How to build successful superuser programs ft. Sarah Hawk of Discourse

Learnings from the fifth episode of Threado Community Hour featuring Sarah Hawk of Discourse, and our very own Pramod Rao.
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May 24, 2022

It’s 2022 - the year of Community-led growth is upon us. The best time to build your SaaS community was before you launched your product. The second best time is now. But community building is tough. It takes time, courage, efforts, persistence, failures, second-guesses, leap-of-faiths, sleepless nights, and maybe even a couple of urges to give everything up. But it doesn’t have to be done alone. We’re here to help and give you the resources you need to succeed.

Presenting Threado Community Hour - an hour-long panel discussion with some of the most successful community builders and networking sessions to help you learn the best engagement tactics, grow your network, and get answers to the questions that matter to you.

In this episode, we have Sarah Hawk, COO at Discourse join us for an insightful conversation.

In this episode of Threado community events, join Pramod Rao and Sarah Hawk as they delve into Super User Programs. Sarah is currently the COO of Discourse and has been part of the Discourse family for past five years. She previously worked with Fever B and was the head of community at Fever B. She is also a fitness enthusiast and is a trainer at a prominent fitness facility in New Zealand.

We are so excited to pick her brain and gain insight into Super User Programs from someone who has had more than 25 years of industry experience.

Here are the key takeaways from this session:

What are Super User Programs: Super User Programs are made up of community experts who are passionate about the community and work to amplify the goal of the community. They are very different from ambassadors as ambassadors apply to a program where as super users are handpicked.

How to pick Super Users: To pick super users we have to decide which metric we value more, past benefits or future achievements. If you are looking at past benefits, then super users will float up in the community by themselves, they are the ones who are most active and enthusiastic in the community and your community managers will notice quickly. If you are looking to the future then you need to consider what you want to achieve in to future and your market growth potential. A good example of this is the Lululemon ambassadorship program.

Preventing SUP failure: While creating a Super User Program may seem like a daunting task here are four things to keep in mind while creating a SUP so that your chances of failure decrease.

👉 Do not create a Super User Program for the sake of creating it. You need to create it to fill aneed. (Such as scaling your support or increasing market potential)

👉 A Super User Program without a framework will fail, a community will need guidelines and expectations to flourish.

👉 You cannot create a SUP with a rigid rules and expect people to follow them, arbitrary rulespave the way to failure. Super Users need to have a say in the rules so that they aresponsibility to uphold them instead of the rules being imposed on them.

👉 You need to monitor the feedback you get from you community and your Super Users.After a general discussion, the event broke into a workshop where three key points were discussed:

Goals for a Super User Program:

- Scaling Community

- Providing safe space for community discussion

- Filling gap in community

- Increase community engagement

- Provide better support

Super User Identification:

- Desire to contribute to community

- Keen to engage new members.

- Reputation in community

- Clear understanding of community

- Community Referrals

Nurturing and Empowering Super Users:

- Identify and provide correct motivation

- Opportunity to better themselves

- Motivate them to better the community

- Allow them to help decide on events

- Chance to connect with higher ups in community

- Validate their hard work and highlight them on social media

- Exclusive sneak peeks of unreleased products

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