What are you using to build a customer community?

Marek Sotak
26 replies
I am building a side-project and have about 30 active beta testers, a few paying customers who found the app themselves and paid for it, and number of people who are just interested in being part of it and follow up on updates. With some of the beta testers, we are using Discord, some of them reaching out via Twitter DM, etc. This is a bit too complicated to have too many channels open as the user base is slowly growing. I would like to get on top of this now rather than later. I wonder what are you using (I would prefer one channel) for building a community where there are: - early access users - a dedicated place just for them - customers - trials (including those who expired) - visitors Any tools you would suggest that created a space that proved to be more useful than being a distraction? Where people can easily find topics, follow up on them (anytime), or join discussions?

Replies

Bogomil Shopov - Бого
Marek, good morning. I never tried this one, but the ideas seems great: https://www.producthunt.com/post...
Marek Sotak
Launching soon!
@bogomep good morning Bogo, thank you, but this looks more of a productivity tool for a company rather than community? The pricing per member won't work either, because there are already ~50 people that would be invited. :)
Bogomil Shopov - Бого
@sotak A simple forum then? You could use threads and they are not distracting.
Marek Sotak
Launching soon!
@bogomep you mean Threads as in threads.com or threads in general, e.g. in Slack? Threads in Slack are still, well, chat interface that is hard to look up or categorise.
Bogomil Shopov - Бого
@sotak Now when I read your post with a great caution I know what you are looking for. I'll run a WordPress platform with a community plugin (supports different levels) + the platform itself is very flexible and later you can integrate it with whatever you need more. Just a hint of what can be done with less investment: https://www.wpeka.com/best-wordp...
Marek Sotak
Launching soon!
@bogomep thank you, I would be more inclined to use a service, than self-hosting, maintaining the server, and WP updates, etc. :) But added to my list.
Tyler Dane
How is Discord inadequate for this? (Curious, because that's where my beta community is, too)
Marek Sotak
Launching soon!
@tyhitzeman I am not in a favour of a chat interface. You can't create categories or topics, you can create channels, but.... It is all a bit too noisy, or at least it feels like it. I think I am looking more for a forum. So far probably the best seems to be https://www.discourse.org/
Marek Sotak
Launching soon!
@cathleen_turner Thank you Cathleen, but I don't think reddit would allow me to have a closed community, just for invited users and not public? And with closed sections for some groups? Or am I wrong?
Vijaya Jeyakumar
Depends on what type of business you have, a B2B or B2C model? Do any issues raise that you track with require big fixes or is it more process based? Depending on what’s wrong with your current method of communication I’m sure you can find products to suit your needs.
Marek Sotak
Launching soon!
@vijaya_jeyakumar B2C, re bugs it is both, it could be a bug, it could be a question about how to, etc. Discord (as written above) is not suitable for various reasons. I am sure I can find the right products, if I knew which ones to look at. ;)
Romain Cernik
hey Marek @sotak , i I recommend you a Facebook group which allow you to centralize all your different lead's levels and customers too. If you're a good CM you'll soon have a lot of interactions and discussions made by your customers (your ambassadors) to increase engagement around your product ✌️
Marek Sotak
Launching soon!
@cernikromain Thank you Romain, do you have any articles or anything that would describe more in detail how it works, before trying it out? :)
Aleh Barysevich
Hey Marek! Our biggest user community is in the private Facebook group. We also used Trello boards, Slack, and Discord to collect customer feedback.
Marek Sotak
Launching soon!
@ab80 Thank you Aleh. For the customer feedback collection, did you have those as different channels for customers to join. E.g. Slack group, Discord group, where your customers were interacting? I would kind of like to avoid Facebook for various reasons, but might reconsider. It is a B2C product after all.
Aleh Barysevich
@sotak Once we had a launch when we provided multiple feedback channels for beta testers and it turned a bit nightmarish for our support team :) There were similar questions, constant notifications and chats, etc. So now we try to stick to one major platform. I understand your concers regarding Facebook, it's just the most popular platform among our software users.
Marek Sotak
Launching soon!
@ab80 Do you have any links with best practices or how to's for running a community on FB?
Audrey Rampon
Hey Marek! Why don't you open a dedicated Slack workspace? That's what we've done for KosmoTime - our users can join, share feedback and report bugs. It's been working very well so far!
Marek Sotak
Launching soon!
@audrey_rampon thank you Audrey, I am not liking the chat interface. It is hard to follow and embraces the chat behaviour, etc. (using Discord at the moment).