Creating and Caring for Your Community’s Superusers

Lots of different industries have superusers. Smartphone gaming is a great example, especially in the free-to-play distribution model. The general wisdom is that more than 80% of an F2P game’s profits come from 20% (and less) of its players. Game companies call these people “whales”, but community managers call them superusers.

What Are Superusers?

According to The Community Roundtable, those communities with multi-level advocacy programs see around 46% more active members, fuelled by their superusers.

Foursquare [recognizes] its superusers for the content they create and edit,” says Foursquare’s Support and Product Operations Director, Tracey Churray. “It incentivises both quality and quantity of content and moderation.”

How to Get Superusers

Building a nucleus of superusers starts with recognition. Not necessarily reward, as you don’t want people chasing after the title just because they get something for free. They must do it because they want to participate and understand the value of that participation.

Good examples are found in eBay’s Top Sellers program, and especially in Allrecipies Allstars program. Your brand’s recognition is the superuser’s reward, and that’s a powerful incentive for people who love your company’s reason for existing.

But it doesn’t happen quickly. It takes some watching and listening before you can spot what makes a superuser for your community.

“You can’t create a blanket community plan and expect that to fit exactly,” Twitch community manager Marcus Graham tells “You have to watch things grow.”

It’s an older piece, but Lithium has some great further reading on the subject of superusers right here, and myCMGR recently ran an excellent Google Hangout on the subject.