Recruitment Drives

Discussion in 'Business & Marketing' started by Archivist, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Archivist

    Archivist Resident Game Owner

    Carrying this over from another thread- instead of continuing it there. I'm copying some questions that have been asked there-

    Seriously, every RP needs members to thrive but when the numbers are down- and you've told everyone you know who might be interested (with no luck) what's left to do? A recruitment drive?

    Mister Karma asked- Stupid question: what is a recruitment drive?

    Smart follow-up: how effective are recruitment drives?

    My own questions are:

    How does one put together a recruitment drive? What's needed?
    Is there a marketing plan to have a successful RP group?
    Is there a plan for a successful recruiting campaign drive?
    And can this be done with little or no money?
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    Mister Karma likes this.
  2. Secret_Circle

    Secret_Circle Newcomer Game Owner

    So, recruitment drive. For me, this has different connotations because I run an EXP based RPG. In this example, posts, plot solving, giving back to the RP in terms of posting on FB, or writing news articles for the IC paper all generate EXP that the players can then use for different items, such as badges, spells, etc.

    (As a side note, I mentioned spells because I run a witchcraft RPG. )

    So recruitment drives are when I say to my players. "Hey guys, we need more people. If you recruit a player that sticks around for X months, I will grant you an exp bonus, and a badge to place on your profile."

    For me, this has worked out well in the past and was for little to no money. However, I know that my situation is different than many other gamers out there.
  3. Mister Karma

    Mister Karma Resident Game Owner

    So you reward your players in-game XP by asking them to bring in members, is what I am gathering from this post. Correct?
  4. VirusZero

    VirusZero Resident Game Owner

    The problem here is that it requires you to have members who want to go out and advertise for you. If you're in a case where it's you and only 1 or 2 others and you know they don't want to help out with stuff like that... well then nothing is going to change.
    Elena likes this.
  5. Secret_Circle

    Secret_Circle Newcomer Game Owner

    In a way, yes. Though players EXP can be used for items that are not intrinsic to their RP. Things such as new themes, badges etc are OOC. I also allow custom signatures, avatars, and themes that they can purchase with their EXP.
  6. Archivist

    Archivist Resident Game Owner

    not every forum has an XP system though, I know there used to be a mod available for the forum system we use but I'd have to investigate if one was made for the latest version. It'd be awesome if there was - gaining XP might encourage the slackers.
  7. Secret_Circle

    Secret_Circle Newcomer Game Owner

    It won't work for everyone, this is just the way that I do it given my system and situation. I think though that if you were in a position where you had one or two individuals who could assist, it could work with some tweaking.
  8. Mister Karma

    Mister Karma Resident Game Owner

    My site runs on a similar system, though with such a small memberbase it's kinda hard to delegate SP to everyone participating. Especially considering 6 out of the 8 members are absent most of the time.
    Elena likes this.
  9. Try as we might for our forums (my daughter runs four), we've not had a great deal of success in recruiting anywhere. She's tried Facebook for many years with a small few from that source, one only from here on fix and none that we could say we reliable from other resource sites. In fact the two we did get from one other resource site were abysmal. I think it is a lot of hit and miss, with whatever is trendy in RP at the time. Sci-fi themed sites, such as Stargate, Star Trek and Star Wars ebb and flow with the tide; plus there is really just so much competition out there. I mentioned Star Trek as an example. So many sites, so many concepts all doing the same thing with different owners running them; it may be just me and my age I suppose, but to my mind it would be far more helpful for the RPG community if some of these were amalgamated, the owners got together to make something more cohesive for everyone.
    Elena and Mister Karma like this.
  10. Secret_Circle

    Secret_Circle Newcomer Game Owner

    See, I always felt an aspect of gamification works for getting people involved and committed to a game for the long term. For marketers such as myself, gamification is a way to stand out and use that emotional high of "winning" in order to close the deal on selling a product or that case selling the game's membership. Using gamification to increase the amount of time a consumer spends in your RP can raise their engagement level with your brand.

