February 22, 2022
6 Min Read

How does Community Drive Growth?

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Quick question - What do Figma (a visual design tool), Roam (note-taking tool) & Webflow (no-code web designer) have in common?

They have a strong meme game [Insert random Webflow Meme]

They leverage their community to gather feedback, keep users engaged & fuel hypergrowth (like literally 1200% growth in two years). [IMG]

But how did they do it? How can you do it? And most importantly - What the duck is community-driven growth? [insert meme - duck thinking about duck communities]

Now hold up.

Before we talk more about community-led growth, let’s get our basics clear - What do we mean when we say “community”?

Is this a Community? [rhetorical headline, goes best with meme]

Quick question again - how many of the options below can be classified as a community (versus an audience)?

  • Social Media followers
  • Newsletter Subscribers
  • Facebook Group Members
  • Blog Readers
  • Slack Members

If you answered 3 or less, you’re right - maybe.

There’s a very thin line between an audience and a community - but in plain & simple terms, a community is member-to-member interactions happen, rather than a business-to-customer broadcast.

See the thin line? Twitter followers would usually classify as an audience, but if those followers start interacting with each other in the comments/retweets, it’s a community.

Same way, Facebook Groups would classify as a community, but if all the posts are by group admins & no members with each other, it’s an audience.

It’s a never-ending debate, the audience versus community one - but in the end, it all comes down to members interacting with other members, rather than everything revolving around brand marketing.

[IMG IDEA - TWO COLUMNS, one is member interaction, other is brand marketing]

How does Community Drive Growth?

Good question - or alteast a popular question!?

If you’re into SaaS or use SaaS products, you’re probably aware of Product-Led Growth (or PLG - as the cool kids say).

It is a business methodology in which user acquisition, expansion, conversion, and retention are all driven primarily by the product itself (watch this video if you want to dive deeper - ofcourse after reading this post).

In theory, PLG is amazing - low customer acquisition costs AND high lifetime value!? Hard to ignore. However, in reality, PLG doesn’t factor in the process of finding & onboarding your first customers - which, trust me, is HARD.

If Tony (an average-internet user) decides to buy a new mobile phone, they’re likely to search online for best options/ask friends for recommendations - same goes for buying internet software. Humans are inherently advice-seeking beings.

Unless a SaaS founder is directly reaching out to Tony to try their brand new product, they are unlikely to find out about it on their own. And even then - Tony would make a quick google search & would likely trust a random stranger’s review more than they would trust the founder (assuming if there’s any).

There’s a way to solve this problem. Enter, online communities.

Communities enable brands to build their top-of-the-funnel pipeline & lower the entry barrier for new users at little to no cost.

Founders can start building a community right alongside the product - incorporating customer feedback and understanding the market first-hand. When they launch - every community member is a potential customers with zero spend on sales & marketing.

  • Acquisition
    Branded communities are essentially the top-of-the-funnel acquisition channel for your product - enabling customer acquisition at zero cost.

    Brands like Cred &

  • Less reliance on Customer Support
    The community also plays a big role in supporting each other and reducing the reliance on customer support or success functions to onboard, prove value and retain your customers.

    Figma leverages Twitter & Spectrum to resolve user queries & onboard new users without needing the product/customer support to step in.

  • Direct Feedback
    Direct customer feedback enables you to build a customer-driven roadmap. Highly under-rated but crucial to build a product that is loved by all.

    Webflow utilizes this in form of community-driven whishlists - enabling founders & product teams listen to 500,000+ customers & understand what they need.

Rishabh Sonker
CMO, Magik
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