Sink or Swim? What to do when Losing Community Members

May 04, 2021 4 min read
Sink or Swim? What to do when Losing Community Members

We’re losing him!

Okay. Okay. So maybe losing a community member isn't as dramatic as this cat reviving his friend, but it's still something to be concerned about. When the community begins to lose valuable members, this means that they were previously engaged but for some reason or the other we haven’t seen them for quite some time.

In the past few weeks we’ve explained Port’s community segmentation tools and how you can use Port's Community Grid to maximize your community growth. So far, we’ve given you a general overview, and a detailed explanation of the Promising and SuperFan segments. Today we’ll be discussing the Losing segment.

So what does it mean if a member is in the Losing segment? How do they compare with other members in the community? And how can you engage with them to see if they’re happy in their place or losing interest in your community or product/service as a whole?

Let’s hear what our co-founder Nick had to say:

Take Max for example: Last year he was the winner of your DevHacks2020 Hackathon. When Max won the competition in May he was a major community contributor: providing tips to the community on how to win a hackathon, helping you with press releases and newsletters, uploading product videos to YouTube and even uploading and sharing his code to GitHub for other community members to see. Just a few months ago Max’s engagement was at it’s peak, but overtime you’ve realized that he has become less active and you’re beginning to wonder if he's losing interest.

Now depending on your community size the way you treat this situation will vary. As Nick says:

The conclusion you arrive at really depends on your community goals, but the reality remains that these members haven’t been posting, haven’t been contributing and haven’t been mentioning you or your community for months and so you’re presented with the option of either reaching out and finding out what’s happening or declaring them as a lost cause.

Max for example might’ve only joined the community as a way to participate in the Hackathon and build his resume. Now that he's already won and his resume received the boost it needed; he might not be interested in your community anymore and so he has simply moved on.

As a community manager you can either reach out to Max and present him with new opportunities to boost his resume such as judging or hosting this year’s virtual hackathon -therefore pulling him back into the pipeline- or just accept that he’s moving out of your community and opportunities for future collaborations may not occur for a very longtime or any at all.

Another scenario that could occur is that Max might’ve participated in the Hackathon as a way to gain some experience before starting a community of his own. Now that he has both experience and publicity and is building his own community of developers, Max neither has the time or interest to contribute to your community. As a community manager you can decide to either accept that Max has moved on completely and has become possible competition or open the floor for partnerships to advance your own community.

Once you understand the members in the Losing segment and why you’re losing them you’re more equipped to make the right decisions for your community’s health and progress and prevent other members from experiencing the same fate. And(of course) when necessary, accept that it is natural for members to move in or move out of your community.

Port's Community Grid gives you the tools you need to understand your member’s journeys and make the decisions you need to, to sustain community growth. Once you understand your members in the right context you can prioritize members based on value and make the decisions you need to so your community can grow and prosper.

If you have any questions on how Port can help you improve your community's growth, retention and engagement feel free to join our Discord channel here to ask questions and learn more. We’re always happy to help and share knowledge on community-led growth and Developer Relations experiences.

Join the Captains of Community Discord Server!
Check out the Captains of Community community on Discord - hang out with 46 other members and enjoy free voice and text chat.

And if you’re interested in learning more about your community and the members you might be losing, don't forget to check out our free Community Grid. You can use it to check the health of your membership in less than five minutes!

Community Grid
See your developer community in a new light with the Community Grid. Intuitive color-coded segmentation, real-time data and a new understanding of how to engage, retain and grow your community. Ideal for DevRel, open source evangelists, and community managers.
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