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Our take on managing successful online communities

Matt
 

6 ways to simplify your community and drive up engagement

Despite your best efforts, is engagement a problem for your community? You have your site promotion running well and you are seeing plenty of traffic but it doesn't convert into comments, posts or reactions?

Invision Community is a powerful platform that offers layers of complexity for the many sites it powers. When you are struggling to convert page views into comments, it's worth taking a step back and evaluating your site from a new user's point of view.

We'll take you through our 6 best tips to simplify your site and increase engagement using built in tools.

#1 Use Social Sign In with at least Facebook and Twitter enabled.
Social sign in makes it easy for causal visitors to become content contributors by creating an account. Social sign in removes the complex registration form that may put some off.

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It's a fact that most people visiting your site will have either a Facebook account or a Twitter account. Use that to your advantage!

#2 Use Profile Completion
One of the biggest reasons sites fail to convert visitors into members is because of large or complex forms. If you have many required profile fields, your potential member is likely to abandon the form. Use the Profile Completion system with fewer fields where possible for a simpler registration form.

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The Profile Completion system allows new members to complete their profile in their own time. Of course, you can still enforce vital fields before members can contribute.

#3 Use Fluid View
Traditional forums can be a little daunting to site visitors used to Facebook. The top down categorisation is a strength for separating conversations. Yet, it can be confusing for a first time visitor to navigate.

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Fluid view breaks down these boundaries by presenting your conversations in one simple list. By removing the need to jump between forum containers, new visitors are encourage to keep diving deeper into your conversations. An engaged visitor is more likely to contribute.

#4 Keep your forum structure simple
Even with fluid view enabled, complex forum structures can confuse. Consider a brand new forum with a hundred different conversation areas. Would a new user know where to go and post? Would they be put off thinking they are posting in the wrong area? The best advice is always start off with as few forum containers as possible and increase them as your community grows.

#5 Use Reactions
One of the simplest ways to increase engagement is to turn on Reactions. Reactions allow other members to leave feedback on a post in a few clicks. The default reactions allow one to like, give thanks, express confusion, sadness or happiness. You can add your own reactions to tailor the platform to your niche and personality.

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Non-verbal engagement is important for your active posters. If they receive reactions to their posts, they are more likely to reply more and return often to see what feedback they have received.

#6 Use the Sign In/Sign Up widget
A very simple way to increase visitor to member conversion is to just ask them to register. Invision Community ships with a drag and drop widget that you can use to outline what your site is about and encourage registration.

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In one very simple but prominent box, you can see what the site is about and how to join in.

Summary
New and existing communities should take a moment to see their site through a new visitor's eyes. Consider how easy your structure is to navigate and how many barriers to registration there are.

You can streamline both registration and conversation presentation with our built in tools. The key to increasing engagement is to make it a simple as possible to join your community. Make sure your barriers or entry are set low.

Not using Invision Community? We can convert you from other platforms preserving your data. Our migration page has more information on the platforms we can convert you from.

Edited by Matt


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Nice article and highlights many of the new improvements in 4.2.  

Don't forget about the Streamlined Social Sign-in, which adds a social sign-in button at the forum reply. This helps convert guests into members at the point of engagement.

Another often overlooked but built-in tool is the "Popular Now" widget, which can be placed anywhere including the top of the page, bottom of the page, or sidebar.  This widget highlight the hottest topics that are being discussed at the moment and helps first-time visitors jump into the action.  

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16 minutes ago, falafel said:

how can I do replicate that Signup widget?  is that any specific widget from the marketplace?

As mentioned in the article, it ships with the 4.2 core software already. You find it in the front end “block manger” as System → Guest Signup Widget. 

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Anyone any idea how i get popular now to work. I have tried it in all locations with different number of topics to show etc but nothing ever shows. We have about 150 posts a day on the forum so its not due to lack of activity. Also my guest signup widget is empty. How can we add signup buttons and social media sign in buttons to the widget?

