Every membership organization has members who go above and beyond.
They’re the people who show up early to every panel, share every social media post and bring something extra to the table. They’re your biggest fans, advocates, and ambassadors.
But as much as you might appreciate your organization’s super users, it’s not always clear how to bring them into your overall strategy.
Here are four ways your organization can tap the power of super users — and a closer look at the value they can add along the way.
Support super users who host special events
Most organizations host several tentpole events each year. This can take the form of an annual fund drive, a conference with big speakers or even a 5K. Tentpole events are an important way to promote your organization’s visibility within the community and rally members around your cause.
Because they’re elaborate, tentpole events don’t happen often. In between, your organization can lean on super users to foster community through local events and casual meetups.
Take stock of where your super users live and who might be part of their networks. Create a few templates for easy events — a happy hour, or a hike — and share these resources with your super users.
With a little effort and a small budget for refreshments or flyers, your super users can quickly cement local community ties.
Seek feedback about your onboarding process
Super users are notable for their generosity and genuine care for your organization. Because they’re deeply invested, they’re often willing to offer critical feedback: The hard truths that, when confronted, can help your organization improve.
If you’re going to choose one area to start with, onboarding is especially critical. Once new members have committed and invested in your organization, onboarding makes a lasting first impression.
Super users often organically engage in the onboarding process, making themselves available to answer questions or locate resources. They have unique insights into how your organization can better set new members up for success.
Even better — many super users would enthusiastically join a program that welcomes new members and helps them obtain value as soon as possible. Along with asking for feedback, your organization can further support super users by turning their ad hoc engagement into a more coordinated effort.
Invite super users to participate in forums
Super users often believe so whole-heartedly in your organization that they’re willing to invest their own time and resources into making things better for everyone.
Hosting forums, focus groups and even webforms soliciting feedback are excellent ways to make sure super users’ voices are heard. While you shouldn’t expect exclusively positive feedback, you can rely on them for necessary and constructive criticism.
Understanding when and why super users invest their personal resources can help you identify areas for growth. If members widely embrace unofficial traditions or programs, there may be ways to officially adopt and fund them.
Tap super users to moderate online communities
Online communities hosted on Facebook, Slack and other platforms can provide immense value to members. These spaces can provide a place to pose questions, pool resources and signal boost relevant initiatives to many members at once.
Moderating these online spaces can be time consuming and challenging. A poorly moderated community can quickly be abandoned, or even toxic.
That’s where super users come in. They’re already highly engaged in your organization and deeply familiar with your values and community management. Many would welcome the opportunity to assume a leadership position by voluntarily moderating an online community.
Whether you tap super users to gain valuable insights into areas for improvement, or to organize online and in person community events, they’re a powerful asset to any membership organization.
October 15, 2020