In this digital era, there has been a rise in community culture, and it’s thriving across different social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Discord, and Reddit. People use these communities for various reasons, including sharing information, staying updated with news, and networking.
Among the list of successful online communities, we are pleased to interview Mr. Peter Loving, the group admin of ‘SaaS Founders, ’ a community solely for the founders within the SaaS industry on Facebook.
Social Champ asked about his entire journey and inspiration, and here is all that he has to say this.
Hi Peter, Thanks for being a part of our #ChampsSeries. To start off, please introduce yourself.
I’m Peter, founder of UserActive. I have been a product designer for around 18 years and enjoy designing products and solving problems. I launched UserActive to help software companies create better products that solve their customers’ problems and help them get work done better or more efficiently. We do UI/UX design for B2B SaaS.
What inspired you to create your community SAS founders on Facebook?
I wanted to connect more with the SaaS community and build a network of people I know. I also wanted to build a personal profile. So, I thought that moderating and growing a Facebook group would be a good way to do that. Also, I wanted to be able to serve this community because the work I do relates to them. So, building the Facebook group was a way to help me learn more about these topics.
They think about their challenges, what they need help with, and the kind of support they need from each other in a community. I also thought it would be great to develop opportunities to develop services that could help the founders and also build an engaged community, whether the founders could find answers and support for things that they’re struggling with and also have a platform to get to know more people in the same position.
Managing a group can be challenging, could you elaborate on your strategies for maintaining engagement and meaningful discussions within the group?
To maintain an active and engaged community, we employ several strategies. First, we’ve established clear engagement rules as our group has grown, encouraging members to share experiences, ask questions, and seek support rather than over-promoting. We also introduce new members every Monday, where they can introduce themselves and their SaaS, fostering a welcoming environment.
Additionally, we run themed content threads throughout the week, prompting members to discuss topics like hiring, sharing content, or offering services within specific threads. This keeps the group organised and minimises spam while encouraging meaningful interactions. We also host live interviews with group members every week to showcase their experiences and foster connections within the community.
But we also do some fun things. So, on Fridays, we’ll post more light-hearted comments like a meme or jokes and things like that, but generally, all week long, we’re sharing content and supporting SaaS founders.
What key milestones or achievements have you witnessed in the group’s journey so far? Are there any specific success stories?
We often hear of SaaS founders who are sharing stories of their own. So, we’ve had founders in the group who have reached a certain level of revenue, raised a series, or had a really successful launch on the Product Hunt and were the number one product of the day on the product hunt. So we always see wins from members in the group, but key milestones, in terms of the actual Facebook group, would be the number of members, I remember when we hit the first 1000 members, that felt like a really big deal because it’s very difficult to get the early members in a group, and then obviously 10,000 was a huge milestone and our over 14,000 members. So, those are really great.
I remember when the group started to grow organically, and Facebook started suggesting the group to relevant people in their Facebook feeds. So, that was also a really great milestone. It’s also produced a lot of opportunities. People always reach out to us to see if we can do some paid content or promotions. I’ve never accepted an offer to do sponsorship or paid posts within the group, but it shows that there’s a big reach and people are interested. I’ve also been able to provide offers for big conferences. Here’s SaaStock, and I’ve promoted SaaSstock in the group. I’ve been given talking slots and invited to events and invited to panel discussions by being the admin of this group. So it opens a lot of opportunities. And also we’ve even had an offer to buy the group, so somebody wanted to buy it. So, there are some really nice milestones along the way. Nice achievements.
How do you handle and resolve conflicts? Or disagreements within the community?
The first way to handle that is by having strict guidelines so our people can refer to them when they join the group. Also, if somebody writes content or communicates in a way that doesn’t agree with our guidelines, then it’s easy for us to follow up with them and say, Hey, look, and we can refer to the rule or the guideline might have broken. So, we generally have a really civilised community, so that makes it easier. But if people consistently break the group rules, we evict them. Basically, they can be removed from the group. So that’s our last measure, but there are sometimes things that people could do to be removed.
