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How dev-first companies power community growth and engagement
Aug 22nd, 2023

How dev-first companies power community growth and engagement

All developer-focused companies want the same things: more product awareness, more product activation, and more product adoption.

Developer communities are a key piece of the puzzle, but only if you know who you’re talking to and what makes them tick.

Learn how dev-first companies:

  • Get full visibility into community activity across digital channels
  • Pinpoint community influencers and champions to prioritize outreach
  • Create bigger, better, and more business-friendly dev communities

You can’t hit a bullseye if you’re wearing a blindfold

Lots of developer-focused community programs run into the same roadblocks.

It usually looks something like this: A developer relations team (often a team of one) manages an owned community on Discord, but struggles to keep up with activity across GitHub, Stack Overflow, Reddit, and other dark-funnel channels.

Even if the team could track everything people are saying and doing across digital touchpoints, it can’t zero in on the activities it cares about, connect the dots between channels, or tie anonymous activity to real people and real companies.

💡 There’s a difference between the communities you own—the dedicated spaces hosted and managed by your organization—and the ones you don’t. When we talk about community, we’re talking about all the cross-channel activity that’s relevant to your company.

There’s no visibility into the identities of community members, context for why they’re using your product, or whether they’re a good fit in the first place.

So instead of uncovering insights that will help fuel community growth or inform user outreach, the DevRel team keeps fielding product questions and feature requests from anonymous users.

Debugging starts with recognizing a bug exists

More often than not, dev-focused companies use a hodgepodge of tools to manage their communities—a combination of point solutions and channel-specific platforms.

These tools keep your digital interaction data disconnected from your product usage and customer relationship data. They also do nothing to help you identify the people who make up your community or get a unified view into their activities across channels.

To grow your community, increase high-quality engagement, and help move bottom-line business metrics, you have to understand who makes up your user base, prioritize your outreach, and quickly respond to relevant activity:

Track the entire user journeySpot the signal from the noiseTake action and automate
Connect all your critical user touchpoints in a single location.Identify and prioritize the people behind conversations and actions.Simplify and scale how teams stay alerted to and follow up on activities.

Our research revealed that community-engaged organizations adopt 3x more features and turn into paying customers 20% faster than their peers.

The community flywheel works, but only if you know how to get it spinning.

Turn your community into a growth engine with Common Room

Common Room helps you get a bird’s eye view of your community across data sources, identify the real people who comprise it, and track their activity from touchpoint to touchpoint. That way dev-focused companies can:

  • Bring together all digital, product, and customer data in one place to understand what’s happening across channels and resolve member identities.
  • Discover which topics are most popular among the community to drive interest and engagement.
  • Uncover community influencers and advocates and reward them for amplifying brand awareness.
  • Stay alerted to high-priority activity, such as product feedback from current customers and product questions from future customers.
  • Create, prioritize, and engage cohorts of community members at scale based on their demographic and firmographic details.

The upshot is faster growth, more targeted engagement, and better opportunities for revenue generation.

Here’s how dev-first companies get the job done:

Decipher the developer journey

First you centralize all your data—digital, product, and customer—in Common Room. Data is automatically enriched to resolve identities and unify cross-channel activity into a single enriched profile.

⚙️ Common Room’s wide range of natively built and fully managed integrations (along with its powerful API) let you connect all your digital channels, product analytics, and CRM data all in one place.

This gives you a comprehensive view of your community ecosystem across both owned and unowned channels. You can easily research your audience, manage relationships, and analyze community impact on a member-by-member basis.

Image of enrichment
🎤 “Because our community, the dbt Community, lives on so many different platforms, Common Room is kind of that foundational platform where we funnel all information about things that are happening.”
—Anna Filippova, Senior Director of Community and Data at dbt Labs

Surface actionable intelligence

Now you can slice and dice your data to uncover impactful insights. Filter individuals and the organizations they work for based on the attributes that matter most to your company.

⚙️ Filters help you explore the people who make up your community and their organizations based on fully customizable characteristics and activities, such as location, organization size, annual revenue, and more.

