New initiative for engaging "lurkers"


(Sarah Hawk) #21

That’s fantastic! Thanks for sharing in so much detail.


(Suzi Nelson) #22

Holy cow, Joel!! I love the conversation on how to make your community more lurker-friendly - did you get any good insights there?

And AWESOME implementation, this was amazing to read through. So happy to see improvements on this idea! <3


(Joel Zaslofsky) #23

No, Suzi. The “let’s all talk about how we make our community more lurker friendly” didn’t really go anywhere.


(David Silvernail) #24

Starting a “campaign” to see how this works on my site. I LOVE this idea. I posted a similar message to @Suzi_Nelson 's opening post and I’ve gotten 2 responses within a minute of that post already! This is very much a condensed version of what @richard_millington recommends as a community newsletter in the feverbee book. I love it!


(Sarah Hawk) #25

A few people have tried this now to anecdotal success.

I’m really interested to hear why you think that lurkers are comfortable engaging when they are specifically singled out, yet they won’t engage in the more generic initial engagement posts.

Any thoughts or insights?


(David Silvernail) #26

So, we are having a GREAT discussion on my site, starting from the prompt about what to call Lurkers.

The conversation has evolved into a discussion about how to address questions from people new to our industry. “Newbie questions”

There are two methodologies being proposed.

  1. Create a forum for these questions and let each question have it’s own thread. (great for SEO and search-ability reasons, easier for existing members to ignore)
  2. Or, setup a weekly “ask us anything” thread and keep it all contained. (harder for existing members to ignore, since they get auto-subscribed to any thread they respond to, and future questions in the same thread will have more people seeing it, but from a search-ability perspective, harder to search against)

Both methodologies have their pro’s and cons. Any thoughts from a community management perspective?


(Sarah Hawk) #27

I’d go for the first one – everything in its own thread. It would make it easier for future new members, who likely aren’t going to read through numerous AMA threads.

You could make a couple of people responsible for answering the questions and model the behaviour for others.


(Suzi Nelson) #28

I’ve seen a lot of forum go more of the “Newbie Corner” route rather than an AMA for newbies. Take a gander at…

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewforum.php?id=23

^^ Note they have threads with hellos, community guidelines, and important posts that newbies can review to feel plugged into the culture.

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/newbies_corner

^^ Mumsnet just has a dedicated space for new members to say hi to each other

Do a little poking around in how other forums are set up - I personally like ArchLinux’ approach better, because it sticks the most important resources up at the top for easy access - and its not just rules, but important community content that newbies need to get to know the space.

Hope that helps!


(Sarah Hawk) #30

I agree with individual threads over AMAs. I’m not sure I agree with having them in a completely separate forum though, unless you have a really dedicated team responsible for answering them. What is the benefit for existing members to visit that part of the community?

I think the Archlinux approach is probably better – topics still get visibility in the main forum.


(David Silvernail) #31

We’ve had a New Member area forever when new members are encouraged upon sign up to go and say hi and we have a dedicated group of people who monitor that forum to respond and guide them around, we call our volunteers “The Welcome Wagon”.

However, generally we’ve always pointed questions towards the individual topic forums. A lot of the discussion about creating these AMA-like areas or threads is that we are specifically calling out these spaces as safe for an Ask Us Anything / Newbie questions.

Our community deals with some rather dangerous subjects (electricity, rigging, audience and production safety, etc) and we are rather draconian about safety. Its part of our cultural ethos and we have some really serious members who, in fact, write some of these safety standards for the industry. It does mean however, that some of the discussions can get really, really high-level and pedantic (which is fine, when you are talking about NEC or ANSI standards, but it is very intimidating subject material.

I’ve been toying with the idea of flipping the proposal on it’s head. Moving all the high-level discussions to their own area and making the regular discussion areas a bit less intimidating. Or heck, maybe I’ll do both!


(Kate Ambash) #32

I’ve seen this topic a lot, probably from you, @Suzi_Nelson, in different places. Now I’m really interested in this.

