Building communities, one automation at a time

Community-led growth is a definite part of our future, there’s no doubt. And we want communities to be more than just a strategy, we want them to be indispensable.
Priyanshu Anand
October 9, 2023

Building communities, one automation at a time

Community-led growth is a definite part of our future, there’s no doubt. And we want communities to be more than just a strategy, we want them to be indispensable.
Priyanshu Anand
August 29, 2022

The world of community is ever-evolving, constantly changing, and with each passing day becoming increasingly intertwined with the strategies of growing businesses and startups. But the core aspect of community is extremely humane. What that means is: communities are meant to be pure, ethical arenas where the only thing that matters are human connections and a sense of belonging. On the other hand, the world of business is a lot more driven by data, where the fundamentals of community building might not be considered critical factors.

This is why aligning the principles of community and the goals of an organization is a delicate path to tread. It requires well-thought-out metrics that don’t just focus on generating revenue but on nurturing a safe space where customers feel like members.

As more community-led companies (like Figma and Notion) are becoming success stories every day, it’s gaining quite a bit of momentum in today’s world. While that’s definitely an exciting thing for the community, we need to be careful that the ideologies for which community stands for, doesn’t get lost in translation.

Our very own ‘Eureka!’ moment

What we’re going to witness in the times to come is the adoption of community-led growth at a tremendous scale. And as companies scale, communities scale with them. Naturally, larger communities will become more difficult to manage, leading to less focus on individual connections or value creation, and more on community-driven data. Before you know it, this becomes a game of numbers and the very concept of community-led growth loses its essence.

We realized that community is the future but there aren’t any tools that sincerely aid the art of community-building or make the lives of those who are building it, easier.

One of the biggest problems that community-builders face (and will continue facing) is managing workflows as communities scale. The larger the community, the more complex it becomes until you’re left with two options -

One, grow your team. Which, mind you, is not a foolproof solution in the long term. Growing your team as the community grows can become quite a resource-intensive solution, especially in terms of finances and budgeting.

Second, start focusing more on managing workflows and collecting data. Which, although necessary, is not what a community-builder should primarily be focusing on. They should be up there with the rest of the folks - understanding, engaging, connecting, learning, creating value - and not be tied down with manual operational tasks.

We believe community managers are no less than superheroes. But today’s community tools cater largely to the decision makers and not to the ones who are in the trenches. There are millions of communities across Discord, Slack, Facebook, Telegram, Whatsapp, and over 300+ community tools. Yet, engagement data is in silos, there’s no easy way to understand member needs, managing a community involves manual workflows, and it is difficult to quantify the overall impact. That's why we built Threado. - Pramod Rao, Co-founder, Threado (Threado’s Product Hunt launch)

Introducing Automations ⚙️

Automations are not news. But it definitely has never been implemented in the community space. After speaking to hundreds of community builders, our priority at Threado was set in concrete - automation can revolutionize community building.

Although Threado features a wide array of capabilities aimed toward better community activation, automation is what headlines the product. Our aim is to turn it into an inseparable part of community building by helping community builders realize what it can do for them.

Threado’s automation feature is designed to help streamline critical community-building tasks and remove the need for any manual intervention at any point throughout the process.

All you really have to do is a one-time setup of the automation and then Threado takes care of all those processes automatically. No matter how small or how big a task it may be, any workflow can be set up and automated within minutes.

How does it work?

Threado gives you a transparent view of your community which makes it exponentially easier to comprehend data points and orchestrate streamlined workflows that are precise and impactful.

And setting them up is as easy as it is rewarding.

Let’s consider member onboarding as an example. Providing a delightful onboarding experience can potentially be a game-changer for your community-building strategies. This is why it’s very important for you to define your onboarding flow to be as flawless as it can be.

On the Automation dashboard, when you create a new workflow and set the trigger condition, there are two primary ways in which you can define when a member enters a workflow -

  • First, when a new member joins.
  • Second, by creating a custom member cohort using filters and member tags.

