Company background: Strava is the leading subscription platform at the center of connected fitness, with more than 100 million community members in over 190 countries. The platform offers a holistic view of your active lifestyle, no matter where you live, which sport you love, and/or what device you use. Everyone belongs on Strava when they are pursuing an active life.
Contact: Ashley Will
Title: Director, Training & Trust Support
Related URLs: https://communityhub.strava.com
Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Community
1. Describe the organization's objectives in launching a Khoros community. What is the use-case and purpose of your community (support, enablement and learning, marketing awareness, customer success, driving sales, product innovation, etc.)? Has the community charter evolved since its launch, and if so, how?
Strava’s objectives in launching a Khoros community
During 2020, the Strava community grew by about 2 million new athletes each month with more than 1.1 billion activities uploaded in 12 months, a 33% increase from the previous year. As the Strava community grew in size and global reach, so did the volume of inbound support tickets.
Just as the Community Discussions were most needed to support rapid new user growth, feedback and improvement requests, as well as supplement the busy ticketing system, the engagement and satisfaction levels within the space were declining due to limited resources and lack of platform agility/tooling. The word ‘Graveyard’ best describes the rock bottom it had reached.
Selecting Khoros Community
During 2021, three requirements emerged:
1. Revitalize & Scale Community Support
It was vital to create a space that would better connect Strava members to one another globally to deliver on our Community goals. Khoros’ offered the necessary search capability to help members get better connected, find useful content, acknowledge helpful responses or collaborate to create accepted solutions.
Additionally, Khoros’ incentive system of ranks and badges mimicked what our community already loved about Strava, gamification. We knew this would incentivize members to participate and help each other which would allow the Support team to scale without additional headcount.
2. Robust Tooling
A solution was needed that would not only give more control over moderation, maintenance and organization, but would also allow community feedback to be easily packaged into thoughtful insights to share with internal stakeholders for consideration in roadmap planning.
Khoros Community presented levels of capability and efficiency that went far beyond the existing community experience. Features which were especially attractive to the team included:
3. Enable and leverage our passionate community
There were power-users, super-fans, and idea machines in our community and they had their own stories to tell—this was a moment to help them shine.
Khoros provided a space where these passionate community members could engage directly with one another and Strava staff. Besides connecting them on support and idea shares, Khoros enabled a different type of engagement — interest-based discussions and inspirational personal stories.
Strava's community purpose
The two main goals of our new Khoros community were
Education + Support
In addition to designing Forums that fostered improved opportunities for peer to peer support the community launched with Blogs and Knowledge Bases.
Strava’s Insider Journal became the central focus for blogs from Strava’s staff experts.
This type of content helps contextualize powerful features into real world use cases to convey product potential in a more tangible and relatable way.
To date 33 blogs have been published, 30 of which came from 19 authors from the Community Management team.
Athlete Knowledge Base presented an opportunity to replay or repurpose the most popular or time sensitive articles from Strava’s Help Center as Community Knowledge Base articles.
This allowed extended reach at the point of need and greater discoverability leveraging Community search and SEO capabilities.
Product Innovation through Ideas Amplification
With a highly passionate community of users, multiple external facing channels consistently became opportunities for a steady funnel of product suggestions.
The distributed nature of this feedback made it hard for teams to review and organize trends. Users shared sentiments around not feeling listened to when in fact teams were limited without a system which centralized and organized user feedback. The decision was made that Strava’s new community had to launch with an Ideas Exchange, simply named Ideas, and that a coordinated effort should drive all feedback to this one centralized system.
Community Charter evolution post-launch
The community charter originally focused on the broadest topics that would have the most appeal and relevance across the entire user base. This was an intentional move so that the team could learn from the community what conversations they wanted to have without imposing a strict set of predefined topics.
Growth by targeting specific Strava audiences
The charter evolved to start targeting key segments within Strava’s user base with more relevant content. A Developer category was launched and hosted by Strava for the first time. This allowed the team to lead and participate in discussions as well as share relevant content about the Developer Program.
Months later, another targeted space, The Club Hub, was launched for Strava Club Organizers and Product Subscribers. This opportunity is fostering the conditions to build sub-communities of like-minded individuals away from the broader topic boards.
2. How did the community get brought to life? Was there executive/business/stakeholder buy-in? What was the process to gain this buy-in? How was cross-functional support and organizational adoption achieved?
