Creating a private area on the forum for superusers...

  • 7 June 2017
  • 9 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +3 do you achieve this? Does it work?

I was chatting to Tim at NLE and he mentioned they have this and it allows them to share information with them but not with the rest of the users.

It sounds like a good way to really engage the superusers so I'm keen to find out if anyone else has done this? Does it work?


9 replies

Userlevel 4
Hi @OVOdarran there are two separate aspects to your questions.

The practical one of creating a private category and category group, which is fully explained in our Knowledge Base.

The other one is related to the planning and creation of the super user group itself. Have you given this some thought? Some helpful questions that may get you started are:

Have you already had a face to face meeting with your super users (or potential SU)? And, also, do they know each other?

What knowledge do your super users bring to your community that you consider specially valuable?

What kind of activity do you want them to increase or start doing in your community?

What kind of relationship do your super users have with your brand and how can you strengthen it through a closer relationship?

What is most important for them about being a super user? What are their main motivators to be engaged?
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
Hi @Daniel

Great advice, thanks for the response. We are just thinking about the idea, but definitely need to review the full picture before getting it started.

We are planning an in person meeting for Q3 so that will definitely help. Some of our users already have had conversations together are an familiar with each other on the forum so we are getting there.

Lots still to think through, hence posting here for advice and guidance!

Userlevel 4
Badge +1
Hi Darran, on our forum (telco, 10 superusers, 25 very active members) it definitely works out great. Superusers feel special if they can join you (community managers and moderators) in a private board, where they can talk to you and each other directly.

We also started with a meetup (in real life) and suggested the possibility for a private board. Superusers use it mainly to help moderators solving questions or to draw attention on questions from customers who need a quick reply. They also share their comments about the forum (platform) itself and we have a tittle-tattle topic about almost everything (mainly beer).

So, start with a real life meetup and suggest a private board, open the board with a "welcome" post and a post where everybody can introduce themselves... and your are on the right trakc i guess.

Good luck, and if you have any question, feel free to ask.
Userlevel 4
Hi @OVOdarran,

I've created closed super user boards on the communities I ran and they were all really valuable. They function as the core of the super user program and it's the place to truly let the super users bond with each other and with the moderators and community manager(s).

You are already planning an offline meet-up, that's great! It's also a good opportunity to start a members only clubhouse on your community.

I used 3 main components in the closed super user board. A slowchat, a 'ask moderator for help' topic and a newsroom.

This is just a topic functioning as a large chatroom. All subjects allowed, and in practice a place to discuss the weather, news, beers, work, have a laugh about new topic on the community, anything really 😃

Ask a moderator for help topic
This is a topic where a super user can notify the moderator team about a topic that needs attention. Communicate that your moderators will pick those up the same day. This way you empower super users. They will try troubleshooting a greater variety of topics because they know they have a 'Bat phone' to the moderators. This had a positive impact on peer-to-peer support %.

In this topic you keep the super users up to date about any updates on products, services, customer service etc. Basically any news / update you were already planning to put on the community, but then a few days earlier preferably. This exclusive preview shows your trust in them and makes them feel a bit special. It also made them eager to help spread the news after embargo date.

Wouldn't it be cool to setup such a closed board and give access to everyone you invite for the offline meetup when you send out the invitation. So they have a place to live up to the event, discuss travel options etc. And afterwards share a recap with a picture on the public community, and a in-depth one with all the pictures and videos in the closed board.
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
Thanks for all the really helpful hints and tips! Really appreciate the advice.

We would definitely like to set this up and are hopefully planning an in-life meet with some of our active users in the near future so we can discuss this with them directly and get their input.

Definitely a lot of good ideas here, I will keep you posted on how this progresses.

Userlevel 2
Hi Darran,

Nice to read that you're taking our small talk into consideration! :)
Me and my teammates really need to be more active on this community (I'll start with updating my profile soon).

There are a lot of useful tips in this topic. We have a hidden section on our forum just for our superusers. The superusers need to earn a specific rank to get access to this section. We automatically send the new superuser a private message when this rank is earned. All we need to do then is manually adjust the acces rights for this user.

It's a fun way to get more interaction with your most important community members. It indeed makes them feel more special, but they also give something in return. They are more active and really take the time to help others out! It's a place for them to share feedback on our products, forum structure and to built a friendship with other superusers and with the admins.

We still need to arrange our first offline meeting with our superusers, but we're already busy thinking about the set up. One of our superusers made a post in the closed section and asked us to have a nice bbq in the park and treated us with delicious bbq pictures. We might go for another approach, but it shows their enthusiasm.

I'm curious about your approach and will definitely keep a close eye! 😉
Userlevel 6
Badge +3
Hey @NLE'er Tim

Yes our conversation at the Innovation lab definitely got me thinking for sure! Now we have our first full super user and quite a few regular active users, it feels like something we should start working towards. A space where we can give them help and advice on how to handle certain situations, so they can then step in and help resolve an issue and also just as a great space for engagement.

With our in person event, we are hoping to bring them into the office and get them to meet the team behind the forum and also have some time to have a face to face discussion around the forum get some direct feedback, share some ideas for the future etc. Make them feel really special and part of what we trying to achieve.

I will definitely keep the group updated on how we get on and share the output.

Userlevel 4
Badge +1
Hi all!

We are starting to plan our super user program! We already have 4 active users in our community (
One question, do you have special guideline/ rules for Super users?

Do you have a content plan for the super user sub-forum?

And my last question, what would you recommend for an offline activity, if your super users are around the world?

Thank you!
Userlevel 7
Badge +1
Hey @mafe.pelaez,

First of all, congrats to 50k users!!! 😁🍾

I really like Anja's post where you are thanking your superusers for being so awesome, it is always good to celebrate these kind of milestones...

About the guidelines:

I never handled special rules for our superusers, as I believed they should follow the same rules as "regular" users. Otherwise they could start feeling a bit "too special" and immune to Moderation. So if I would write a superuser guideline, I surely would include this.

If you also intend to share not-yet-official information with them, make sure that they sign a NDA so that you can be sure that they not leak any information to the public.

Regarding a content plan:

I think it is a good idea. I never did this myself, because my superusers would already create a lot of new topics themselves. I would know in advance when e.g. a new update is being planned, and give a little sneak-peak in the superuser subforum. Or I would share an announcement before I publish it, so that they can review it first. However I would only do that when I knew that the subject is actually of their interest. So if you plan to create a content calendar for them, make sure that your plans match with their field of interest.

Last but not least, offline activities:

Offline activities are very valuable for the health of your superuser group, they are really worth the effort. When superusers get to know each other face-to-face, they will not just get along and interact much better, but they might as well share some best practices which they can use in the community... After a couple of events and meetups, my superusers started to see each other more as friends than "merely" users on the same community.

If your community budget should not be sufficient to fly them in, I can recommend to you to reach out to other departments. You could e.g. plan a number of focus groups, expert Q&A etc. with your product teams. They hopefully will cover a share of the costs to get them to your office when they know that they will get some valuable insights from power users. Should that not be sufficient, try to get a sponsor from management who likes the community and what they are doing. Emphasizing how much good things they do for your company for free usually is a good argument to convince internal stakeholders to give something back to them. ;)

Having gatherings only via e.g. Google Hangout often does not come close to the impact that an actual meetup in real life will have. You can still let 1-2 users join your meetup via Hangout if they cannot be there in person, however I would always try my best to get everybody to join in real life. :)

Let me know if there are more questions around this, or if you are having doubts about something that you plan to do!