Perks for superusers, ambassadors


(Rebecca Braglio) #1

I’m brainstorming for really unique perks to expand an ambassador program to different tiers and goals.

Our members are either patients with chronic conditions or caregivers of someone who has one. Apart from the standard swag, discounts, etc., yearly conference ops, is there any really, really cool/valuable/useful perks you have either given out or gotten as a participant?

I’m open to anything - reimbursement on med co-pays for example, paying for monthly massages…and it doesn’t have to even be health related, just something different. Any suggestions???

(Shreyas) #2

Some things I could think at the top of my mind include:

  • Depending on the platform you’re running, you could have a private section for your ambassadors to share problems, concerns or even suggestions about the ambassador program.
  • I’m guessing you probably might have this, but again, based on the platform, you could have a user flair saying that they’re an ambassador. This provides a feeling of authenticity and is recognition in a way. If you want to take this up a notch, you could probably feature one ambassador every month and write a blogpost, along with things that they’re interested. This gives an opportunity to know people in the community a little better and it might be really interesting to see their backgrounds. I’m not quite sure if your members are open to discussing about themselves or if it’s an anonymous forum where people really want things to be private, but just throwing an idea.
  • Given the nature of the community, you probably have trained experts answering some of the questions, while the ambassadors offer more peer to peer support? You could offer special training sessions for the ambassadors with the experts so that they can respond or deal with situations in a better way.
  • Books might be a good idea. You could either have the ambassadors give their reading list, or just surprise them with a nice book that you’d recommend. This, along with a personalised letter, might be a nice gesture recognizing them for their work.
  • If this is a really small and close knit community of ambassadors that you’re constantly in touch with and you know their background, perhaps you could look at things that that would help them professionally? This could mean a wide variety of things ranging from paying for training session to introducing someone to a great job opportunity. Again, this requires a very different level of connection with the community members.

I was at Swarm Conf couple of weeks back where I got to listen to the community manager at Beyondblue. They focus on building a community around mental health. They seem to have a super user program of sorts. Might be interesting to talk to them.

(Sarah Hawk) #3

I wrote a section on incentives in my guide that may give you some ideas.

(Nick Sandberg) #4

Great advice! I love the idea of ambassadors. Thanks for the tip!

(Nick Sandberg) #5

Great article! Thanks for posting this!

(Nick Emmett) #6

What are the typical things your users value?

What about things like discounts, or even free, on therapy/treatments?
Charity donations on their behalf?
I guess depending on the condition there maybe be specific items that could make their lives a little easier.

you could invite people of a certain level to an annual/quarterly/monthly meet-up - get to meet each other, have someone in their field talking, do something cool?

(Rebecca Braglio) #7

I will definitely check this out — I love the idea of the book. We may be able to do a book club as well. Definitely considering the peer to peer support/certification! Thanks so much!!!

(Rebecca Braglio) #8

So, we had some really amazing ideas re: treatments, health-related perks (like covering their co-pays, paying for service animal, housecleaning, etc.). Unfortunately, in the US it will be considered income and we’d have tax implications (and they’ll have implications on their disability payments).

We do matching gifts on charity and pay conference support now. But I think the theme of meet-ups are something we need to explore - I love your idea of meeting someone in their field talking. Thanks so much!!!

(Rebecca Braglio) #9

Checking now…I’m sure I’ve read this :slight_smile:

(Colleen Young) #10

@rebeccabraglio At Mayo Connect, we call our ambassadors “Mentors”. We host teleconferences for them every 2 months, and bring them to Mayo Clinic for an annual Mentor Meetup. The Meetup includes hotel, meals, and a day-long meeting. A special highlight is the Sunday BBQ that brings together several Mayo Clinic physicians and leadership for the mentors to meet in a casual setting. This year we even did Karaoke (more about that another time).

The official part of the meetup includes:

  • a keynote speaker
  • update about the community
  • future planning and brainstorming
  • training

They also have the option to stay an extra day to take part in the Mayo Clinic Social Media Residency, which is a one-day training on how to use social media in health.

Naturally we finish off the annual meeting with swag gifts and brochures. I’ll let Teresa tell you how much she likes her swag.

