seekers are still active - but it is a different vibe during summer:)


(Suzi Nelson) #5

Things always slow down for us during the summer (both in the community and in # of sales). It’s nothing we worry too much about, it always picks back up!


(Mark Williams) #6

I suggest never worrying about this. It’s one of those places where metrics can actually hurt you (obsession). Look at longer term trends. Someone once told me (I wish I could remember who) that they build a “re-onboard” program of reminders when their slump period was over. They worked with US school teachers or similar. They looked at back to school as back to community.


(Sarah Hawk) #7

This!


(Nick Emmett) #8

We’ve had a slow couple of months but looks like things are picking back up as we head into Augusto! Sometimes we tend to take things to heart a bit too much when there’s a simple, obvious reason for a dip or a lull - this is definitely one of those occasions and I’m guilty your honour!


(Darren Gough) #9

I really like this. I think a sensible approach to lower expectation around metrics is a good start, but it’s also an opportunity to connect with new people and encourage lurkers whilst the “noise” isn’t there.

Important to remember that whilst the summer is, de facto, time off for many, for a lot of others it’s business as usual so it presents an opportunity to try some new things, reach some new members and take some very specific actions.


(Frank Field) #10

Absolutely happens to our external community. Oddly I see a continuation in the increase in membership, but a very big drop in participation and contribution numbers.

Oh, side note, you sucked me back in, Sarah! Dang you! :smiley:


(Sarah Hawk) #11

Ditto. Makes sense I guess, if you consider that people are still doing the same things, they just have less time.

:wink:


(Gear Buzz) #12

Gone fishing.


(Frank Field) #13

So, just did August numbers and boy was I wrong. Third highest number of pageviews in the two years our community has existed. However, participation was down a few percentage points.


(Sarah Hawk) #14

Interesting!
I noticed a significant reduction in monthly active members, but a significant increase in engagement.


(Frank Field) #15

Sounds like a better problem to have!
To answer the “what are you doing about it” part of your question… I launched an advocate group on 9/1 to answer unanswered questions… And mark answered questions correct. They’re happy to have “powers,” and I’m happy to have help! If the employer won’t hire more warm bodies, I’m going to put my members to work! :slight_smile: They love our product and our community, so I’m not a real taskmaster. They wanna help.


(Sarah Hawk) #16

Potentially yes, but any drop frustrates me. :wink: