Uncomplicate – How to build highly engaged communities

Written by on June 24, 2019

Uncomplicate by Freshworks brings you crisp and insightful videos which will focus on answering one tactical question around sales & marketing, support & collaboration, employee engagement, and growth.

Imagine you are setting out to build a startup. Your building blocks are in place — technology, the first few hires, and the initial war chest. The final, most crucial block left, is your community and how to engage with them.

What will your instinctive actions be? Put in place scalable processes like sending mass emails, writing blogs, organizing community meetups and product roadshows, and other such methods in place, right?

Wrong!

According to Colin Campbell, director of marketing at Sales Hacker, the world’s largest community for B2B salespeople, it’s good to invest time and energy on some of the little things that don’t scale.

“At Sales Hacker, I take time to talk to all our community members one-on-one,” said Campbell.

Campbell makes it a point to ensure that he always engages in deep and meaningful conversations with community members. True, this does take time, but it is personal and really helps him connect with the community, their needs, qualms, and challenges. Each conversation is a learning experience.

Colin-Campbell-Director-of-Marketing-Sales-Hacker

In fact, one of the first things he did after he joined Sales Hacker was to run a survey to gauge the pulse of the community. Immediately after the survey, he got on calls with around 50 community members. This exercise took him a whole week, but he emerged wiser out of it.   

“I learnt more about the wants and needs of the community that week than the first three months at Sales Hacker,”he said.

SalesHacker-revamped-community-page
A look at Sales Hacker’s revamped community homepage

The idea is to start small. Bring in a selected group of highly engaged members, and the rest will follow. Practically speaking, it is rather challenging to engage a big group. So start small and let the initial members evangelize your product or company to others. This way, you have a community that is active and self sustaining from the word go.

What will also help you in this journey is another simple idea—create “popsicle moments”. Now, what exactly are these moments and how will these help in building a highly engaged community?

Look no further than your friendly LA restaurant to find the answer. Magic Castle Hotel delivers popsicles in a silver platter to all its customers. Such a wow moment, right? Especially when you least expect it! We all know that everyone loves a good surprise.

Surprise your community members. Go above and beyond. Tell them in a million ways that they matter.

Popsicle-hotline
Popsicle restaurant in LA (Sourced from Tripadvisor)

Closely observe the lifecycle of your customers from the time they are onboarded. Interact, engage, and build value. Also remember to surprise them along the way with moments that really delight them. Every bit you offer contributes to making them trust you, stay loyal to you, and you gain a customer for life.

Building a community requires a long term vision and it is most fruitful to put in efforts at the very start to sustain and build the momentum for the future.

This blogpost was co-written by Vignesh Jeyaraman. The blog was edited by Vinithra Madhavan Menon.

Praveen Ramesh

Praveen Ramesh is the Community & Outreach Manager with Freshworks. In his primary role with the marketing team he blogs, vlogs, and runs campaigns for increasing brand awareness. When not thinking about marketing or service desk adoption, you can find him watching cricket matches from yesteryear and supporting Liverpool.