When I go somewhere and I carry water, I use the Mayo Clinic water bottle that Colleen “gifted” to us at the May meeting. Since I live in Michigan, people invariably look at it and ask me why I have a Mayo water bottle. This gives me the opportunity to tell them about Mayo Connect and pull from my purse one of the Mayo Connect info cards and hand it to them. ~Teresa, volunteer mentor, 3,744 posts

(Colleen Young) #11

@hawk the superuser template download is unavailable. :frowning: Can you help?

(Sarah Hawk) #12

I was just able to download… were you getting an error?

superusers_mobilize.pdf (121.1 KB)
superuser_planning_template.pdf (134.9 KB)

(Colleen Young) #13

Thanks @Hawk. It’s working on the page for me now too.

(Joel Rangelle) #14

So I was putting together a guide for users of my community software (Invision Power) on subscription programs a couple of weeks ago, and obviously the question of perks / benefits came up.

Before you try to cast a wide net on creative ideas for perks, I think you first need to ask yourself: who are you rewarding and why?

It’s not just about throwing any and all fun perks at users. The most meaningful perks are ones that help them be better at what you’re rewarding them for. Don’t get me wrong, things like in-home massages, home housecleaning, maybe some community perks like badges are all nice. But they’re meaningless to the true motivation of the person. Help them be better at what you’re trying to reward.

For example, if you’re trying to reward a Brand Ambassador:

  • create custom business cards / nameplates that they can use to hand out
  • offer an inhouse point-of-contact for all support related issues, so when they refer a client, they can refer a client not just to the Mayo Clinic, but to “Jody at the Mayo Clinic who will take care of you.” Give them that insider, personal connection when they refer.
  • If you ever organize local meetups, let them help organize, give suggestions on who to invite, etc.
  • host a video at their home or your local organization’s office where they can introduce themselves and talk about why they love working with you
  • bring them together for a two day conference on sharing best practices and tips. And host an amazing after party / relax time for them to strengthen their sense of community.

In short, if you’re rewarding them for outreach, help them elevate their ability to outreach. That’s what intrinsically motivates them throughout the year, not any superfluous perks like inhouse cleaning or pet setting or website badges. Hope that makes sense.

(Rebecca Braglio) #15

This makes a lot of sense and I really like the way you break it down. So, we currently do everything that you listed under “Brand Ambassadors.” I’m looking for perks/benefits that focused on showing “appreciation” and make them feel special. The group is made up of chronically ill individuals (some who have terminal diagnosis) who help us with site moderation and writing personal articles. We already pay them for their efforts, although money isn’t the only motivator for this group. For this particular group segment, we really aren’t trying to “reward” them for anything. Our community mission is to “Make People Feel Good” - so these perks are for that.

So, we’re more focused on the relationship we have with them and helping make their lives a little easier where we can (whether it’s by helping with co-pays, etc.) rather than trying to get them to do something, if that makes sense?

(Joel Rangelle) #16

Got it. First of all, congrats on aligning your core rewards with the goals of the group.

If you’re looking to pamper them, then there are two broad ways:
Physical pampering
Emotional pampering

Physical pampering would be like massages, spa day, a retreat, caretaker services, lawn Care or gutter cleaning to free up time or any other activities that help them feel physically relaxed and stress free. It can be both services or objects, like a new wheelchair that’s easier to get in and out or handrail installations to get around the home.

Emotional pampering is where I personally think you should focus your efforts because this is the one that will make them emote positively in the long run. This can include anything from social activities like a retreat where they meet and befriend other superuses to an appreciation cards or videos sent to super users written by the people that they’ve helped. You want to focus on the emotional pleasure derived from participating in your group, and that usually means forming and cementing strong real world relations.

Hope that helps and let us know what you eventually decide to do!

(Rebecca Braglio) #17

Yes!!! “Emotional pampering” — I love it. Love it. In fact, I’m stealing this because I know it will resonate with our Exec team (and our members).
Videos written by the people that they’v helped. This is brilliant. Brilliant. Thank you. In fact, this in and of itself would be the most amazing perk ever them.

Thanks so very much for the help everyone! I feel like the light bulb just exploded in my head :slight_smile: