How to identify your developer super fans

Tessa @ Devocate
Tessa @ Devocate
How to identify your developer super fans

Identifying your super fans is no easy task without the right tools or access to the right data. We can help you change that.

We recently shared a post titled "What are developer super fans?" Where we walked through what super fans are and why they're so important to your business. Unless you're incredibly tied into your community and your users, you may not be able to easily identify your developer super fans.

Identifying your super fans is no easy task without the right tools or access to the right data. We've used a few different tools and data capture techniques in the past—our clients all come in with data in different tools & places. Of all the techniques we've tried, the best one we've found so far is Orbit.

What are developer super fans?
Developer super fans are developer customers who are considered advocates for your product. They speak positively about your product—sending new users your way.

Leverage Orbit to identify your super fans

The Orbit Model is a framework for building high gravity communities. A high gravity community is one that excels at attracting and retaining members by providing an outstanding member experience.

Setup Orbit

Use this blog post to guide your way through getting signed up for Orbit and integrating your platforms like Twitter, GitHub, Slack or Discourse. You can also use Zapier to connect other tools.

Signup for Orbit (free)

Messin' with data

It can take hours to days for Orbit to import all of your members and activities due to API limitations. Be patient and come back when the import warning is no longer in your dashboard.

Get acquainted with Orbit—their docs are better than anything we could write. They have lovely documentation.

Find your way around and begin to look at Orbit & Love stats of your members. After reading the Orbit Model, you should now understand why these folks in Orbit 1 with a growing love stat are your developer super fans. 🙌

You can even export these members and bring them into another tool or document.

Depending on the stage or size of your company, you may want to also bring in Orbit 2 members as well, which are considered participants, but not advocates. You can easily groom these relationships and convert these members into advocates.

Leverage your instincts and lots of data to identify your super fans

This method is less than ideal, because you are not actually tracking their engagement down to each activity to know if your user is truly a super fan of your brand. However, some super fans make themselves very clear. We can do a bit searching and data-digging to find them.

Things you can do to identify your super fans

  • Begin searching the internet for your brand and product name
  • Setup a free trial with Mention and listen for mentions for your brand
  • Search Twitter for tagged mentions
  • Search Twitter for untagged mentions
  • Spend time in your developer community spaces, who shines bright?
  • If you have a developer community, look through your top contributors and replies
  • Leverage pre-existing company data like CRM's or sales tools
  • If you're on Product Hunt, see who has upvoted or engaged with your product there
  • Search on dev.to and find folks who are blogging about you

Get to know your super fans

After you have identified possible super fans, it's time to do the research and figure out which fans you may want to work with. Every developer that is speaking positively about your product should be brought into your inner circle. There's usually a time and place for each of your super fans, you just need to get to know them so you better understand them so you can motivate and reward them accordingly.

Things to consider when deciding to work with your super fans

  • Professional representation
    Do their professional values and ideologies match that of your product and brand?
  • Personal representation
    Same goes for personal. Do they set an example that you would be proud of as a publicly known advocate?
  • Social following
    Bonus points if they have a strong social following, but not a deal breaker for working with them. You can help them build it up through advocacy campaigns.
  • Developer focused community contributions
    Do they follow the code of conduct in communities? Are they kind? These super fans may be representing your company in some cases, you should ensure they will be a positive addition, not the opposite.
    • GitHub
    • Dev.to
    • Other niche developer communities that matter to your product

Engaging your super fans for the first time

Use the Building Trust Model for tips on how to establish your first engagement with your super fan. You should always have a conversation or two with anyone you're planning to engage with on an advocacy level. You're trusting these folks to represent your company, you should make sure you're on the same page and it's a fit for both parties.

Ready to give customer developer advocacy a try?

This post will help you with a few ideas.

What to do with early developer super fans
Developer super fans are exactly what you need to scale your business, don’t let these early customers slip through the cracks.


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