Community Building July 1, 2020

How to retain "power users" as you diversify?

Gino Mangnoesing @g13g

Hey community builders / managers!

How do you make sure that, as you grow your community across channels and platforms, you don't lose sight of your most loyal and engaged community members or "power users"?

I'm curious if/how you:

  • spot and keep track of them
  • reward them for their loyalty / engagement
  • learn and prioritize their input

Thanks ✌️

  1. 3

    Awesome question!
    I'm actually working on an article about that, but it is not quite finished yet. I'll send it to you on LinkedIn once it is finished.
    Spotting power users is one of the most essential tasks one has to achieve, and many people have different approaches to it. Essentially, track the time a person spends engaging with the community, so as in DSM (Daily Sent Messages) or another value, which I like to call the Quality index, where I spent time accumulating the quality of messages users sent
    Does the user a) post well-formulated messages with a message or a contribution of high value or b) post a large sum of low-quality messages without high quality?
    The essential challenge is to find out what engages your user subgroup more, high frequency-low value messages-or certain, high-quality messages? This is quite easy to track, even with simple scripts, by tracking the total num of replies to posts and sorting them to high/or low value. This always depends on the type of community you are building. Keeping track is mostly a mere task of coordination, write down who your most active users, are find out their interests so you are able to engage with them and build a long-lasting relationship between them and your community.
    Rewarding them is an important task,since you definitely want to encourage their activity. This can be done by either giving them special abilities (Like making them a community moderator-It's a certain feeling of power and responsibility for them and you also get something for you-someone moderating for free!)
    You can also give them access to special features, like a Beta Access key, or a not shipped yet Product version. I also personally recommend that the most active users get priviliges like special roles or the ability to be spotlighted (ie interviewed) in your media production (podcast, newsletter, etc)
    Prioritizing their input is, depending on your choice of tools, also a question of coordination, since you can easily mark the most active users in many different tools and therefore prioritize their tools. You could also give them the ability to contact you on a certain email address to give you feedback faster.

    1. 2

      @malteianlauterbach I would also love to check out your LinkedIn piece when it's finished!

    2. 1

      Very interesting! I like the idea of measuring engagement that way and giving people extra attention and abilities based on their contribution. Makes a lot of sense! It reminds me of open-source software, where people try to find people for the core team amongs their contributors.

  2. 3

    This is such a great question!

    I actually posted a framework for thinking abt this earlier this week--

    But it sounds like you already "get" this intrinsically.

    I host an interview series where I speak to the creatives and entrepreneurs building online communities, and a lot of my guests have spoken to this question. Here are recaps on 3 that touch on this question of rewarding them and listening to them--

    The bottom line here is that this will differ depending on what your product or service or community is focused on. If you're talking about gamers on Fortnite, for example, it would be a totally different set of things than if you're offering them vs., say, Glossier makeup obsessives. The goal should be figuring out ways to make them feel special, however form that may take. This requires creating channels to stay in constant communication with them to understand what they would want!

    If you want to check out more recaps which might be helpful you can see them here or sign up for future episodes and recaps here

    1. 1

      Thanks for sharing! I like that framework.

      It seems really important to think upfront about specific interactions or ways of engagements that will qualify people as "Capital C" .

      I also like the approach described by @malteianlauterbach, trying to quantify the quality and level of engagement, especially when you have a large group of "lowercase c" people and you're trying to spot candidates. How do you think / go about that?

      Subscribed to your YT channel, good stuff!

      1. 2

        Coming in here a week later to say: You're welcome! Glad it was helpful. I completely agree that figuring out specifically HOW to quantify those "Capital C" engagements is essential to being able to put the framework to use. And thank you for the heads up about @malteianlauterbach, so helpful! I am super obsessive about doing this when I work on this with clients :)

        Thank you so much for signing up! Happy to have you. If you haven't already, this is the best place to sign up to get updates and content on all things community and find out details about future episodes--

        (I really use YouTube just to host the videos).

        Hope you're well!

  3. 2

    +1.. want to learn from others on this topic!