Friday 1 Mar, 2024

Growing a healthy community around your product

Learn how to grow a healthy community around your product using Pile

Community-driven products are on the rise. The internet has made it possible for customers to connect with each other in ways that were never possible. Communities are popping up around products, brands, and companies. From small indie products like Pirsch Analytics to big companies like Stripe.

Understanding community building

Building a community around your product is not easy. It takes commitment, time, and effort. It's not something you can do overnight. It's a long-term investment that will pay off if you keep putting in the work.

Measuring success

If you come from a metrics-driven background like sales or engineering, you might be wondering how you can measure the success of your community. Just like other fields, there are metrics that you can use to measure the success of your community.

Major platforms like Discord and Slack provide you with a lot of metrics out of the box.

1. Engagement

Engagement is one of the most important metrics to measure. It tells you how active your community is.

Measuring engagement can be achieved with a couple of sub-metrics:

  • Messages per user. How many messages each user sends on average.
  • Messages per day. How many messages are sent each day on average.
  • New users per day. How many new users join your community each day.

2. Retention

Retention is another important metric to measure. It tells you how many users are coming back to your community.

You can measure retention with a couple of sub-metrics:

  • Daily active users. How many users are active each day.
  • Churn rate. Percentage of users that leave your community each day.

3. Growth & Acquisition

Growth is the last important metric to measure. It tells you how fast your community is growing.

You can measure growth with a couple of sub-metrics:

  • New users per source. How many people join from each source (e.g. Twitter, your website, etc.)
  • Reach. How many people see your community each day and how many of them join.
  • Referral rate. How many users refer other users to your community.

Scaling your community

The first step to scaling your community is to understand the different stages of community growth.

1. The early stage

The early stage is a tricky one. It's the stage where you have to do everything yourself. You have to be the one who starts the conversations, answers the questions, and moderates the rare discussions that do happen.

It's also the stage where you have to be the one who invites new users to your community. You have to be the one who reaches out to people and asks them to join your community. Try a lot of different things and see what works best for you. The balance between effort and reward is important. Keeping the effort going is hard, put that effort into the things that give you energy.

2. The growth stage

The growth stage is where things start to get interesting. It's the stage where you start to see some traction.

This is the stage where some organic growth starts to happen. People start to invite their friends and talk about it on social media. In this stage, you have to focus on keeping the momentum going. Identify the things that are working and double down on them.

3. The sustainable stage

The sustainable stage is the stage where partnerships and knowledge management become important.

Partnerships are important because they allow you to reach new audiences and grow your community faster. Providing benefits to your loyal members is a great way to encourage them to invite their friends.

Knowledge management is important because knowledge will start to accumulate and pile up. You need to make sure that this knowledge is easily accessible to everyone in your community. This is where a tool like Pile comes in handy. It allows you to save, organize and share conversations from your community.

Handling conflict

Conflict is inevitable. It's part of human nature and it's part of community building. It's important to understand that conflict is not always a bad thing. It can be a great way to learn more about your community and the people in it.

The key to handling conflict is to be transparent and open about it. Don't try to hide it or sweep it under the rug. Instead, try to understand why it happened and what you can do to prevent it from happening again in the future.

A fair and transparent moderation policy can go a long way in preventing conflict from happening in the first place.

Celebrating milestones and successes

Celebrating milestones is important because who doesn't like to celebrate? It's a great way to show your community that you care about them and that you appreciate their support.

Celebrating doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. It can be as simple as a thank you message or a post on social media. Keep it simple and keep it fun. Don't overthink it and don't try to make it too complicated.

If you are going to be hosting giveaways, keep in mind that they can attract low-quality users who are only interested in winning something.


Building a community around your product is no easy task. It takes commitment, time, and effort. However, if you keep putting in the work, you will see the results.

You are playing the long game here, not the short game. Don't expect to see results overnight.

Dries Augustyns

Dries Augustyns

Founder at Pile