Big sharks insights on building a community

We talked to our first supporters and greate experts in the landscape about what it takes to build a community.

What are your 3 the most important hacks in managing the community?

Roxana Nasoi, CCO at Aimedis:

I always look at the following three rules that I follow:
Always practice what you preach. This way you become a vivid example of how success can be achieved.
Maintain balance. Same date, same time, every month/week for meetups. Same places for general meet-ups. Disrupt and experiment the fun part. Co-create to enjoy the process and growth together.
Give people purpose. Highlight the members that stand out for their achievements. Let them speak. Honor their success. Share it with the community.

Anuj Adhiya, Director of Engagement and Analytics at GrowthHackers:

You have to have a solid understanding of the value your community provides. Once you do, you can understand how to measure the value you deliver. This is your North Star metric and everything you do to grow your community should move this number, which tells you that you are delivering more value to your community.
Be intentional about your members first experience with the community. Without a great first experience, there is rarely a second one. Their first experience should help members realize how the community can help them achieve their goals. This will pay massive dividends in terms of members being engaged for a longer period of time
Constantly survey your users about how you can be doing better to serve their needs. Don’t forget to survey those that are not as vocal/active/inactive as well to understand how you can provide more value so that they engage more.

Yana Marakhonova, Head of Community at Cindicator:

Be friendly. It may be obvious, but community members are your friends and you should act so if you want them to be friendly too.
Be reactive. When people see that you can help with something instantly, that they don’t need to wait for couple of hours to see a reply — they will love it. And appreciate it a lot.
Be a human! All of us have our good and bad days, don’t forget about it. When you see someone upset — just think, maybe something happened? Always try to understand others (no robot behaviour lol)

What is that one mistake that can ruin all the trust between the members of the community? Have you done one?

Roxana Nasoi, CCO at Aimedis:

Did not do it but seen it done on multiple occasions by others. Biggest mistake is to not listen and take into account your members’ feedback and requests. That’s how communities fail, when management thinks they know better than the ones using the product/services. Your community is often your pool of customers as well.

Anuj Adhiya, Director of Engagement and Analytics at GrowthHackers:

Going off of my last response — you have to listen to your community. Ignoring them or making it so that you gain the benefit of the community (eg funding as a result of having one) but your members do not (e.g. no opportunities to influence the product or getting no updates on progress) will ensure that your community becomes a ghost town very fast.

Yana Marakhonova, Head of Community at Cindicator:

Well, as we’re talking about trust — the biggest mistake to make would be to lie. Doesn’t matter if it’s something small or big, it can ruin any relationship completely in no time — so never ever lie to your community. You’re the soul of it and lies will kill it.

What’s your thoughts about future of the community management in general?

Roxana Nasoi, CCO at Aimedis:

It’s definitely growing. Now more than ever community is the core of a business. Not the founders or the people executing. But the people using your services, buying your product. Your community members become ambassadors of your brand every day of the month.
And it’s not just one big Community. The trend I see is micro communities forming inside the bigger community. Take a look at ICOs: you have an investor community, a social community, a community of people who take part in the Airdrop, a bounty community, and so on.
The fragmentation is much higher, so more care should be invested in these micro communities. So that they all come together under the same umbrella: your brand.

Anuj Adhiya, Director of Engagement and Analytics at GrowthHackers:

I believe that community managers are the equivalent of growth product managers and should look at themselves as such. The same principles that apply to growing a product apply to growing communities.
Those CMs that can apply a growth mindset (i.e. an approach that is data-informed and highly experimental to uncover value) vs focusing on non-actionable metrics and moderating interactions, will be invaluable team members and seen as essential to the growth of their companies vs being seen as “that person that runs the community.”

Yana Marakhonova, Head of Community at Cindicator:

Hopefully we will see more understanding of the sphere in the future. A lot of companies don’t seem to understand true power of the community — power of people from different fields, with tons of ideas for development/marketing/collaborations — the list is endless. Use it!

Our team totally supports all the statements that Anuj, Roxana and Yana did above. How would you answer?