Embracing The Communities Which Already Exists

Take a look at the Snowflake community for a second (it’s one of the better Salesforce communities).

You might notice the primary navigation tab is driving people to StackOverflow for discussions.

Embracing the existing communities (or native platforms members use) is both an incredibly smart and often an incredibly difficult decision to make.

It means you’re ceding control to a platform over which you can’t moderate and manage activity. Sure, you can participate and reply, but you can’t collect any data, easily escalate issues and plenty more.

Which is why so few organisations take a similar approach. They want control.

It might be psychologically hard to give up this control and simply link to a tag on StackOverflow, Reddit, or even a Twitter hashtag. But it’s far harder to persuade people to participate in your platform, when they’re so comfortable and familiar with participating in another.

You have to forge new habits, offer something members can’t get anywhere else, and force members to jump through additional hoops each time they want to connect.

But it’s worth considering the benefits of this approach.

StackOverflow probably has the best platform experience today. It’s a platform most technical audiences are very familiar with. Snowflake saves itself the trouble of hosting (and managing) the majority of discussions by directing people to another platform already filled with vibrant discussions.

Instead of competing with the existing ecosystem, Snowflake embraces it and adds value with distinct groups (which members can put themselves forward to run), user groups/events, documentation, ideas, and features StackOverflow can’t provide.

If there is already a place where members have discussions about the topic, it’s typically a good idea to embrace it rather than compete against it.

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