    ...aaand here I go again. Sorry guys! I will shut off the uber marketer now.
    Mister Karma likes this.
  11. Unfortunately my daughter is far to soft hearted to resort to any kind of reward system for that purpose. I did tell her years ago that for example to earn the right for custom avatars folks should have to achieve something (recruiting would be a good aim). She disagreed as saying most people wouldn't be bothered. In the end I think she is right, there simply isn't the member dedication there once was years ago, today. You may get lucky with some, I suppose that's all you can wish for.
    Elena likes this.
  12. Mister Karma

    Mister Karma Resident Game Owner

    I've ventured down the Facebook route a couple of times, both for my Twitch channel and for my previous site. Neither got a good turnout, and the latter...well, let's just say tumbleweeds found us and rolled the other way. I'm hesitant to use Facebook as a means now, especially since I got a rather backburner-ed name for the site going instead of the ever generic "Clash of Titans" (seriously, google it, all you get is the movie and the mobile game). There's slightly--but only slightly!--better luck in using Twitter, and also in streaming a game or two on Twitch. Best bet on that would be Fallout 4, Skyrim or anything Borderlands if it's original content you're planning to recruit for, and Star Trek/Wars/Gate games for fandom RP's in the aforementioned veins.

    You could make a fandom RP or an original RP, either way the competition is going to be fierce if it's something that's been heavily done before. One RP fandom you hardly see is Zoids, for example, so the competition in that is barely anything. Zoids Wild Frontiers is a pretty big boss of a Zoids RP since Metal Machine Music died, so competing with that in the Zoids genre specifically is going to be a feat in and of itself, but you'd be able to stand out pretty well regardless because there are so few Zoids RP's. Fandom RP's you can bet your rear are flourishing are Naruto, Bleach or Dragonball Z fandoms. Breaking into that market successfully would literally be like breaking into the First National Bank--everyone's done it, everyone's gotten away with it, good luck trying anything different.

    Oh! A good recruitment attempt, I've learned, is talking with some friends who are avid writers and want to try their hand at collaborative writing. The chances on getting new members through that are just as slim to nonexistent, but at least you got some support from some good friends who actually want to try something new in the midst of their busy lives. From my experience, keeping them active is, at their request, bugging the hell out of them. Of course, with the understanding that they have a busy life as well as everyone else (I got a friend with a two year old and two jobs, and she's still able to throw in a few posts every once in a while)--good things come to those who wait, after all.

    Back on track here, many RP'ers are....for lack of a better word, picky. Sure, what you have set up may appeal to their tastes, but if you have one thing wrong with the site, they condemn it from their lurking possibilities. Forever. No joke. I lost a member in a transition simply because my site wasn't "active enough" for them, and the reason it wasn't "active enough" was due to RL obligations from all staff--one coadmin is an independent artist, another (my girlfriend) has two sites to juggle plus a Twitch stream and several bills she can never catch up on (my money helps slightly, but then she's pushed back three steps after taking two), and I'm trying to advance in Amazon while trying to get school back on track, as well as house chores and family time with aforementioned girlfriend and parents across the city. I also got an old site torn to shreds by someone from the D all because I sprinkled a sense of humor in the instructions, and the villain conglomerate my girlfriend and I wrote years ago was written as A.N.G.E.L. (that's how it's supposed to be written), and he wanted it written ANGEL. Got it condemned for those two things, plus my rules were condescending....that last bit I will give him, but he didn't have to be an ass about it. Reviews also affect prospecting RP'ers' thoughts of whatever site they're about to visit. If you get nothing but negatives, chances are you're not gonna see a turnout at all, and if you are it's gonna be trolls purposely breaking your rules. #ExperiencedEnoughToKnow
    If you get stellar reviews plus a negative, you're probably gonna get a damn good influx because, "Okay, what's wrong with the site here?" Nothing but stellar, after a while you're gonna see a dwindle in traffic and registration. I saw it with my very first site. It's....a wonderful break, to be honest, so you get time to focus on other aspects of the site.

    I do wanna ask, @The Mother --what are the chances of site owners coming together and helping each other out with little to no negative repercussions? I've not experienced much positive help over my years of running games except from my own staff, and instead I got mostly blatant competition from other owners with nothing but a winner take all strategy. Any attempt at collaborating with these other owners resulted in them taking ideas we shared and using them for their own gains with nary a credit to the rest of the team, or outright taking members over to their own sites (which they...ended up destroying themselves. On purpose. Because, you know, fun.) I'm a bit hesitant at trying that, to be honest with you, due to several experiences going south in the past. But if you've got any positive insight on that, I'm all for it!
    Elena likes this.
  13. I would leave that aspect up to Mel (Mim here on Fix), she is more astute when it comes to social media than I am. I have a single FB and Twitter account, neither of which I barely even use, primarily because I can't stand the feed I see 99% of the time when I do go there. If anything I use FB for the messages my granddaughter sends me; although I wish she could simply ring me up, or write a letter.

