How Can I Create An Online Community For My SaaS Product Users?

Over at Reddit SaaS (where I invite you to join) we’ve discussed this question that someone had:

In order to improve engagement with my SaaS subscribers and hopefully boost conversion, I am planning to create a user community for open discussions about the product, answering questions, providing useful content, etc.

However, I am still not sure on which channel I should create the community.

I’ve tried Facebook before and it didn’t work that well.

Should do it on Reddit? what are your thoughts about it? Has anyone been through something similar?

Here’s my answer:

It depends on what you want to do.

I had this problem with my app — not a SaaS, just mobile app (400K users). Wanted to build a community. I have a Facebook group where I invite people to join (and they do), as I’ve seen Cloudinary do that successfully.

The problem? Because of the algorithm, your posts might not be delivered to all these people. So it’s a trade-off:

  • Email? Everyone will get it, not everyone will open it and there’s no network/community effect
  • FB group? Not everyone will get it, most will open it and there is the network/community effect

My solution? It’s predicated on my industry and age group — mostly youngsters.

Email wouldn’t have worked for them and here’s what I thought.

Since everyone moved towards Whatsapp/Facebook Messenger/Snapchat/IG DM/etc, everyone left text messaging behind.

The text app is barely used anymore — so I’m thinking of using a text messaging platform. It’s 1-on-1, so not that much of a community, but you do get to all of your people. Without a doubt.

The standards are high, so you have to be very careful to ONLY give them stuff, not really ask (at least in the beginning). But it can work brilliantly.

As an alternative, you can do a Facebook messenger bot.

But again, it’s based on what you want to do. You said increase conversions so this messaging thing might work — but if “community” is more important than conversions, then defo go for a FB group.

Reddit? It depends on your industry. If they’re techies from the USA, yes, they’ll have Reddit accounts but even then I wouldn’t specifically go for it.

Here’s another suggestion for communities: a Telegram group or WhatsApp business.

The bottom line is this

It’s “pick your advantage” (or pick your poison, on a negative note):

  • Do you want to be 1 on 1 with them and trade high open rates for not having the community effect?
  • Or do you want to have the community effect in exchange for not-so-high open rates, but probably more scale?

About Ch Daniel

I run Chagency_, an experiences design agency — we help SaaS CEOs reduce user churn. I write daily on this topic and in similar areas. Here are my best pieces.

If I’ve helped you, follow me here and reach out: LinkedIn | Twitter | Email | Quora | YouTube 

I’ve also founded an app that went 0-200K users in its 1st year — The Legit Check App. See everything I do here: Chdaniel.com

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Illustration credits: Julien BROCQ

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