Carrie Jones reminds us that over 60% of startups valued at over $1 billion investment in community as a fundamental part of their business model. Learning from the success of companies like Airbnb, Lyft, Instacart, and Pinterest, Jones gives us six ways companies are making community work for them. 

  • Build community for its marketing value: The most common reason companies build community is because of its marketing value. It helps them stand out and helps spread the word about their brand. 25% of surveyed startups say they build community to drive marketing or support value. 
  • If marketing doesn’t fit, start with support: if your concern is customer retention rather than acquisition, focus on building a support community first. 
  • Be flexible: Humans crave flexibility, and communities are built on human connection. Thus, your approach to community must be flexible and ever-evolving. 
  • Build confidence: Jones recommends creating a business case document for your team, aligning community with your core values, and reading up on best practices. 
  • Measure retention: Choosing the right metrics to measure a community’s success can be difficult. Jones recommends you start with customer retention. 
  • Hire a community manager: 71% of communities have a dedicated community manager. For startups, the number rises to 78%, and for tech startups specifically, 88%. 

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