If we tell you that referral marketing is the secret sauce to community building and increased ROI, you probably won’t believe us. But what if we showed you how a simple referral programme helped Dropbox grow by 3,900%?
Let’s take a look at the brand’s metric history:
- September 2008: 100K registered users
- December 2009: 4M registered users
- September 2017: 33.9M registered users, 10B evaluation + 1B revenue.
The jump in numbers is astounding. And referral marketing was at the heart of the achievement. So, how do you replicate these results? The first order of business is to build a community.
In this article, we’re going to uncover the strategy we used to grow the best Scenes communities. It's how we grew our own Discord community as well. We call it the Scenes Community engine
Let me break this down for you. First, you need a top of the funnel. It could be YouTube, it could be ads, it could be you sponsoring other newsletters or creators. We've put down an entire list of methods to generate top of the funnel. There are plenty more, but these are the popular methods most people employ to get people into their community.
The Dream Destination
With products, you always send people to "Download app" or "Visit this website". With communities, redirecting people to a forum or a chat they aren't familiar with is a recipe for disaster. Events are a much better landing page — this is also why events have been inbuilt into Scenes, despite how hard and expensive it is to do so. You want people to be able to set a reminder for the event via Google Calendar. Scenes does this by default too.
Once a person has been through a 30 minute-1 hour event, they will feel some level of familiarity with your community and mission. Here's a tip: Make sure you use a lexicon that's unique to your community.
When I first joined AIESEC in college, the speaker at the introductory event bombarded us with strange but fascinating words. It was interesting enough to me that I wanted to be part of this weird new world.
“Events are both the lifeblood of a community, and their landing page. Stop directing new community members to a chat or a tutorial, please direct them to an event or a webinar where there's a human showing them around. Since events can't be a daily occurrence, you'll have to plan out your ads/inbound channels over the week for a weekend event. We did this on repeat for eleven straight months, and have done this for multiple clients — it works like clockwork.”
Right after the event, it’s important to brief your participants about using the chat and other asynchronous interaction channels. This creates lots of engagement until the next event.
Once engagement has been secured, you can proceed to give roles to engaged members and focus on monetization and referrals.
Although you can run this sequence on any platform, Scenes has inbuilt mechanisms to make this flywheel work. You'll need to stitch Zoom + Discord + a forum tool + Notion at minimum to make this happen. Scenes is a one-and-done, and is optimized for mobile, where 80% of your initial traffic and most of your recurring engagement is going to come from.
Looking for a community platform solution? Let us help you out. Set up a 1-1 Demo with the Scenes team, and let’s get the ball rolling.