Biggest Challenges Of Running an Online Community
So challenges of running a community are plentiful. A community, when it’s small and nascent, it is rad. Everybody knows everybody. But as you scale it, that intimacy leaves suitable, to an extent. Two of the biggest challenges are one
At scale having small groups in a bigger community will help increase different metrics. One of the obvious metrics, or maybe unobvious, is engagement. But let’s backtrack. That’s a hypothesis based on what we think in the beginning. But how do we test it?
Where I’m going with this, the biggest challenge with community and communities at scale is tracking metrics. Smaller communities may or may not realize this or may not care to think about it because they’re just so happy that they’re getting going and, you know, helping people and stuff, and it’s so rad and so cool. But how do you baseline different metrics? How do you baseline different growth metrics in big acquisitions, we could figure that part out because that could be a HubSpot form, right? You can measure that a million ways, like where the traffic comes from and all of that. That’s, that’s large.
But when you’re in Slack, that’s what we use. How do you get that person active, right? Like the next growth mess. How do you get them to build a habit? Then how do you get them engaged to keep that habit built until infinity? Ideally, how to measure who drops off of engagement.
Right from a retention standpoint, and then, when you have this hypothesis that smaller groups will equal more of one of those gates being able to test it. So the biggest challenge we’ve seen is any of the gates in a third-party tool, specifically Slack. How can we measure activation?
Many say it’s, Hey, we send an auto message when somebody signs up, another message a day later, and an email onboarding sequence. And that’s, that’s best practices. But how do you know how many people signed up last week, how many people were activated, and how many people?
Stayed engaged and were retained along the way. That’s very difficult. How do you know that experiment or that hypothesis I gave you works or doesn’t? In social media platforms or where you own the whole network, it’s much easier because you could build that into your website, your app, and all of this.
But in situations where most communities are built on third-party tools and a combination thereof, it’s not always there. Parts of it are, but parts of it sometimes are missing. And, and when I say Slack, that’s like the part of the day-to-day, like you could say WhatsApp, you could say Discord, like the synchronous parts, the parts that are like the most rapid fire, which I think are the most potent.
Ask a question, get a response right now, not ask a question in a forum. See who responds like you get more sentiment in real-time. That’s the hardest thing to measure. Figuring out what to do with that is everything. It’s everything. And, that’s a challenge and, and it’s an exciting challenge because it’s not just a challenge for us, it’s a challenge for the space.