Since we’re onboarding new members, we want to setup a simple workflow that enrolls any new member when they join the community. Now, as soon as they join, they should be greeted with a warm welcome message. This first message can be the difference between a lurker and a participator. If it strikes the right chord, that first message can be what gets people to start engaging in the community.

And the best part? You only have to do it once.

Setting up an onboarding workflow with targeted messaging

Workflows can be made as elaborate and accommodative as possible. Insinuating that you can design an intricate workflow with conditions, various actions, and even surveys that stretch over weeks and months. A detailed personalized workflow like that can become the metric that drives engagement at scale.

An example of a condition-based detailed onboarding workflow

Here are what makes automation workflows great in a nutshell -

  • Save hundreds of hours of manual work all in just a few easy clicks.
  • Automate all of your workflows including critical processes like onboarding, activation, engagement, and even resource sharing.
  • Play with a combination of filters and actionable triggers to target custom cohorts of members.
  • Set up communications that’ll be working even when you’re not.
  • You never again have to worry about forgetting to send a message.
  • Compatibility with communities on Slack, Discord, and Discourse platforms.
  • Condition-based and dynamic targetting gives you the flexibility to include a wide variety of use cases.

Making easy, easier

We realized that automation workflows are a fairly new feature and setting it up for the first time can be a bit challenging in itself. And so we thought “what if we can come up with templates?”

You’re given a blank canvas and you have no idea where to start. Templates are like tracing papers. Trace it out and now you’re closer to where you want to be than where you were. Templates are like steps that take you to the next level.

That being said, it’s not possible to have a template for every scenario. Especially for something like community building which is a lot more dynamic than it is structured. So, we distilled and hand-picked a curation of templates after months of research, interactions, first-hand experiences, and trial & error. We’ve spoken to hundreds of community builders and taken into account critical workflows that can be beneficial to community engagement if automated. This is how we came up with Community Automation Templates.

The singular purpose of these templates is to help you get started with automation and rid yourself of the burden of constantly having to worry about manual tasks. Community-building is a beautiful art but it can get clogged with monotony from things that are essential but not necessarily productive.

How can you start using it?

It’s not easy to build communities and we didn’t want to restrict the gift of these templates to a specific tool. We want this to be a celebration of where community-led growth is headed and be able to play a small part in helping steer that ship.

As of now, there are templates for Discord, Slack, and Discourse platforms and you can filter to view templates accordingly. These templates have also been divided into foundational community-building categories - onboarding, activation, engagement, and surveys.

These templates work best with Threado and you can start activating workflows simply by replicating them.

Setting a fully-functional workflow on Threado can be as simple as this 👇

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, you can customize these workflows as you’d like. Make them more elaborative, condition-based, or perhaps even event-based. A good thing about these templates is that they’ve been designed to be self-sufficient. This means that you can activate them as they are without even customizing them. But it’s definitely recommended to customize the workflows and update the messaging to tailor them according to your community's needs.

So, essentially, you can go start automating your workflow within a few minutes of reading this article.

  1. Signup or login to Threado
  2. Integrate your community.
  3. Select a template from the Automations dashboard.
  4. Customize it (if you want to) and activate it!

However, you can setup some of these templates with a variety of automation and conversation tools like Zapier and Typeform. Templates that are compatible across different platforms are tagged with their logos respectively. You simply have to recreate this template on that platform and setup an automation.

One step closer

Community-led growth is a definite part of our future, there’s no doubt. But you can’t build something beautiful without the right tools. Any wonderful creation cannot sustain or even exist on its own. We want communities to be more than just a strategy, we want them to be indispensable.

Automations have been one of the greatest creations in human history and when you combine that with the innate power of communities, you don’t just solve a problem but you create new avenues. Avenues that would never have existed otherwise. Automation gives communities an untamed advantage, something that empowers community builders to strive for greatness.

With the right tools, community builders can become unstoppable. And we want to be able to be the ones aiding them through every step of the way. This is just the beginning.

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