Today, the community is the engine of the company. Thanks to a community approach, companies can count on committed members (customers, partners, collaborators, investors, etc.) gathered in close-knit groups.
These communities help companies grow and progress: we now speak of Community-Led Growth.
When it comes to Community-Led Growth, Hubspot is a reference. This American company specialized in Inbound Marketing gathers around itself different communities that guide its growth. But how can you get inspired by Hubspot to develop such a successful community strategy? MeltingSpot interviewed Christina Garnett, Senior Marketing Manager, Offline Community & Advocacy at Hubspot. Check out her 3 tips 👇
Integrate the culture of care into the Community-Led Growth strategy
The culture of care is a golden lever for developing an effective community strategy. Care refers to all actions that consist in "taking care of": taking care of customers, taking care of employees, taking care of the planet... Whatever the company's priorities, the culture of care is directly linked to marketing, according to Christina Garnett.
To develop this culture of care within Hubspot, the company took the time to create a real affinity with its users. Through specific programs (like HubStars, which over time turned into HubFans), the BtoB company put members at the center of attention. But the company didn't just make sure to "take care" of its members: the challenge was to develop communities of trust, strong enough to make members want to "take care" of each other!
To create, animate and engage a community in the long term, it is therefore essential to develop a culture of care at different levels. The idea is not only to create a top-down culture of care: it must also be horizontal and transversal.
To ensure that the principle of "care" is well spread, here are the best practices applied by Hubspot:
✅ Ensure the presence of a Community Builder, within the various communities: the Community Builder has a "connector" role. He makes sure that the company connects to the members, but also that the members connect to each other.
✅ Practice social listening: care is developed from the needs, problems and desires of members. For Hubspot, it is therefore essential to actively listen to the members of its communities. The idea is to collect their opinions and feelings, to improve the community and take care of each member more effectively.
✅ Deploy different "care" paths: depending on the personas and community typologies, expectations change. For example, Hubspot offers community experiences that rely on gamification, to care for members who want fun journeys!
2. Develop your community through the "Flywheel" model
Today, the place of the community is evolving, within BtoB or BtoC companies. Let's take the example of customer communities: yesterday, the model par excellence was the "Funnel". Customers were the end result of a funnel strategy, often integrated into processes at the end of the thinking and decision-making process.
Today, the new thinking model developed by Hubspot is the "Flywheel" model. Customers are no longer the endpoint, but the center of all strategies. Even more so when they are gathered in the heart of customer or consumer communities!
🔄 The "Flywheel" model is a relevant new concept, to develop a Community-Led Growth strategy. According to Hubspot, the goal is to put the community at the center of all decisions, strategies and action plans. As its name suggests, this concept represents a "wheel", which turns and moves forward thanks to the force of the engine that is at the center: the community.
In order to move away from the funnel model and truly integrate a community into the core processes, it is essential to involve the members. Their participation and commitment can manifest itself in different ways: participation in product beta-tests and permanent feedback requests, co-creation of new solutions or services, co-organization of digital events... All these actions are powerful levers to develop a Community-Led Growth strategy!
3. Define the rules of the game with clarity and transparency
The community allows the company to advance and grow, thanks to Community-Led Growth strategies. However, this development "by" the community must be done within a controlled framework: Christina Garnett (Community Builder at Hubspot) recommends defining clear and transparent rules of the game, as soon as a community is created.
Indeed, the rules are not defined to restrict the community. On the contrary, it's about "defining the lines that should not be crossed, placing the cursor on what is acceptable and what is not... And being clear about the consequences of certain behaviors".
For Christina Garnett, a community is like a dinner party: "we hope that everyone will be there to have fun... But not too much!" So, to limit excesses within a community, here is a concrete example of action explained by Hubspot:
💡In BtoB communities, some members often like to pitch and present their company, to sell their solutions. This commercial behavior distracts from the primary purpose of a community, which is focused on exchange and mutual aid. It is therefore necessary to control these practices by placing the cursor on what is "allowed" and what is "forbidden". In addition to frequent reminders of the rules by the Community Builder, Hubspot also recommends finding solutions that suit all members: for example, why not create a specific section within the community, dedicated to commercial exchanges or discourse?
This practice allows you to avoid punishing members too harshly, by offering them a dedicated space for expression. That's what a community is all about: leaving room for compromise to deliver a memorable community experience!
Ready to develop your Community-Led Growth strategy?
You've heard it all before: the community is the engine of a company, whether it's to accelerate growth, acquisition, loyalty or brand image. But to succeed in developing a Community-Led Growth strategy in a sustainable and efficient way, you have to rely on some good practices. The ones from Hubspot shared by Christina Garnett (Hubspot's Community Builder) are as follows:
1️⃣ Develop the culture of care, within the community.
2️⃣ Use the Flywheel concept to serve its community strategy
3️⃣ Define clear and transparent rules, to ensure the smooth running of the community
To discover more tips or interviews on Community-Led Growth... But also to create, animate and engage your own community, join our Community-Platform :