Before we even get into creating an effective Super User program, the initial school of thought should be around - why do you need this program in the first place? A Super User program (or any other community-led program) works on the idea of facilitating a sustainable flywheel effect where your presence is no longer needed to run a community. Although these structured programs can become the crux of your community-led growth strategy, there has to be a strong foundation of understanding and reasoning behind why you’re doing what you’re doing. Is a Superuser program the right call for you? Would you benefit more from an Advocacy or an Ambassador program? What is the difference between these?
What is a Superuser? A community member that is of exceptional value, who stands out vocally and enthusiastically. A superuser or a power user has an upper hand in terms of expertise and sheer passion as compared to other members of the community and is capable enough to leverage that to help others. Now, a superuser program makes sense if you want to identify and nurture your power users to amplify the existing goals of your community. These superusers would be your brand’s official representatives and will play an instrumental role in accentuating your community and business objectives.
A Super User program is a valuable initiative that aligns community goals with your business objectives. It involves leveraging power users to amplify the community's goals and actively contribute to your brand. By offering them a seat at the decision-making table, you can create a scalable knowledge base, tap into crowd-sourced expertise, and deepen the community's subject knowledge.
To make the most of a Super User program, start by defining your objectives. Determine whether you want to enhance support, gather feedback, or foster collaboration. Then, provide channels for communication and collaboration where Super Users can engage and contribute. Recognize their expertise, highlight their achievements, and offer exclusive benefits to show appreciation. By nurturing your Super Users, you foster loyalty and motivate them to actively participate and contribute to the community's growth. Embrace the potential of a Super User program and watch your community thrive with the support of dedicated and passionate users.
When it comes to implementing a successful Super User program, Discourse serves as an excellent example. Sarah Hawk, one of the CEOs at Discourse, shared insights on how they scaled their Super User program and the crucial first step: identifying super users within the community.
To identify super users efficiently, consider using tags. By tagging super users, you can easily filter and identify them without the need for manual selection every time you require their input or involvement. This streamlined approach saves time and effort, allowing you to focus on maximizing the potential of your super user program.
Now, after you’ve identified these superusers, you can segment them using tags to be able to easily communicate later and send relevant resources. After you’ve added that tag, you can use it as a filter to see which members are your superusers.
You can also identify your super users through a pre-built report on Threado’s dashboard that surfaces “Potential Champions” in the community. You can identify if these members are capable of becoming super users and enroll them into the program by tagging them (as shown above).
To ensure the success of your Super User program, it's crucial to align its goals with the objectives you have for your community. While crowdsourcing support is an excellent primary goal, it's essential to prioritize providing the best possible support for your power users before expecting them to reciprocate. Moreover, when defining your goals, be mindful not to confuse "results" with "goals." For instance, increasing community engagement is a result that stems from achieving a specific goal, such as driving more subject matter experts to the community.
When it comes to nurturing and empowering super users, it's important to tap into their intrinsic motivations. People are often driven by the need for confidence, status, or connection. Once you understand what motivates your super users, you can leverage those aspects to incentivize and keep them dedicated to the program. For those seeking confidence or skill improvement, offer educational resources, provide opportunities for them to publicly showcase their work, invite them to guest blog, or include them as speakers in community events. If status holds greater value to them, create hierarchical steps or reward them with badges and custom titles that carry a sense of prestige. And for those driven by connection, foster an open platform where they can connect and network with like-minded individuals.
By aligning your program's goals with your community objectives and focusing on intrinsic motivations, you can effectively nurture and empower your super users. Remember, confidence, status, and connection are powerful motivators. By providing tailored incentives and opportunities that cater to these needs, you'll create a thriving ecosystem where super users are eager to contribute, support, and engage. Together, you'll cultivate a dynamic and passionate community that drives growth, knowledge sharing, and meaningful connections.
Nurturing and empowering your super users means having constant conversations with them, delighting them with new resources, orchestrating timely check-ins, and making sure you’re always delivering whatever they need, whenever they need it.
A good onboarding can always start things off on a positive note. In fact, with Threado, you can use the same “Super user” tag to enroll them into the workflow and onboard them.
Once you’ve activated the workflow, any member that gets tagged as a super user will be directly enrolled in it. You can design an elaborate workflow that onboards over a certain period of time and delivers all critical pieces of information for them to get started.
Other than that, outreach can help you reach out to them whenever you want. So, you can schedule weekly check-ins and send them DMs just to see how are they doing or if they’re facing any problems.
You can schedule this to go out every couple of weeks and not have to worry about manually sending it. In fact, you can also use outreach to communicate upcoming events, reminders, competitions, or any routine updates.
After you’ve started a superuser program, give it some time to get it off the ground. When it comes to community programs, the results become apparent simply through observations. Here are a few ways in which you can measure the impact of your superuser programs -
Once you’ve identified the core impact of your superuser program, try and revisit the strategy to see what worked the best and what didn’t.