Getting people to join your forum and register can be one of the hardest things to do, while losing these new members is probably the easiest. There are many reasons a member might leave, but we’re just going to cover the basics.
Here you’ll find the most common reasons for someone leaving, and how to fix them!
Reason #1: Staff Stop Contributing
It’s pretty easy for a member to detect if an admin, or staff member is taking their forum seriously or not. I’ve left many forums just because the staff were showing no interest in contributing to the forum after a while. It’s not uncommon for a forum to go under in days just because the staff stopped contributing.
Fix: Post more often.
Now, you don’t have to post your ass off every day, but you need to contribute something each day. At least one staff member should make a few posts and to see if everything is running smoothing. Nothing is worse than seeing a staff member online not doing anything. So just try to pick up your activity a bit.
Reason #2: The rules are too strict
Rules, rules, and more rules.
Face it, people hate to be confined by rules. While rules are definitely necessary, I think many forums go a bit to far. For example, I know a few forums that don’t allow cursing, which doesn’t make sense since it’s such a normal thing.
If you’re an admin who has a full page of rules that you’re constantly enforcing, then that might be the reason you’re losing members.
This internet is the craziest place to have ever existed. While you should keep your members feeling comfortable and safe. You don’t have to go warning everybody for cursing, and other random things.
Just relax, reduce the amount of rules you have and get your panties out of a bunch.
Reason #3: Nothing New
After a while things can begin to get boring. It’s pretty easy to get tired of looking at the same design everyday.
Fix: Mix things up
Every few months I feel it’s pretty important to work on creating a new feel on the board. Whether it be a new theme, a new logo, a new contest, or whatever changing new things can have its benefits. One of these benefits is keeping the members interested.
Reason #4: A bad experience with staff
It’s not uncommon for a member to leave a forum just from one bad experience they had with a staff member. I see members leaving forums all the time just because of “unfair” warnings and disputes with staff.
Fix: Talk to staff and the member
While we all would like to think that the people we chose to be staff are perfect, they’re not. Someone on your staff might be causing members to feel unfairly treated, and if they are, then they should immediately be removed from their position. Part of being staff is helping members feel comfortable and to have a good time.
At the same time, a member might have taken a warning, or response the wrong way. It’s quite hard to tell someones tone over the internet, so things can easily be confused. If you feel that the staff member was only doing their job, then talk to the member to try to clear things up. See how you can improve, and hear the members side of the story.
Reason #5: Sold Behind the Member’s Backs
You might have just bought the forum, and the members weren’t even aware the forum was for sale. If a member doesn’t know anything about the new admin, or just feels betrayed by the sale, then obviously they’re going to leave.
Many, many, many forums have died just from being sold incorrectly.
Fix: Keep members involved in the transfer
I think a lot of admins are scared of sharing details of a forum sale with their members, but it’s a normal thing for websites to be bought and sold. Members have dedicated their time toward your forum, so don’t stab them in the back by tossing them into new hands just for a wad of cash. Make the transaction of the forum as transparent as you can. The reason for the forum being sold, how much it was sold for, whom the new owner is, etc should be posted publicly for all members to see.
Also, once the new owner takes over I think the old owner should stick around for a few months as a friendly gesture to the community.
So those are the reasons why I think most members end up leaving a forum. Hopefully these fixes can help you get the members back, or prevent yourself from losing members in the future.
So what are some reasons that you have left your forum in the past?