The community for community builders.
Hi, Tessa! When it comes to building trust early on in the process, what are the types of signs that you see when you begin earning the trust of your community? What are some signs that demonstrate trust not being earned?
Thanks in advance!
Monitoring trust is incredibly difficult! There are no hard numbers behind it unless you solicit a survey and surveys are the first step to losing an engaged developer. Think of it like your neighbor (such a good example), if you hadn't spoke to your neighbor yet, or at least waved to them, your probably not going to ask them to watch your dog for a couple hours. This is the same way devs see surveys. What have you done for me to give away my valuable time to you? BUT if you build trust first & provide a value to them, they will happily complete your surveys and provide feedback. Providing a value to developers is quite simple, you just need to be listening. (Examples of values: professional network introductions, free product access, invite to a beta program, access to your product team, shoutout on Twitter, a deep conversation where you actually listen to their concerns 100%)
Easy ways to see a lack of trust: posts or content that feels negative, complaints or bad mouthing, or recommendations for other products. Seems straight forward, but reviewing content with a fine tooth comb is where you see the truth. If someone in a forum thread is sharing their frustrations about your product and another developer jumps in and says they use competitor B, you have a lot of work to do with both of those developers. If the responder recommended someone else, they clearly don't trust your company/product and it's capabilities. When it comes to developers, there are SO many tools and options for just about every task. Maintaining their trust is the only way to build a fully successful product/company with a developer audience.
And on the opposite side of things, you can see trust when developers are recommending our products or raving about them online. In our office hours session last week we had one veteran developer, scratch that, MVP, who convinced a non Twitter API user to dive into the API. This step is how you know you are succeeding with building trust. As I shared in other replies, developers trust no one by default, except their fellow developers or someone a fellow already-trusted developer recommends.
I have a lot of metrics that I track on my end to try to gauge this without asking. Negative engagements being one of the key ones. When negative engagements go down, trust seems more clear and collaboration increases, when negative engagements go up, I can usually track it back to a communication, event, or release that did not build trust with our developers. If you're working with a developer audience a community manager doesn't just manage their community, they also have to work incredibly hard to ensure that everyone internally understands the dynamics of their customers and ensures that every step they take is building trust.
"Surveys are the first step to losing an engaged developer" - yes!
Trusting no one by default also rings very true, and accounts for a lot of company dynamics. I'm wondering how it begins. Maybe every developer has their own diary of broken promises and abused goodwill :)
Loads of fantastic stuff here, thanks Tessa!
Ya know, I am not sure why developers think this way, but it's right on every time. I think its likely the way their brain looks at problem solving and can see when someone is trying to accomplish something on their end. It's a true mystery though.
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The community for community builders.