Edited by gavpedz

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14 minutes ago, gavpedz said:

Anyone any idea how i get popular now to work. I have tried it in all locations with different number of topics to show etc but nothing ever shows. We have about 150 posts a day on the forum so its not due to lack of activity. Also my guest signup widget is empty. How can we add signup buttons and social media sign in buttons to the widget?

If you need support for the software, please submit a ticket in your client area.

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Thank you for posting these pieces of advice. :) They are really useful.

As for the "Popular now" widget I would have liked to be able to exclude some forums and topics from it... (like "General chit chat" forum).

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@Matt,

I implemented those changes in my forum but there is a gap or a hole to make it work better and that hole is the tags. My forum is about travel and it had a lot of categories that I'm substituting for tags, but IPB 4.2 although having this tag function, has no function to organize and index these tags and I'm needing to do this manually. I agree that the fuited mode is the "future" but without a powerful tagging tool the account does not close. See what I'm trying to do to solve the problem and think of all the destinations in the world or all the subjects available in a forum about Hardware or smartphones. The only application that exists works very badly and generated a 500 error mobte on the site and had to withdraw it and is doing it in hand. This needs to be thought better, please.

https://www.mochileiros.com/topic/68399-guia-de-destinos-tags/

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On 12/9/2017 at 9:54 AM, opentype said:

As mentioned in the article, it ships with the 4.2 core software already. You find it in the front end “block manger” as System → Guest Signup Widget. 

IPS has the most confusing admin section for me. There is no "block manager" listed, and when I go to System in Admin I don't see the "Guest Signup Widget". "Block manager", "Guest Signup Widget" and "System" don't appear in the search results either.

Am I in the right place: 1514483737.png

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Hi,

The majority of my traffic is via mobile devices like the majority of websites now.

However when using Fluid View on a mobile device the forum category list is missing.

How can the majority of my traffic navigate from forum to forum using the fluid option which you have recommended above in recommendation number 3?

If visitors and site members cannot achieve this then surely this has to be a bug to restrict mobile users from navigating forums?

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15 minutes ago, Unlucky said:

Hi,

The majority of my traffic is via mobile devices like the majority of websites now.

However when using Fluid View on a mobile device the forum category list is missing.

How can the majority of my traffic navigate from forum to forum using the fluid option which you have recommended above in recommendation number 3?

If visitors and site members cannot achieve this then surely this has to be a bug to restrict mobile users from navigating forums?

The whole point of using fluid is that you don't really worry about forum categories or trying to navigate from one forum to another ... It's one unifying list.  

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17 minutes ago, Joel R said:

The whole point of using fluid is that you don't really worry about forum categories or trying to navigate from one forum to another ... It's one unifying list

The ACP information for fluid display states - " The fluid view selector will only display up to three levels deep. "

The fluid view selector shows  ONLY on desktop / laptop which enables users to navigate / filter the displayed results.

Why should this be different for mobile device users?

 

 

 

 

Edited by Unlucky

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1 minute ago, Unlucky said:

But forum categories show on desktop / laptop listing the forums which enables users to navigate?

Why should this be different for mobile device users?

 

 

Because mobile has less screen real estate.  Designing for PC is necessarily going to be different for designing for mobile. 

With that said, I'm not opposed to your concern.  I was just trying to point out that kind of the whole point of fluid is to immediately jump into updated topics, rather than trying to navigate through the traditional top-down-gotta-click-4-times-before-you-get-to-any-content approach.  If you have a ton of forums or an elaborate forum structure where you need forum categories to help organize, fluid really isn't an appropriate display anyways (no matter what device size you use) and should be disabled.

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I join @Unlucky While running mobile version via smartphone, if tap the forum, i have no chance to back previous listing and the only topics listing i get is the forum i choose.

@Joel R If members accidentally was trapped in forum, they has nothing to do then and that is the end of user's experience on my community then.

Fluid must be agile!

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