Many users on social media associate a large follower base with strong community engagement. Although it helps to have a large following, it does not necessarily mean that the community is loyal and dedicated to your cause. It's important to make a strong effort to pay attention to your online community, find ways to collaborate, and host a place where your members are heard.
Your most engaged users in your community, or "superfans," are loyal supporters that regularly engage online or attend your events. Leveraging these superfans allows your organization to build a stronger community, providing more opportunity for engagement and collaboration. Below are a few ways to begin identifying and leveraging your most engaged supporters online.
How to Identify Superfans on Social Media
Although there are a number of different ways you can identify the most engaged members of your community, below are a few ideas to get started:
- Monitor engagement on native platforms
- Generate monthly engagement reports
- Use third-party tools
These offer a starting point in identifying your top engagers, providing opportunities to discover loyal community members in a variety of different ways. It's important to have a few different methods built into your routine because not all methods will identify the same users.
For example, the analytics features in native platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn don't necessarily identify top engagers. The native platforms do, on the other hand, show you who is overall engaging with you. However with the additional help of third-party tools (we'll go over some examples below), you can easily automate a way to identify users that are engaging with you by specific criteria you set.
Let's dig in a bit deeper.
Monitor Engagement on Native Platforms
If you monitor your social media channels regularly, it's likely that you'll start to recognize the same names engaging with you online within the native platforms. It's important to take note of these users and reciprocate the engagement when necessary. Since these specific users are consistently engaging, you want to make it clear that you're just as loyal to them as they are to you. Follow them back, engage with them, and even amplify their content when necessary.
Generate Monthly Engagement Reports
It's important to regularly evaluate your online presence, and one way to do that is to create monthly reports on your social media growth. Within those reports, highlight examples of engagement from the previous month. This is another useful method to become familiar with your community, see who's giving you kudos, and understand why they're engaging with you.
Use Third-Party Tools
Although the native platforms don't typically identify your most engaged users, there are some third-party tools that can help identify them on Twitter. Below are a few recommended tools to help you grow and nurture your community.
One tool we often use is Audiense. With Audiense, you can create a "dynamic audience'' with criteria based on engagement patterns. For example, you can filter through your community and identify users who have engaged with your posts in a specific way, within a specific period of time. This audience will regularly update itself, so you can quickly check in on your Twitter community to see who's engaging with you the most.
Another online tool that we use for community building is Tweepsmap. With Tweepsmap, you can filter through your Twitter followers based on specific criteria such as location, hashtags in bio, and more. This tool is helpful if you're trying to reach a specific type of user within your community. Not only can you narrow into your own followers, but you can also search for users in a specific niche that don't follow you yet, allowing you to potentially build your community with the right online users.
Lastly, we also use Commun.it to identify our superfans. This community management tool allows you to quickly identify top engagers, notifying you how many times they've engaged with you. You can also easily identify the top influencers in your community, schedule posts, and more.
How to Leverage Superfans
After identifying your superfans, it's important to stay organized with your top engagers and find ways to grow your community with them. Using a spreadsheet is very useful, so you can quickly find the most loyal users in your community, along with any necessary info about them. In the spreadsheet, you should make sure you have their name, social media account, and how they're connected with you. This spreadsheet template is an example of how you can keep track of your superfans.
Of course, a superfan can be something different for your type of organization. Perhaps you host frequent events, and therefore their attendance would signify their loyalty to your cause. These are some common criteria that can make a user a superfan:
- Opted into your email list
- Has followed your social media accounts
- Attended an event
- Subscribed to your newsletter
You want to keep track and find how to grow the relationship with your superfans. For example, maybe you've successfully got the user to subscribe to your newsletter, but they have not started attending your events. This is an important criterion to track so you can stay organized with your top community members.
This process is useful, as you can easily find ways to collaborate with your superfans in an organized way. Perhaps your organization is running a survey in which you know most of these superfans will participate. Or maybe you have an event and you know they'd be interested, so you therefore can send a direct message and personally invite them.
Always Reciprocate Engagement
Although identifying your most engaged members of your community is useful when you need to amplify a certain cause, it's important to be able to reciprocate the favor. Make sure your superfans know that you're listening to them and that it's a two-way street. If they need help amplifying content, be open to collaborating and helping them. They're helping your community grow, and you want to help them grow their community as well.
If you're looking to build and strengthen your community, start with your loyal members. Ignoring your superfans prevents you from nurturing your community to its highest potential. Pay attention to the users that engage with you, listen to them, and be a team player. After all, superfans are what make your community so engaged and strong.
- Take TechSoup Courses' Social Media Marketing for Nonprofits track.
- Find out How to Use Twitter to Engage the Right Community for Your Nonprofit.
- Check out the results of our survey on Nonprofit Social Media Benchmarks 2021.
- Take advantage of TechSoup's Digital Marketing Services.
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