Diffusing/mitigating clique influence

Hey folks,

Curious if anyone has experience in handling super user cliques and keeping them from driving new members away.

I’m managing a community that’s right around one year in age and there’s a clear sense of community forming, which is great! The problem comes from an anonymous survey I posted where multiple members touched on how they have a hard time feeling included. There’s notes about super users operating as a clique and only tag one another, or are more critical of members outside of the group.

My initial thought is to lead by example and tag other members into conversations, but there are a LOT to do that with (70k population w/20+ super users). Is there an easier way to scale inclusion of others while still ensuring the super users can have their clique? I don’t want to dilute their sub-community too much, but I feel like something has to give in order to reach a greater level of inclusivity with new members. One other thing I introduced was gamification, more specifically badges that are awarded at different tiers for welcoming new members. That seems to be improving a component of the issue but if there are more scalable strategies (that don’t require much manual lift) I’d love to try them out.

Any experiences with handling this sort of thing would be greatly appreciated, thank you in advance!

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Hi! This is definitely a common problem as communities age and get bigger. One idea that popped to mind is to create a “common project” that would unite members across the whole community, regardless of how long they’ve been a member. Either working together to set a record, accomplish something tangible, or unite against some external force, might get them to break down the internal walls a bit. Just a thought!

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That’s a great idea! I have a couple activities lined up that could fit that goal so I’ll play up the “work together” angle and measure the impact. Thank you!

Hi @l.liddell
This is a very common issue like @rhogroupee said.

From my experience it helps if you create and reinforce a vision of collaboration and inclusion. You may wanna start with a few superusers, talk with them directly and discuss with them the best approach to trigger participation from newcomers. This way you can build a solution together with them and have them championing your the vision.

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I actually tried this out this morning with a couple of them, I can see where it would help to have them involved with the process of encouraging new members.

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