#protip: Superfan Committees Offer Lots Of Insight

These days not much I read on industry blogs about social media and online communities makes me stop and think “Wow, that’s actually a great idea.”

Today, that dry spell is over.

I was skimming through a post on the Razorfish blog about  superfans in an online community, which featured some quotes from a talk that Zynga Community Manager Nathan McGee gave recently, and something jumped out at me.

The whole post is great, but one bit was especially prescient given the current state of corporate social media and community management.

It’s a simple concept. One that should be a no-brainer for any organization putting together a social media strategy. Nathan explains that with the Mob Wars game, Zynga has established a committee of people passionate about Mob Wars, who are outside of Zynga.

Nathan has a “Player Advisory Committee” for Mafia Wars that provides feedback to Zynga. These committee members comprise MW’s strongest advocates, the folks who are the most vocal outside of Zynga, who podcast and blog the heck out of MW.

Nathan doesn’t elaborate on the kind of feedback is given, or how Zynga uses the feedback, but the concept is very interesting.

When you’re in an office, it’s easy to get cubicle-think. Establishing a committee of individuals who hit certain use-goals, or are are considered “power users”, offers a window into the thoughts and feelings of the users who care most about the product or idea.

Having that committee would also allow you to test new features or new ideas out on them. Get their honest feedback, take it into consideration, and launch a product or feature with greater confidence that the community will like and use it.

Image credit: Flickr/Hawaii County