Just as new members should continually join your community, so you’ll also find that older members leave. They’ll stop posting, stop commenting, and eventually they’ll delete their profiles.
Many of those members will be no great loss. They’ll be people who registered, looked around and never contributed. They were never serious and were never going to be a part of the community anyway. All communities attract people like that, and eventually they drift away.
Some of those members though will be your core audience. They leave for one reason:
Your private social network is no longer interesting.
The content no longer touches them. They’ve seen it before and it doesn’t affect their lives.
The comments on their own posts are predictable, and the community doesn’t meet a social need that they can’t meet better elsewhere.
When your key members start deleting their profiles, you need to start taking action.
Make sure you’ve planned events that are interesting, on-topic and exciting—the sort of get-togethers that can’t be found elsewhere and which define your group.
Ask your members questions so that the content they post is personal as well as topical. Bind those veteran members to people as well as to the subject. Set milestones that the community can reach so that everyone always feels that the community is growing and moving forward.
Communities shouldn’t be stable. They should grow and mature just like their members—and they should always be interesting.
That’s all for now! Next time, I’ll be talking about what to do when your community becomes too big.