Using the SPACE Framework to Build Your SaaS Community

Victoria Rudi
May 13, 2022
⌚ 7 min read

→ Your growth practice

Foster an environment for many-to-many conversations and build a community around your SaaS product to:

  • Encourage mutual support
  • Generate quality product feedback and ideas
  • Acquire new users
  • Encourage contribution
  • Ignite engagement
  • Ensure the success of your users

When building the community, use the SPACE framework, developed by David Spinks, founder of CMX and VP of Community at Bevy, to cover multiple business outcomes.

→ Definitions

📓 Community: People who engage in many-to-many conversations with both your team and each other. The community members usually interact with your product by sustaining its growth, helping users make the best out of it, and offering insights into what can be improved. Compared to audiences, communities have shared symbols, language, and emotional connections.

→ Quick facts

The 2022 Community Industry Report highlights the following findings:

  • 62% of respondents say their organization will be increasing its investment in growing the community.
  • 79% of respondents believe that communities positively impact their organization’s goals.
  • 89% of respondents agree that community is critical to their company’s mission.
  • 22% of companies report having a dedicated community department, up from 15% in 2021.
  • 89% of respondents say their community currently has a dedicated community manager.

The same report shows that half of those respondents who quantify the value of their community are driving a return on investment (ROI) of at least $1M.

→ The SPACE framework

The SPACE framework defines six business outcomes you can generate by building a SaaS community. As David Spinks notes, all communities can derive value from one or more outcomes. Let’s take them one by one:

Support. Empowers community members to answer questions and solve product issues others may have, becoming a virtual part of the customer support team. The Gumroad community is an excellent example. People submit daily platform-related questions, usually receiving valuable answers from other community members in a matter of minutes or hours. The same is true for the Webflow community.

Product. Encourages the members to improve the product by sharing ideas, feature requests, and use case insights that otherwise may not be obvious.

Acquisition. Nurtures community members to be brand advocates and drive new leads, users, and customers. It’s worth noting that some SaaS communities are public, while other SaaS communities are private, for customers only. The public communities are much more efficient in providing information and fostering the conversation between users and non-users, playing an essential role in the company’s marketing strategy.

Contribution. Think about Miro, Notion, and Figma, where users and customers are encouraged to create templates and assets other community members can duplicate and use.

Engagement. Fosters conversation and a deep sense of belonging, improving loyalty and retention.

Success. Encourages the members to share best practices and ways in which the product helps them achieve wanted results.

► Quick note: Each outcome has different metrics. You can use the SPACE framework to design your community and decide:

  • What’s the value you want to generate for your members.
  • What’s the business outcome you want to get. As Spinks notes, “Many communities start with one area of the SPACES model, and extend into other areas over time.”

→ Applying the SPACE framework

💻 Support

  • Enable community members to answer questions and solve product-related challenges for each other.

💻 Product

  • Provide a space where community members can provide product feedback, vote on new features, share product ideas, and discuss your company’s improvement initiatives.

💻 Acquisition

  • Allow your community members to speak on behalf of your brand, advocate your product, and recruit new users.

💻 Contribution

  • Encourage people to contribute with stories and content.
  • Enable users to submit product-related assets, such as templates.
  • Create an environment for users to become product experts or consultants.

💻 Engagement

  • Design community experiences and dynamics.
  • Run in-person, virtual, and hybrid events for your community members.

💻 Success

  • Build a space for education where your community members can teach each other how to make the most out of your product.

→ Your growth opportunities

According to the SPACE framework, there are six business areas you can improve by launching a community around your SaaS product:

Support: enabling users to help each other

  • Ensure higher product adoption
  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Reduce the workload of your support team

Product: allowing users to improve your product

  • Get feedback
  • Generate product ideas
  • Understand your users’ needs
  • Reduced R&D resources

Acquisition: attracting more people onboard

  • Attract leads and prospects
  • Increase the pipeline value
  • Get people to try your product (free trial or freemium)
  • Acquire more customers

Contribution: involving your community members

  • Encourage people to generate content on your platform
  • Get people to submit third-party assets such as templates

Engagement: ignite interaction through experiences

  • Enabling people to spend more time with your brand
  • Strengthening the connection between your community members and your brand
  • Facilitating meaningful connections between community members

Success: guiding users throughout their journey

  • Make sure users will achieve their desired outcome by using your SaaS product
  • Reduce the churn rate, as users will have more success with your software
  • Increase the number of brand advocates

→ Case example

More and more SaaS companies build and foster online community spaces for their users and customers. Not all companies, though, take the SPACE framework as a reference, ignoring specific business outcomes they could achieve through their community. For this growth practice, though, let’s discuss Miro’s community, as its structure and spaces are aligned with all six business outcomes Spinks’ framework highlights.

