It is a self-explanatory, yet overlooked, fact that once you have a community, people can, and will, lose interest if the management is not interactive with the player base. It’s all well and good when the players are communicating and developing their own microcosms within the society, however alike in real life, the overlords are where the predominant interaction focus should be placed. As a community owner, there are certain things you can do to show that you care about your players and highlight that the community is not dead. Without showing you are active, players will lose interest and leave due to a lack of motivation.
What better way to show the community you care than by getting someone to help do your work for you!?
When you promote someone, they will help manage and run the community by your side. This shows people that you care, as you are not only recruiting someone to help make the user experience smoother, but are also showing you are paying attention to the player base, due to this obvious talent seeking.
However, you should be careful who you promote. If you promote the wrong person, this can have a negative effect and cause players to leave in protest. Hold a democratic vote internally and stay clear of any biases you may hold amongst the most dedicated individuals.
Another tip is to stay away from controversial figures. As they are already well known, they may have contacts within the staff team, or had run-ins with them in the past. This means any internal evaluation is almost guaranteed to be subjective, therefore putting them at either end of the advantage spectrum. To circumvent this, try to scout out lesser known players, or those with a purely good history.
Also, bonus points if you pay your staff members equally with any extra donation money you may have left over; this is a crowd pleaser and shows you are a fair and professional ruler who is not hogging any potential ‘profit’ to themselves.
A good in-game way to stay in touch with the community is to host events. This is beneficial as people who are not necessarily in tune with the forums still feel involved in the community ethos.
If you run a roleplay server, you could perhaps host an event that would specifically require high authority and power to establish, such as a ‘zombie survival’ evening. This is where players are put into groups and are told to stay alive for as long as possible amongst a swarm of Zombie NPCs.
These events should be designed to bring members of the community together, as isolation would detract from the idea of cohesion that is attempting to be achieved.
This is in some cases low effort, and just your presence on the server alone shows you care more than some community owners out there, who are always isolated from the actual game itself.
Even though not applicable to some more specialized communities, you may want to do a community ‘giveaway’. This shows, again, that you care and are thinking about your players, provided there is no entry cost.
If you are gaming community that consists of multiple games, give out copies of some of the games frequently played, as those in one subsection of the community may want to try out another branch. This brings different portions of a larger community into one, showing it to be larger than they first thought.
Even if you are a localized community, such as a Garry’s Mod roleplay server, you could still giveaway exclusive one-off items; these are guaranteed to create a buzz!
If your community is struggling, or simply looking for a reformation, a great way to show you care is through ‘discussions’. Instead of discussing all changes internally, ask the community for their input. This doesn’t just get them involved, but can also span better ideas than if you were to keep it private. These discussions can be on anything, from certain aspects of the community, to the whole picture.
The most important thing to note in this subsection is to actually act on the feedback. There’s no use asking for ideas and not implementing any, as people will see through this and believe the discussion to be a pathetic excuse for interaction, and nothing more than a hype-monger.
If there is something a lot of people want, do it. JUST DO IT.
There has never been a better way to spread a message, or in this case, the idea that you care about your community. Upload YouTube videos showing in community antics, and upload announcements to your twitter account.
This is specifically good at bringing in old players, as if they follow your social media account and see something they like, they will come back, boosting your player count and making the community more alive.
Perhaps the best way to keep the community rolling is to update the base you are running on, if applicable. For example, if you are running a Minecraft community, you could perhaps add new plugins and functionalities; more perks for donators. This keeps the concepts within the community evolving, and players have reasons to keep coming back.
Personally, I would recommend dropping updates in large chunks opposed to gradually, unless urgent. This way, you are guaranteed to get players back, provided you announce it on your social media and website. People may not come back to visit for a small change, but if you release 10 small changes at once, this leads to a more significant update. When the past players come back, they may become hooked again, which adds to your player base.