Strategies to Keep People at Your Online Community - dummies

Strategies to Keep People at Your Online Community

By Deborah Ng

There’s only one way to lower your online community’s bounce rate, which is the percentage of people who don’t stick around: Make sure that the folks who visit your community stay for a while. The key to a low bounce rate is to maintain engagement among your community members

Ask questions

If potential members are landing on your community pages, they’re somewhat intrigued, so suck them in a little more by asking the types of questions that people want to answer, you’re asking them to commit to membership.

For example, if your primary source of communication with your community is your brand’s Facebook page, potential members have to like your page in order to comment. If you host a discussion forum, they’ll have to sign up to become members to respond.

Asking about the weather is going to cause a few eye rolls, and but won’t stimulate discussion. Most members won’t care what the weather doing outside in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Instead, ask the kinds of questions that require further investigation.

Asking questions that require one-word answers allows members to participate in a fun discussion without having to commit to typing a long response.

Facebook post by Blog World & New Media Expo.

Keep the conversation alive

No one wants to hang out in a virtual ghost town. If a visitor lands on a Facebook page and find that the last conversation took place two years ago, she’s not going to stick around. Thriving communities are updated every day. If your members aren’t creating conversations, that job falls to you.

Limit advertisements

Ads shouldn’t overpower content. If yours is an advertising-powered community — that is, if you have to rely on ads to pay the bills — those ads shouldn’t be so distracting that they take precedent over content. By all means sell ad space on your community pages, but don’t make them more important than the community itself.