Lithys 2016: SAS - Marketing Champion (2 of 2 entries)

Lithys 2016: SAS - Marketing Champion (2 of 2 entries)

a.pngCompany: SAS

Entry submitted by: Shelley Sessoms (Online Community Manager)

Community: SAS Support Communities

Lithy category: Marketing Champion (2 of 2 entries)


SAS is the leader in analytics. Through innovative analytics, business intelligence and data management software and services, SAS helps customers at more than 80,000 sites make better decisions faster. Since 1976, SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.


Our Unique Promotion


We launched external and internal Super User programs to give a recognition and commitment boost to super active community members. These programs publicly honored our strongest members for their outstanding contributions and gave them tools to expand their community leadership so they can get more out of their community experience – and help the community as a whole.


External SAS Super Users felt special because they:

  • Received a badge and special rank icon that appears on their community avatar: Untitled10.png
  • Had access to a private "Super Users" forum, where they can confer with their fellow "supers" and the SAS community managers.
  • Were invited to "Super Users"-only meetings with SAS staff, where they get the inside scoop on SAS communities and other SAS goings-on.
  • Received privileges like moving stray posts to the proper board and marking spam.
  • Received periodic surprise community/SAS swag and personal gifts in the mail. They completed a “What are your favorites” Q/A so we knew what to send them. On their birthdays, we posted a “Happy Birthday” message on the community homepage banner that is visible only to the member with a birthday.





Internal SAS Super FREQs (FREQ is a name of a commonly used SAS procedure) received:


  • A special rank icon and badge: Untitled12.png
  • Community management rights such as moving stray posts, featuring good ones and editing topics that need clarity.
  • Note of appreciation and thanks to each of their managers.
  • Choice of community swag: branded coffee cup or USB charger.



Our Promotional Strategy and Tactics


We identified our first pool of super members by analyzing community activity from Lithium bulk data. We decided to appoint a new group of Super Users/FREQS every six months and that “alumni” members will be awarded an Emeritus status and special badge. Example for Super Users:Untitled15.png


We then defined program parameters like:

  • Guidelines complete with “how-to” instructions for executing special tasks, posted on private board:



  • Promotions to serve two purposes: recognize super members and elevate awareness of communities in general.


Promotional tactics include:


Super Users


  • Social updates on SAS corporate, user-specific and personal channels like Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Facebook, and external SAS-related communities, using multiple text variations, headlines and this social tile:




Super FREQS:

  • Intranet article that highlighted employee contributions and what it means to participate in the community, including quotes from the Super FREQs themselves on their activity.
  • Intranet video about how being a community star is like being a super hero.


Be a Hero






Expanded community management coverage

Using bulk data from Lithium, we saw that Super Users acted on new privileges like topic moves. From Feb. 1 – March 27, Super Users moved 92 topics to appropriate boards while the community management team moved 35. What’s more, these moves occurred at all hours of the day/night due to the global scope of our Super Users. In effect, the Super User program allowed for 24/7 community moderation; our Super Users became an extension of the SAS communities team.


Our Super Users increased their participation in the communities, as well. Analyzing the 60 days prior to the inception of the Super User program with the 60 days post-program launch we saw:


  • Super Users increased their shared content/messages posted between 18-90%.
  • The number of accepted solutions given to Super Users increased between 30%-300%. Yes, you read that right: 300% for one Super User in particular.


Super User social sharing of program perks

In one instance, a Super User shared a piece of Super User swag through a creative social update. The swag installment sent to Super Users was a pen made out of reclaimed wood from an old SAS building on campus headquarters. The package included an article about the building’s history and a note from SAS Co-founder and CEO Jim Goodnight. One of the Super Users tweeted about the pen, thanking Dr. Goodnight publicly for the gift.



1 Comment
Lithium Alumni (Retired)

#TeamSAS --If it were up to me I would give you a #lithy!  You guys are rockstars at marketing and promotion.  Wish you lots of luck and congrats on great results and for allowing us to be your partner in all this!