The Basics Of Creating Successful Programs Within A Community

It’s common to recruit a group of your most active members into a superuser program.

Within this program, members are rewarded for performing a range of different actions.

In practice, this often results in members being nudged to do things they haven’t done before. Members who are responding to lots of questions might suddenly be asked to give feedback, create reviews, and manage groups.

Superuser programs often become an umbrella term that encompasses a range of different members doing different activities – often with disappointing results.


Run Multiple Community Programs

As you expand, you can begin to run multiple programs targeting different members to perform different behaviors.

Click to view this table:

Finding members already performing (or nominating themselves to perform a behavior) and encouraging them to do more of it is far more effective than trying to get members to do things they haven’t done before.

1) Identifying Problems To Solve

This also lets you get really specific in the running of specific programs to address specific issues.

First, you identify the behaviors you need more of. For example:

  • If your response rate is low, you need more answers to questions.
  • If the speed of response is low, you need faster answers to questions.
  • If the number of questions is low, you need more questions.
  • If you’re struggling to properly tag, remove, and edit contributions, you need moderators (or group leaders).
  • If you want to know what members want, you need feedback.
  • If you want more members, you need external promotion.
  • If you want more value, you might need more case studies, reviews, and testimonials.

Prioritise these problems by urgency too. Not every problem is equal.

2) Recruit People Most Likely To Solve The Problem

Once you know the behaviors you need, you can select the right group of members for the program. This is pretty easy.

  • If you want people to post a lot of answers, recruit people posting a lot of answers.
  • If you want people to post faster answers, recruit the kinds of people who post quick responses.
  • If you want people to run parts of the community, ask for people to step forward to run parts of the community.
  • If you want a feedback or advisory group, recruit a diverse set of members who represent different parts of the community.

It helps to have a single dataset to filter and search for these members.

3) Design the process and reward structure

Now you can decide how each program will run and its reward structure (ideally invite members to participate in this process).

For some that might be direct access to the brand. To others, it might be points, badges, and status. A little research will uncover the best results for each audience.

For sure, don’t try to launch multiple programs at once. But a superuser program isn’t the only kind of program you can run either. You can create multiple programs targeting specific members with specific activities.

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