As the user-base was growing rapidly, a community platform like Khoros offered relief through scaling potential that was particularly appealing at a time where user feedback and ticket volume was at its highest. Future growth and scalability was a key factor in the selection decision with the executive team excited by how a new community platform could support business goals and increased growth and adoption.
The Community Management team’s skill sets were honed in technical documentation and 1:1 support—community building was unfamiliar territory. We brought on a skilled Community Manager who had direct experience implementing a community with the Khoros platform as a crucial requirement to the initiative’s success.
Bringing the community to life required a large cross-functional effort across Design & Copy, Research, Product Marketing, Engineering and Legal teams. A primary goal was to make the community experience feel like part of Strava and aligned to branding guidelines utilizing our rich repository of evocative imagery. With extensive support from the Strava Design Team, the user interface was transformed to be comprehensively Strava. From badges to imagery and everything in between the team delivered the guidance, assets and design review that made this a reality.
The new community was named Strava Community Hub and launched in July 2022.
In addition, the goal was to make this not only a place to listen to community discussions but lead and inspire them. The launch team created a rich variety of conversational, inspirational and educational topics with the intent to bring as much positive and enabling content to users and inspire them to go beyond smaller product frictions and transactional discussions and see the possibilities of the product as a whole.
As the community grew members organically started to share more of their own feel-good stories of success and positivity.
3. What were the results? More revenue generated, a reduction of costs, improved customer experience, more innovation, etc.? Tell us how Khoros helped you achieve those results. Please include quantifiable metrics if possible.
Strava Community Hub, at 332 days old at the time of writing has emerged like a phoenix from the ashes, to become an 8000+ strong community with over 7,000 posts, and growing
Not only does it represent the vitality, diversity and passion of the Strava community it is tangibly contributing to our business goals.
1. Product Innovation grows brand trust and partnership
From launch, the Ideas board has been the most consistently popular area of the site attracting the highest number of Unique Visitors within its own category and site wide. In Page Views it is 2nd only to Forums which is made up of multiple boards compared to the single Ideas board.
With the community’s continued investment in creating and voting on ideas in an intuitive Ideas Exchange system it is transforming the way that Product teams at Strava learn about, consider and evaluate community-generated ideas.
Uniting community around a common cause
A perfect example of this partnership came in February 2023 when an idea was submitted asking Strava to consider ways to help with fundraising efforts following the devastating Turkey & Syria earthquake. Strava was already working on an initiative and the presence of a community submitted idea enabled teams to share plans publicly ahead of the initiative going live. Within 1 week of the idea being submitted and gathering 244 votes, it was marked as Delivered. A further update post on the results of this initiative was shared a few months later to let the community know the outcome.
Sharing credible Ideas insights in a fresh way
With Khoros, the ability to visualize trends in Ideas through Community Analytics or API data imports has brought Ideas data closer to the fingertips of those who need it. Importantly, easy access to this data has allowed the Community Team to deliver engaging and interesting storytelling about ideas to internal audiences.
Launched in 2023, Mixtape is the first in an internal quarterly series of Ideas Trends share outs.
This fun format includes a Track List featuring Top Hits, Fresh Finds and a Bonus Track to summarize Ideas data. The excitement and positive reception to this format, made possible by Khoros’ rich data, rippled through the whole organization including Executive leadership.
The Ideas Exchange has brought increased visibility to Strava users on what ideas have been submitted, how popular they are and crucially a publicly accessible feedback loop to document Strava’s product decisions on ideas to be implemented, or not. Through Khoros idea statuses, we can tangibly demonstrate Community-led product innovation.
Results since launch
2. Community answered questions extend reach to deflect tickets
For Strava, a system which can track how Community discussions specifically contribute to ticket deflection has only been made possible through the launch of Khoros Community. With Khoros’ comprehensive suite of metrics, the team is quickly able to see exactly how community answers are performing and their reach through SEO. Key metrics that have helped the team start to build a deflection model and project revenue savings estimates with growth.
Results since launch:
3. Community connection improves product experience through follows
Building your community on Strava is a core way that users can feel connected and motivated by those around them to continue their active life. Enabling users with more opportunities to find connections which may not have been found otherwise is further enhanced through Khoros Community. The richer set of member personalization features within Khoros allows members to share more of who they are through their discussion topics, adding links to interesting Strava activities, their profile details and by including a link to their Strava athlete profile within their signature to enable others to follow.
A preliminary study into the new connections formed as a result of Community member > member interaction has demonstrated some interesting findings. Early results indicate:
Special Thanks: Jason Griffin
Case Study Opt-In: No
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