Building experience and lessons from the community.
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Editor’s note: Today, many start-up companies based on user operations have liked to develop around the community in the early days. However, building a community is not about creating a gathering place for users. It also involves all aspects of user research, continuous investment, listening, and decentralization. This article from the First Round Review, titled From Instant Pot to Instagram: Critical Lessons in Startup Community Building, introduces the former community of Instagram operations owner Bailey Richardson in community operations. Experience and lessons, I hope to be useful to you. This is the next part of the article, which focuses on continuous input, user understanding, structural thinking, and decentralization.
4. “One-off” is your enemy: once you are committed to the community, you must stick to it.
In the new community, another common misconception is that there is no continuous commitment and repetition as a core means of aggregating users.
” Interestingly, technology companies are very concerned about user retention, but when it comes to community operations strategies, they always ignore this metric. Only when new users join the community find it in the initial interaction. The value and willingness to participate again, this community can continue to grow and develop.” Richardson said, “You can not just keep an eye on the new users, but to understand who has been involved, why is behind. These groups are called ‘lifting players‘. They are willing to actively participate in it, bring new users to this group, and contribute enthusiastically.”
Therefore, community activities must be highly focused on continuous investment and repetition.
“One-time marketing campaigns for a large project are in line with the company’s interests and needs. But it’s not a community, and it’s not possible to connect interested users to each other, just for news.” Richardson said, ” So, you need to give the user a chance to let himWe are constantly involved. This month’s regular events and meetings will foster this magical relationship.
In many communities that are ready to become communities, what they lack is continuous investment. They have a variety of one-off events or annual fundraising events, but they don’t allow potential community members to stay engaged, or let them take the initiative to “raise their hands” to take responsibility.
For how to make decisions about community activities, Richardson has the following suggestions:
Community builds must be around shared activities. Sometimes an event cannot be held separately. At other times, the event can be held separately, but if you participate and complete it with others, you can create a 10x effect. To identify core sharing activities for your community, ask yourself: Are those things better if they are done or experienced by groups?
Whether you decide to host an opening ceremony or launch a new website for hardcore fans, the first thing you want to bring everyone together depends largely on the purpose of the community. But no matter what the purpose, any community activity should keep in mind the following three principles:
Do it purposeful. Combining the event with the original reason for building the community. Only when this group of people gather together is it possible to achieve what goals or outcomes? It is important that all participants understand this purpose so that they can participate in it.
Being participatory. Don’t just unilaterally spread or preach content to users. One of the reasons why the community is built is that users are also keen on it. Give them the opportunity to participate in the contribution of this common purpose.
Do it repeatable. “One time” is the enemy. It takes time to establish and develop relationships. For some people, it takes a few more cycles to become familiar and actively involved. Therefore, from the initial design of community activities, it is necessary to be repeatable.
Inevitably, if you want users to be constantly involved, you must make your core activities go beyond expectations. This is not to say that you need to invest a lot of money in some experiences. Instead, you should create an undeniable and valuable shared experience for them.
5. Turn your focus to others: hire someone who can “have a needle in a haystack”
Generally, many startups always like to set the community as their brand.Tools for product placement, product launch, and marketing. But they tend to fall into another trap: ignore the story of telling others.
“As a community leader, you have the strengths and preconditions of mastering. So you need to take advantage of it.” Richardson said, “Many companies will focus on excellence.” Users or some outstanding contributions, etc. At the beginning of YouTube, they recommended a number of selected users on the homepage. In addition, the writing platform Meta, the video blog site Vimeo and The New York Times also exist. A similar approach. If you pass this feature ‘microphone’ directly to others, it will make you feel insulted, but this is exactly what you should do. Use the relevant resources and time on the community members, from them. Find new stories.”
This is also a core part of Richardson’s work at Instagram.
“Whether it’s a hedgehog from a user uploaded by a Tokyo user or a photographer from California, I like to highlight the advantages of a great user.” Richardson said, “This storytelling strategy has two main aspects. The benefits. First, it can make the community more attractive, and encourage users who are still hesitating to join the community. Second, you also encourage all the users to understand the excellent community, so encourage more More users are involved.”
If you haven’t seen it yourself, then you can’t do it. If you want to show the community the activity and diversity of the community, then you need to maintain this steady rhythm in your story. However, many startups have not done this.
One of the key skills to ensure that you can effectively find the right direction is to discover the traits from them when recruiting community managers.
“On Instagram, storytelling is a very important part. When I was assisting the team to expand globally, I was always looking for someone who could find a needle in a haystack and find great users from many uses. He needs to do it. Visually and accurately locate and find the user base we want to develop. This is not only about their taste and ability to sniff out the storyline, but more importantly, their ability to write and tell stories. Richardson said.
“Because we often recruit community managers in other countries, this means that they have to write stories in English and their native language. As part of the interview, I will ask the interviewer to summarize three. Five key points that should be highlighted on our platform. Then we will let them explain in turn and try to write a short story that matches it,” Richardson added.
6. Really absorb and understand user feedback
“When Instagram is just getting started