>> Miro, a visual collaboration platform

Miro Screenshot

In January 2021, Miro celebrated its first 10,000 community members. Although it’s not disclosed yet, this number must be bigger nowadays.

As the company highlights, the “Miro Online community is an online space where people using Miro in their work and personal lives can connect, share their knowledge, and get answers to their burning questions.”

If we use the SPACE framework, it’s easy to identify how Miro makes use of its community to achieve different business outcomes:  


  • Ask the Community group: Not sure how to do something in Miro? Ask your peers here.
  • Miro’s Community encourages its users to get help from fellow community members and share their own expertise to help someone else.
  • There are over 4,000 topics discussed in the Peer Support group.
Miro Screenshot


Miro Screenshot
  • Wish List group: What do you wish you could do with Miro? Add your dream features and support other ideas by upvoting them.
  • Users submitted more than 2,000 ideas.
  • Community members can filter ideas by statuses, such as beta, delivered, duplicate idea (closed), and idea.
  • People can upvote new ideas.
  • Miro’s team published an article explaining writing and submitting product ideas. That’s crucial. After all, you want to make sure that your community members will respect some guidelines before submitting random product ideas.
Miro Screenshot


  • Anyone can access the value provided by Miro’s community without registering.
  • Miro makes it very easy to create a new topic on the forum. The only request is to log in or register.
Miro Screenshot


  • Miro’s community is connected to Miroverse, a template marketplace. All community members can create and submit Miro templates.
  • Developers Forum: Discuss everything related to Miro API, SDK, embedding, and Miro Platform apps development. In other words, integration and app creators have their space for discussion.
  • Miro’s team published an article explaining how community members can get involved.
Miro Screenshot


  • Miroverse Templates Challenge: Take part in the official Miroverse templates challenge, win prizes, and show the community how you use Miro.
  • Miroversity forum: Engage with Miro’s Customer Education team and other Miro learners to learn more about Miro through live training, on-demand courses, videos, and more.
  • Miro’s community is connected to events and webinars.
Miro Screenshot
  • Miroverse Challenge: Agile Games: “Agile Game is a fun activity that helps you learn something about Agile or helps you get your work done.”
Miro Screenshot
Miro Screenshot


  • Inspiration group: Miro hacks, fancy use cases, inspiring discussions, creativity, networking, and more.
  • Become a Product Advisor. As the page notes, “Are you a resident Miro whiz? Love helping people find solutions to their challenges? You might be the next official Miro Community Product Advisor. Fill out this simple form and get ready to level up your Miro Product skills and help others do the same.”
Miro Screenshot

→ Your action framework


  • What’s the main business outcome I want to achieve by building a community? (Support) Do I want to increase user satisfaction? (Product) Do I want to access product feedback and ideas? (Acquisition) Do I want to acquire new leads, users, and customers? (Contribution) Do I want to empower my users to create templates or third-party assets related to my product? (Engagement) Do I want to foster connection? (Success) Do I want to reduce the churn rate or increase feature adoption?

► Quick note: You may pursue one or several business outcomes.

  • Do I have the resources to create a community right now?
  • Will I hire a community manager? Will I build a team to manage my community?
  • How will I grow my community?
  • What’s the platform I’ll use for my community?


  • You can launch a SaaS community regardless of your $MRR. Since its creation in March 2021, Tally, a free online form builder, reached $10K MRR. However, the company is actively building a community that reached more than 1,000 members on Slack. Moreover, Tally created a community on Reddit. At the moment, the Reddit space has almost 50 members.
  • You’ll want to assign a community manager and build a community team. Managing communities require manual efforts as it can’t be automatized (yet). It requires time, effort, and resources to engage your community members consistently.

💥 To remember: According to Community Predictions 2022 by Vanilla Forums, we’ll see more companies hiring Chief Community Officers. The report cites Alexis Ohanian, who argues that “more than half of the top-500 publicly traded companies are going to have a chief community officer.” Communities will become as popular as having a blog. As a result, we’ll observe an increasing number of tech solutions for building, engaging, and managing online communities. Also, we will move from broad social media platforms to niche communities.