Last year, more than 1.8 billion people used Facebook Groups every month. There are over 70 million admins and moderators running active Facebook groups. As I am writing this, a new Facebook group or a community is born somewhere on the internet. Since the stone age, humans have had an innate need to gather together.
In this digital age, we’re not just local tribes. We’re living in a global village. With the expanded boundaries, we have the opportunity to connect, interact, and establish a relationship with people who share a common objective.
For instance, SaaSBoomi, a volunteer-driven community that I co-founded enables SaaS founders and product leaders to connect, share, and learn from each other.
Being a SaaS product founder, it is important to build a community around your product and keep it alive and engaging with the help of a community platform. A community platform helps you with multiple facets of your business.
You can conduct surveys and find ways to evolve your product to meet the dynamic needs of your customers. Your users start advocating your product (and brand) as you engage and interact with them. They give pieces of advice to each other to accomplish certain tasks that they have difficulty in executing.
In many ways, the community has become the new moat for B2B SaaS businesses. It’s not the product features, the sales techniques, or even the support that keep customers loyal to your product. It’s the community around it. How do you keep your community alive and engaging?
Create an identity
You know your product and your customers. Choose the customers that believe in your idea, share the common goal, and envision an identity of the community. Identify 10 users who are on the same page with you and kickstart your community. They will take care of the personality of your community.
Make it feel personal
With just 10 members, you don’t have a self-sustaining community, and everything is dependent on you. The advantage of a small group is that you can be extremely personal. Try inviting them for an individual discussion over a coffee, connect with them, know whether they would be interested in attending an event with other people interested in this topic, and ask questions. When they’re all hooked up, they will care about the community’s success.
Now that you have 10 members who trust you, it’s time for you to build trust between the members. It’s faster for people to build trust in person than online. Host a brunch or dinner and see how things shape up. But if you can’t do it in person, do it online.
The more lively and interactive the session is, the better. Eventually, their trust in you will translate to trust in each other.
Reward and value members
Rewarding your users doesn’t have to be materialistic. It can be as simple as taking time out to talk to your users and get their opinions/feedback. This gesture lets your users understand you value their opinions. It increases the chances of your users coming back again and keeps the community alive and thriving.
Repeat steps 1-4
It’s time to lay a strong foundation with 10 loyal community members. Invite new members and allow others to invite someone new to the community. At this stage of your community-building journey, you’re not asking for a favour from your members.
You’re encouraging them to take the opportunity and give someone else value by inviting them to your community. In a way, it gives them a responsibility to invite like-minded people that will further enhance the quality of the community.
Create your moat by building a thriving community
It’s not as easy as it looks. At times, it may feel like the community isn’t going anywhere, and nothing is working. It takes a lot of hard work and patience to fight the awkward silences. Awkward silences include scenarios where no one shows up or your posts go unnoticed. You have to collect yourself up and be consistent in what you do.
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