You’ve worked hard to build your community but now you see people leaving. That can be hard. Here’s the thing: any community — online or off — should allow ebb and flow. It’s really okay. It’s not personal. (But if it was, that’s okay, too. Let them go, but that’s another post.)
“Communities shouldn’t be stable. They should grow and mature just like their members—and they should always be interesting.”
We like stable communities, but people are social. They will move from physical locations, jobs, and even friend groups. Many communities serve a purpose in our lives that is seasonal in nature.
Seasonal groups are those who focus on a specific time period in your life. A great example is the MOPs group (Mothers of Preschool Children). When your youngest child has graduated from high school, that season is definitely over.
Now, you can mentor others in that season from your experience, but for the vast majority of members, they now have to participate in a group for soccer, piano players, or mathletes. These types of online communities should experience a cycle of incoming and outgoing members. This is why onboarding new members (and welcoming them) is so important.
If I’m in an online group that is about kickboxing but end up stopping, why would I stay in the group? After a while, there’s not only no value in me belonging to the group, but it makes the group itself stale. There should be a fresh group of people entering that group. Mixed Martial Arts is a huge passion and growing incredibly.
Regardless of the activity, your online community should be growing and thriving. This means keeping engaged people in your online community. These active members participate it the sport or activity. When they post, blog, and comment, it matters because it’s relevant. It’s natural for people to leave and join activity-based groups as their own interests grow and change.
Location-based groups also serve a purpose. If you live in Dana Point, like I do, there is a Facebook group that helps keep people connected. I wish it was an extension of the Chamber of Commerce but they haven’t grown that much yet. Imagine if people could actually leave Facebook? But that’s another blog post.
Point being, if I move to Montpelier, Vermont, for example, I no longer need to be part of the Dana Point local group. I don’t live there. It’s not relevant to me and not good for the group to have me there. I live elsewhere. Gaining and losing members in a location-based group is normal.
How Will You Manage Your Community?
It’s your community, your way with PeepSo. Allow it to ebb and flow, with members changing their interests. It’s natural. You have all the tools you need to engage your community. Create your community your way. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t start today.