This helps you identify the ideal candidates for workshops, advisory boards, GTM outreach, case studies, and more.

Image of segment

You can also use impact points to discover which members hold the most sway over your community.

⚙️ Impact points reveal which people have the biggest impact on your community based on their activities across channels. Points can be customized and weighted however you wish.
Image of impact points

This helps you find influencers to turn into advocates and recruit people for initiatives that boost word-of-mouth marketing, such as champions programs.

Once you know who’s talking, you can take the guesswork out of tracking down what they’re saying (such as product complaints, feature requests, and more) with auto-categories.

⚙️ Common Room’s auto-categories feature automatically groups together and highlights activity that fits preset categories so you can quickly find and follow up on business-critical conversations.

This helps you collect product feedback, streamline product development, and stay on top of any issues among users.

You can also use AI-powered natural language processing to detect which topics are trending in your community and the sentiment associated with each.

⚙️ Topics tracks conversations across channels and surfaces what’s being mentioned most frequently and when. Sentiment tells you how people feel about those topics via a machine learning-assigned score of positive or negative.
Image of sentiment

This helps you tweak your engagement strategy based on what gets people talking, keep an eye on sudden spikes in positive or negative sentiment, and source community-generated content.

🎤 "Common Room does the hard work of parsing through and serving up serious or trending topics so we can quickly understand what the community needs."
—Jared Jones, Head of Ecosystem at Moov

Keeping track of new members, regular contributors, and even people who fit your ideal customer persona is easy with automated tags. Tagged individuals can be added to dedicated segments to report on and engage at scale via bulk messages.

⚙️ Member tags and organization tags allow you to filter for activity among specific individuals and organizations more easily. Segments provide a reactive and customizable view of specific groups of people to analyze and reach out to over time.
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This helps you track major milestones among your community members and scalably personalize outreach—whether to invite people to an event, ask them to provide feedback, or introduce them to your GTM team.

🎤 "Common Room is the command center for the Temporal community. We love being able to get an overview of user activity at an individual and an organizational level. We're very excited about the ability to use fine-grained segments to better understand and keep up with our users—features like these help us stay on top of our fast-growing community."
—Shawn Wang, Head of Developer Experience at Temporal

And through it all, you can use comprehensive reporting to get a pulse on the health and trajectory of your community as a whole and drill down into specific metrics—such as membership, engagement rate, and more—when you wish.

🎤 “Common Room has unlocked the conversation of what's possible to measure, which makes it a lot easier to decide what we can measure and what's going to be most important for us as the HubSpot developer community folks.”
—Sarah Jane (SJ) Morris, Senior Manager of Developer Community at HubSpot

Streamline user-led growth strategy

You can be instantly notified of any relevant activity within your community via automated alerts.

⚙️ Team alerts let you trigger notifications based on customizable criteria and send them to specific destinations so you’re always kept up to date on key activities.
Image of team alerts

This helps you stay on top of the most urgent community questions or issues (and meet your support SLAs), as well as stay on top of advocacy you want to recognize and incentivize.

And after you figure out who you want to engage with, you can use automated workflows to take the grunt work out of reaching out on the right channel at the right time.

⚙️ Workflows help you organize and engage community members automatically—such as by assigning tags to members based on certain activities or messaging an entire segment—based on customizable inputs.
Image of workflows

This helps you welcome new members to the community, survey members, re-engage members, and much more—quickly and at scale.

🎤 "Common Room gives us the ability to better see and segment our community to ensure we meet members where they are, support them with the specific resources they need, and elevate the voices of the experts who want to share their knowledge.”
—Dave Nielsen, Senior Director of Community Relations at Harness

Creating a thriving dev community that powers word-of-mouth marketing, customer acquisition, and long-term loyalty comes down to what you can see, what you do about it, and how fast you move.

Dev-first companies use Common Room to shine at all three.

Power your community growth and engagement with Common Room

Ready to see how Common Room helps you grow, engage, and maximize the business impact of your community?