Engaging Forum Members:
Message Forum Active
Engaging forum members should be your main priority as a forum owner. Sure, running the forum is important but without a membership, there really isn’t a forum. If you opened a hotel, you need guests to stay in the rooms otherwise the hotel is just an empty building, right? So, you need members on your forum otherwise your forum is just an empty forum. And how do you keep members on your forum, you ask? By engaging forum members and keeping them happy to be a member of your forum.
Engaging Forum Members with New Content
I’ve always said the owner of a forum should have the most posts. You should have more posts than other members of the forum by engaging forum members daily and creating most of the new content. New content will engage members because it’s new and it’s fresh. However, it is exceptionally important that the new content you’re using to connect with your members is creative and unique. You need to write content that’s engaging forum members to a point to where they want to reply to it. It needs to be different than the rest of the content but still be related to the topic of your forum or the section you are creating your topic on.
For example, if you run a brand-new gaming forum, post new topics about new games out on the market. I would focus on ones that have been out at least a month so that your members might have already played them a little bit. Brand new games may yet to have been acquired by members and therefore will not be as interesting to discuss. If you’re running an established forum, research your members and see what games they are playing the most and then games related to what games they are playing. Then you are posting new content based on membership trends per the games.
Engaging Forum Members by Keeping Posts Active
New content is good for engaging forum members, but you don’t just stop at creating a new topic. You must keep the discussion going. If the discussion continues, you will have success in engaging forum members and increasing overall activity on your message forum. You should be keeping the content alive by creating Call-To-Actions in all your replies. This means things like questions, opinions that will get replies, debates that will get replies, and an open outlet that makes other members want to respond. Pretty much every time you reply to a topic, you need to end the reply with your call-to-action that keeps the topic alive. This might not be necessary for all types of new topics, though.
So back to the gaming forum example. Let’s say you posted a new topic based on member research about a game that is out that is related to your members’ other games. You ask if anyone is playing it. Members start replying and you reply with questions that continue the discussion and allow others to learn more about the game. Instead of asking full questions, ask partial questions to entice other members to ask to follow up questions about the game that your questions didn’t cover. The idea here is to keep the discussion going by engaging forum members and getting them to want to discuss things.
Engaging Forum Members by Being Active
You should be engaging forum members every day on your forum or at least every day that you can. I often try to at least login to my forum each weekday and post 3 to 5-new topics and reply to every existing topic that other members have replied to. By doing this, you are keeping your forum active and other members watching will see an active forum with plenty of content to reply to. You should focus on topics that get the most engagement. Pay attention to the stats on your forum, the topics getting the most views and replies. These topics should repurpose but in a way that makes them unique and creative rather than duplicated. Another tip is to cruise other forums that share your topic and search for their most recently most active topics and duplicate them on your forum while trying to be original as well.
So, for the gaming forum example, you’d want to login every day that you can. Reply to every post that other members have made but end the replies with a question that entices the continuance of the discussion. Then create new topics based on partial questions for popular games related to what people are already discussing. Next go to your competition, it’s good to keep an eye on them anyways, and repurpose their content on your forum but in your own words with a twist of your own uniqueness to the content.
So, now that you know how engaging forum members is an important part of running a forum, you need to get out there and do it. Thanks for reading this post and please comment with other ways you might be engaging forum members on your community!
Founder, Forum Tips Blog
Howdy! My name is Shawn and I founded ForumTips.Blog! I created this blog to share my 20+ years of message forum knowledge with other community administrators and moderators. Learn about useful topics here such as managing, marketing, profiting, and sustaining your message forum community!