Why are they joining?


(Kristen Gastaldo) #1

We average about 20-30 people joining the community every day. But of these 20 or 30, maybe 5 actually post something somewhere. So, why are they joining? Nothing in the community is behind a login. You can see everything without joining. You only have to join to participate. So, why are they joining and not participating?

In the past, I’ve been on support communities where the majority join the community to ask a question.

Any ideas on figuring this out?


(Richard Millington) #2

So the obvious thing to do is ask them :slight_smile:

But assuming you’ve done that and didn’t get a good answer, I’d track where they came from. How did they find the community. How many pages do they visit? Which pages do they visit? Are they using similar user names/from similar locations (suggests spammers)? Do they validate? Do they visit more than once? For how long?

I think the more data you get along that track will give you a pretty good indication of what’s happening here.


(Sarah Hawk) #3

Rich’s advice is pretty much exactly what I’d suggest BUT unfortunately it’s probably not that easy.

I have the same situation here. We have a large number of members that sign up but never actually participate. Like you, they don’t have to sign up to participate, but even more confounding – they don’t even read any posts!

I have asked many of them and have never had an answer. I’ve agonised over how to approach gathering data but I am not able to track all of the above.

I’d love to track where they came from, but I have no way of doing that. I suspect it’s potentially possible using GA but I have no idea how!

If anyone else has ideas, I’d love to hear them.


(Renée Van Holsteijn) #4

That’s a tough one. I think people join out of curiosity, and may forget about the platform when time passes. And all of the notifications, even of DM’s seem like white noise to them.
Try to find out where their curiosity come from. Maybe it was someone who informed them about it. Is it possible to see relations between your community members? If so: maybe you can ask the person who knows the inactive one why he/she is inactive… a but devious, though.


(Nikoletta Harrold) #5

So many good suggestions here. I would like to share some of my experience that confirms many of the above. I ran several support communities that you only had to sign up for if you wanted to contribute yet growth was not equal between them. One was very slow and organic and mainly word of mouth. At that company community was very isolated and the product and our customer facing teams did not promote the existence of this amazing community at all.

At the other company community was integral part of the product and it was part of customer onboarding, training and the support cycle. We had crazy sign up rates because everyone was told to do so. Read 500 or more a week. But not many stuck around. Mainly only the product admins did who had come to learn and gain customer support. Others joined because they were told to do so and needed to check the box.

What this long winded example is trying to showcase is, yes track where the entry points are to your community?. What efforts are being extended to drive sign up, i.e.: in product referral, training efforts, marketing etc?

To answer @HAWK’s comment, yes GA is amazing at tracking your referral sources and entry and exit points. There is no magic behind it. Just copy the GA code snippet into the website HTML code and let it do it’s thing. Referral source will give you broad understanding of search engine vs social media vs. email vs. organic vs. bookmarked traffic, entry points will give you literally the sites they come from and where they go to most frequently. (Exit page is the opposite)

I highly recommend picking a few of the quiet people and set up one on one’s with them. I would target the ones with repeat login but no or barely any engagements. Why do thy keep coming back. It might be a case of “lurkers” and you just need to activate them.


(Kristen Gastaldo) #6

Thanks for all the advice. I’ll start with GA and a bit of interviews. Keep you guys posted!


(Alessio Fattorini) #7

Stealing the idea from @HAWK I asked directly to my members one year ago.

tl;tr They answered me with a few main reason

  • lack of confidence and knowledge
  • issue with the language (English)
  • lack of time = not a priority

Hope it helps, I suggest you do the same you could learn many things :slight_smile:


(Sarah Hawk) #8

I wasn’t specific when I described my dilemma. I do have GA hooked up and I do track referral sources, but what I don’t know how to see is where a specific person came from. i.e. I can tell you that x people came from our home page, or from Google, but I can’t tell you which of those people are the ones that signed up and never read anything.


(Nikoletta Harrold) #9

Oh yep, that would need an IP lookup. That would mean you would have to cross reference your members IP with the traffic pattern you get from GA. Not a simple task


(Kristen Gastaldo) #10

I assume those reasons all apply to us as well (except maybe language, as we have language groups). But my question is more WHY did the join the first place. I get why people don’t post generally, but I’d love to know why they decided to join, and then didn’t post. There’s no large value (besides saying you’re a member or having a profile people can see) to join, as all the content is public.


(Priscilla McClay) #11

Good intentions? They might join with every intention of posting, but then the other factors get in the way.


(Sarah Hawk) #12

That doesn’t explain the not reading though – that’s what confounds me. You’d think someone would at least read one post.