1.Create new threads and posts
This one sounds really obvious, right? But it is actually something massively overlooked by webmasters of dying forums. Many owners of forums will see the lack of new content on their forums and will fail to do one important thing – act. Those on the staff team, especially the owner and founder of the forum should be leading the way in content creation. Staff are the only people expected to create threads, and are or at least should be much more willing to than normal community members. It is often the case that community members feel nervous to create a thread on a forum in case they are doing things wrong, especially when they are new to the community. Staff should therefore be leading the way in terms of content creation in order to give normal members new and exciting topics to respond to. Secondly, be sure to respond to previous threads. Bump old topics that didn’t get the attention they deserve, ask follow up questions to posts in other threads to get discussion flowing again and members will follow suit.
2.Email previously active users
Some webmasters do this, but do it in a very terrible way. I am not talking about the generic ‘we miss you at…’ emails that are sent to every single member of the forum. I am talking about personal emails sent out individually to those who were considered active members of your community before the slowdown. Send them an email asking how they are and really get to know them. It is important that it doesn’t seem like a promotion to get them to come back to the forums, act as a friend. This is something I recently did on my dying community, one active member who had accumulated a hundred or so posts previously became inactive, I sent them an email asking how things were going and got a reply to my email. I followed up the conversation and upon my next visit to the forum, found that the user had created over 30 posts in a single day all thanks to the email getting them back involved with the community.
3.Bring in new members
Many growing forums fail to see the importance of bringing in new members once they have an active member base. This is a big problem once things start dying down. It is bound to happen that the active, core members will eventually fall out of that group, and unfortunately growing forums fail to continue to bring in new members to replace them. So memberships continue to dwindle and eventually the forums have a lack of content with no members considered active. Keep promoting no matter how well the forum is going, always seek new avenues when promoting, try new things and keep trying to bring those new members in to replace those who leave the community for whatever reason.