    That being said, jumping to the end of you reply, we did in fact have another Star Gate group join up with us several years ago, the old System Lords site. It ended in failure because their sole intent was AU, their version of the show where the Goa'uld were dominate and when told every and any attempt to take Earth would end badly for them, all but one left us. They did try again on their own several times, though as I understand it never worked out for them.
    Mister Karma likes this.
  14. Mister Karma

    Mister Karma Resident Game Owner

    Merging owner teams can be a hell of an ordeal, as more often than not site owners want to implement their own ideas as forcefully as possible, with little regard to the other owner they're merging with. I merged my universe with someone I used to voice act for, and that ended badly--he used my voice acting position against me if things didn't go his way. I quit, needless to say, and he got all butthurt, but that's a campfire story for another time. You gotta be careful who you collab with when it comes to merging teams or universes. Maybe I just had negative experiences when I did 'em, but from my own experience doing so results in a lot of battle for intellectual ownership and petty arguments. At one point, one admin I knew wanted to sue my girlfriend for killing off his character in a plot she wrote, that he agreed to! That kind of stuff can get into a whole other mess altogether.
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  15. I think its that independence of ideas and concepts that also slows down recruitment for certain fandoms. Everyone has their own idea for what say a Firefly RPG should be like, with a rarely two people who wish to create such a site being in agreement. One of the criticisms Mel has had with her Stargate game is that on the one hand the board is not solely dedicated to that (its also a general discussion social site) and secondly she adheres far too closely to canon, not allowing 'individual' interpretation and liberties.
    Elena and Mim like this.
  16. Mister Karma

    Mister Karma Resident Game Owner

    And see, there's nothing wrong with doing that. She's running her game how she wants to run it. I'm also with her on making a focus around socializing; can't have a good community of RP'ers without making friends, am I right?
    Fandoms, especially, will see that impedance from sharing ideas, or refusing thereof. It's best, from what I've seen, to let each fandom do their own thing and just affiliate and call it a day. Original ideas....that can be iffy. Like I mentioned before, that, like anything, will turn into major fights that leaves no one happy. If mergings were, say, temporary meant to help promote each other for a spell, sure! So long as neither place's ideas are completely ruined as a result, doing a merging event for a few weeks/months isn't harmful (in theory).
    Elena, Mim and The Mother like this.
  17. Hebe

    Hebe Newcomer Game Owner

    The problem with amalgamating Star Trek RPGs...
    • "Fleet" sites like Bravo Fleet have a system of "promotions" and encourage players to run their own ship. It's like a pyramid-marketing scheme. You get a lot of games but not quality games.
    • Fleet sites are a lot easier to find than independent games.
    • "Fleet Rules" don't work for everyone
    Finding a good, independent sim is really hard - trying to merge sims is even harder. I've run several games where a consortium of players decide they don't like one tiny thing, they fracture and form their own game (stealing half the players of my game in the process). Their game goes well for a while because it's new... Then it dies.

    Instead of the players returning, they fracture to different games. Or, they come back with their tails tucked between their legs, but it's not the same. Their rebellion wasn't what they thought it would be.

    A different option (of which I've tried many times) is to be a part of multiple games. This has worked well... sometimes. I used to try to have one station-based game and one ship-based game to play in ... but good games are really hard to find.
    Elena and Mim like this.
  18. Mister Karma

    Mister Karma Resident Game Owner

    Had this exact same thing happen when I revived my old board for the third time. I told one player "no" one too many times, he got mad and took a ton of players with him to his Zoid site. I'm just a broken record at this point with that story. He upped his memberbase, sure, but at the cost of another RPG.

    I guess there's one effective recruitment drive...
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  19. Mim

    Mim Resident Game Owner

    I like the social aspect of my main site. I just wish people would use that part of it more, rather than just drop by a IC post then zoom off again Lol.

    @Hebe, I've joined other sites, Star Trek and so on, hoping that with me being on their site I'd maybe get some reciprical arrangements going to no avail. I even got chucked out of one Star Trek site for even daring mentioning my site in OOC. Got burned badly there even after putting in a tremendous effort supporting them and advertising for them on my FB page.
  20. Mister Karma

    Mister Karma Resident Game Owner

    Too much competition, not enough collaboration.
    Archivist and Elena like this.
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