If there, they chat, but their bots sometimes join the group and spam things like cryptocurrency promotions, all-over posts, and comments. So, obviously, we just have to delete all of that and remove them immediately. There have been cases where people are a little bit aggressive in their communication, but it’s very rare, and for those people, we either ask them to stop or remove them from the group. We kind of have a no-tolerance approach to abusive communication or breaking the rules. So, we usually just ask people to respect each other and moderate comments quite heavily. If something’s offensive, we delete it and remove the member.
Staying updated with the latest industry trends is crucial. How do you personally keep yourself informed about the SaaS industry?
I’m always talking with SaaS founders. Our clients are SaaS founders, so that gets me to really know and understand what their day-to-day challenges are and what’s happening in the industry. I also attend conferences and live events, like conferences like SaaStr. I have been to SaaStock, and then I’ve been to the product LED Summit and the future of AI, so communities and events like that. Keep me updated. Also have a network where I am regularly in touch with them; some people are friends within the industry. So, I keep up to date that way and sometimes follow influencers on LinkedIn and YouTube. So I also get to hear the big topics they’re talking about. They’re also a couple of magazines, like SaaS Mag, and I usually pick those up at conferences, and we’ll read them.
What criteria do you follow as the admin when evaluating and accepting new members into the SaaS Founders group? How do you maintain the group’s quality and relevance?
So we only accept SaaS founders into the group or executives working within a SaaS company that also benefit from the inside or work closely with founders. So, their job role and responsibilities relate to understanding and knowing the challenges and requirements that satisfy them within their business. So, we request that they let us know what their SaaS is. So they have to work at a SaaS company or have SaaS; they share what the SaaS is so we can just check them.
They have to have had a Facebook profile for more than six months. because we always notice that the bots that spam the group don’t have Facebook accounts for very long; their new accounts are fake profiles, So we don’t let them in. We also have to see that sometimes we check a profile to see if they’re just coming to spam or promote within the group. So we just want to validate that. If It’s a founder and they agree to our rules of the group. So there’s one question that has to be: you agree to the group rules, and if they say yes, we let them. So, it’s just really a general check on that. They are working with founders in a SaaS company, and they have genuine motivation.
How do you balance promoting valuable content while avoiding excessive self-promotion?
Peter Loving: So some people like to share knowledge and advice, and we welcome those kinds of posts, especially experiences and things. They’ve learned we don’t allow links in posts to a link outside of Facebook. So usually, it’s like if people come in and they’re trying to sell a course, and they put a post promoting that course and a link to the post, those posts get moderated, so they don’t actually make it into the Facebook group feed. We also have guidelines around what you can ask for self-promotion. So many people will pretend that there’s a tactic sometimes in Facebook groups to ask for advice or something that they’re asking people to check out their service or product.
So they can sometimes pose as asking questions or advice. So we’re also become quite savvy at spotting those. So, we just make sure that we share content. That’s valuable, we ask about us to do that, too. We actually don’t allow self-promotion in the group. The key thing we do for this is create themed feed posts. Each day, sometimes, we’ll create a post. about promoting your SaaS, and we’ll say right in the comments of this post what your SaaS is and who it’s for. If you have a service, we’ll write, right? It’s data that promotes your services right in this thing. So, as long as they write and comment on that post, then we keep it all tidy and organised, and it doesn’t lead to excessive self-promotion in the group.
The role of community building can be challenging. What’s the secret sauce behind this?
What is interesting for them to learn from the community? The kind of questions that come up regularly are interesting topics, so if you see recurring themes, you can create content and share that back into the group. The other thing is to have the resources to run a group. So I find it’s a lot of work for one person.
So, usually, we’d have two or three people moderating. We might also have another two or three people posting content there, so there’s a bit of a strategy, so I think you need a strategy for how you’ll approach it. We have different content types for different days, like different topics for different days. And also having a mailing list to keep the community engaged. It’s also a really great way.
What plans or aspirations do you have for SaaS founders’ growth?
Yeah, I’d like the group to keep growing organically. We always want to keep it engaged and active, so we’re just continuing what we’re doing right now in the future. If we create some events or launch more supportive content like a book or a video series, we always share that within the group. So, our main aspiration is to serve SAS founders and create a useful and interesting community. And valuable for them.
We thank Mr. Peter for his precious time and for sharing his stories and experiences with our champ audience.