Friday 1 Mar, 2024

Activating Lurkers in Your Community

Are lurkers a problem in your community and how do you activate them?

Lurkers, the silent observers of content in your community who quietly consume content without engaging. They often make up a large portion of your community, especially if your community is mostly used as a support channel. While their initial presence might be passive, unlocking their participation can be a game-changer for the atmosphere of your community.

What are lurkers?

Lurkers are people who consume content in online communities without actively participating. You will often find them in forums, on social media, or in the chat of a live stream. They are the silent observers who are consuming the content but not engaging with it.

Are Lurkers a problem?

Lurkers are not necessarily a problem. They are consuming content, which is a good thing. However, making the distinction between lurkers and inactive members can be difficult.
Inactive members are people who have stopped engaging with your community. They inflate your member count which can make it difficult to understand the true health of your community.

Activating lurkers

1. Make it easy to participate

One reason why lurkers don't participate is that they might not know how to. Make sure that it's easy and intuitive for them to participate.
Show them how to participate by giving them a clear call to action. For example, share examples of how they can participate, examples of a good comment, or a good question.

2. Double down on active members

Active members are the lifeblood of your community. They are the ones who are creating content, asking questions, and engaging with others. By doubling down on the active members you have, you can create a more engaging atmosphere that will encourage lurkers to participate.
An easy pitfall to fall into is to focus on activating lurkers and forgetting about the active members. Make sure to keep a balance between the two.

3. Provide value

Lurkers are consuming content because they find it valuable. Keeping lurkers around is a prerequisite for activating them.
Make sure that the content you are putting out in your community is valuable to them. This can be educational, entertaining, or thought-provoking content.

Dries Augustyns

Dries Augustyns

Founder at Pile