How Spotify’s Rock Star Program Empowers and Rewards Community Super Users

Spotify’s Rock Stars are super users, officially recognized by the company and given tools, resources, guidance and perks for answering questions and starting conversations in their online community and helping users on Twitter, through the @AskRockStars account.

With more than 150 members, the program will celebrate its fifth birthday next month. Each year, Spotify hosts Rock Star Jam, an event at their head quarters in Stockholm. They fly in the top 10 most helpful Rock Stars to meet company leaders, see whats coming next, offer feedback and enjoy the city.

Global community manager Meredith Humphrey has been with Spotify since 2011, starting as a community moderator, and she breaks down the Rock Star Program on this episode of Community Signal. Plus:

  • The shift they made in product announcements to protect community staff
  • How the Rock Star Jam has evolved over the years
  • Meredith’s exploration of what ROI means for community at Spotify

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Big Quotes

On the start of the @AskRockStars Twitter account: “We had this hypothesis that there were super users that preferred Twitter. … We asked four of our stars to try it out, and we had to do a lot of testing to make sure that we could give super users the tools we use for Twitter. … They loved it. It was really successful. They were sending out thousands of tweets because people will obviously just tweet their thoughts. ‘Having a bad day, Spotify is not working.’ They were finding loads of these tweets. … It’s their preferred medium, but we’re reaching out to the customers that prefer that medium, as well.” -Meredith Humphrey

On surprise and delight moments on Twitter: “We said to the [super users] that prefer Twitter, ‘Why? What is it that you love about it?’ They said that the folks who are reaching out on Twitter are so pleasantly surprised that they’re getting help. They weren’t expecting it. They were just complaining to the world about something, and when they get this really nice, ‘Hey, I can help you,’ they’re so delighted in a way that community users sometimes aren’t. Community users are there because they have a issue and a question, and they expect a reply. The gratitude and being able to surprise people like that, it really makes [our Rock Stars’] day.” -Meredith Humphrey

On the creation of Rock Star Jam: “In 2013, we had this user, he’s no longer in the program, but he made an incredible amount of posts in the community. I think when he left, he was at 50,000, but he had this really amazing system of macros and templates that he used. Super knowledgeable, really friendly guy. Our VP of customer service just said, ‘Let’s fly him out to Stockholm. He’s contributed so much. Let’s introduce him to the founders and the community team.’ We did. He was based in the UK. We flew him to Stockholm, and it was such a great experience on both ends. It was so great to chat with that star and get great feedback and talk to him one-on-one, face-to-face. We said, ‘This was so successful, let’s expand this. Let’s launch a full event for the top 10.’ That’s how it started in 2014.” -@Meredith Humphrey

On how different departments view community ROI: “My goal as the global community manager is to have a model or multiple models lined up side-by-side that I can show to anyone at the company and they will say, ‘I can get behind these numbers.’ Because I think some teams look at the impact survey and say, ‘This is spot on.’ Other teams say, ‘I have a lot of questions.’ I want to be able to go to any team, any department and they say, ‘These are undeniable, solid numbers.'” -Meredith Humphrey

About Meredith Humphrey

Originally from South Carolina, Meredith Humphrey received a BA in English with a Journalism minor at Clemson University. She then went on to get a Master’s degree in International Journalism with a Music focus at City University in London. Meredith spent time in the UK writing for various B2B live music industry magazines such as Live UK, Audience and IQ.

In 2009, she heard about a new exciting company on the horizon called Spotify. Meredith started with Spotify in 2011 and, since then, has filled many roles in the UK, US, and Sweden – most recently becoming the global community manager in Stockholm.

Meredith is passionate about the music industry and helping artists reach new audiences around the world. She’s also equally passionate about trivia nights, tacos, and her cat, Murray.

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