How do I FIND my lurkers? Sorry if this is a total n00b question. Our community uses SSO, so most members should be logged in…theoretically…can GA track this? Thanks in advance for answers here, especially anybody using #Vanilla.


(Suzi Nelson) #33

Hi Kate :smiley:

I’m not familiar with Vanilla, but they should have some sort of basic analytics system that tells you how many people participated in a given time frame and how many total members you have in any given time frame.

total members - active members = your lurkers!

I use a tool called Grytics to find our lurker percentage, it specifically provides analytical data on Facebook groups (and LinkedIn groups too, I believe). But I think most community platforms, like Vanilla, provide some basic data as part of their platform. Maybe reach out to Vanilla and see where you can find this info?


(Shreyas) #34

@Adrian might be able to help you @kambash :slight_smile:
Btw, Adrian, I just signed up for Vanilla’s 2017 Forecast Webinar. For anyone who’s interested, you can check it out here. The panel looks great.


(Adrian Speyer) #35

Howdy! Thanks for the mention @dun3buggi3

There are a couple of ways to do it @kambash. We have some advanced analytics on our hosted solution that would give you a participation rate.

If you are self-hosting or on a simple plan, we have a FREE Google Analytics guide which can provide you with a way to look at members vs guests to figure that out.

You can grab that here: https://pages.vanillaforums.com/google-analytics-guide-community-management-manager

Hope that helps :slight_smile:


(Kate Ambash) #36

thanks! Indeed, my CSM is going to send this to me.


(Joel Rangelle) #37

@Suzi_Nelson I know this is an old post but I’m going to bump it, because I just ran my own ‘Love Your Lurkers’ week in October. I roughly followed the blog post by Suzi on DigitalMarketer. It was AMAZING and there were so many good things that came out of it:

  • Activation of inactive members - I had inactive members pop out of the woodwork, and they’re now some of the biggest posters on a daily basis.
  • Activation of new members - One of the nice side effects is that new members got a 5 day blast, and because they didn’t know any better, I’m seeing a sustained increase of activity from those new members.
  • Higher activity of existing members - I’ve been lucky to have some strong members who regularly check-in and post, but they’ve definitely stepped up tehir activity both during and after the Lurker week.
  • Higher check-ins from lurkers - One of the most interesting insights is that, in addition to getting active participation from prior lurkers, I had many more members login

Two huge rewards that I got out of the week:

  • My heart soared when one of the inactive members sent me a private message after the LOL week that said those daily lurker posts really made the community feel more welcoming for older members like him. That was totally the reason why I created the lurker week, and he’s now a daily contributor.
  • One of the inactive members got jumpstarted by the lurker week into becoming a club leader of his own social group on my community. This by itself has been a transformative change for my community and a huge win. He jumped to the pinnacle of the community commitment curve, and he’s now bringing over other members from his other group into my community.

My stats from Love Our Lurkers week:

  • 25% more activity (includes passive activity like reactions)
  • 40% more posts (specific to discussion)
  • 140% more members who visited

Some twists that I made to Suzie’s blueprint:

  • Beforehand, I hosted a discussion with some of my superuser and promoted three friendly and active members into a new Ambassadors role. They constantly surveyed the site during the week of LOL, and as soon as they saw an unfamiliar member post, they jumped in and immediately responded. It also gave them a sense of recognition.
  • Email - I heavily used email for each of my daily messages that really helped activate offline users. This tactic is probably the biggest contributor to the 140% increase in member visits.

Some tactics that I want to change for next time:

  • My daily posts roughly followed Suzie’s model, and it was heavily informational. I was talking to my users. My goal is to make next year’s emphasis more interactive, and to talk with my members with more interactive or emotive messages.
  • I was busy the week after my LOL week because I was traveling for work, so I couldn’t immediately acknowledge everyone’s contributions of the ambassadors or new members until my next monthly newsletter.

Hope this helps others contemplating this initiative. I think it’s a wonderful thing to do for the community, and thank you to @Suzi_Nelsonfor her detailed walkthrough.