Creating deep community engagement

“How can I get a person more interested in my community?”
“How do I create more community engagement?”
“How do I share how awesome my community is with everybody else?”

These are some of the toughest questions a community manager must ask themselves. It’s a difficult problem; you know your community is amazing, but how do you share that feeling with someone else? How do you get someone who just casually connects with your brand, product, or community to go deeper—to become an advocate?

We have a solution for that; we create meta-reward systems for communities that solve all of those problems. It goes something like this:

First, we define goals for a user. For example, perhaps the end goal is to get a user to sign up to a newsletter or share an online discount code with their social network. When a new user signs up to join the community, we start them off by introducing them to the meta-reward system (let’s call them achievements, just like in video gaming.) We give them a shiny badge for their user profile that shows up prominently. People like shiny badges. We then tell them how they can get more shinies, and let them know that there are rewards for continuing to pursue them. Showing them a list of achievements they can get and the rewards they can get for earning them is basically handing them a guided roadmap into your community; and also serves as a roadmap to your conversion goals.

However, here’s the real magic: While they’re going through your roadmap to complete your goals and earn rewards (either meta or real), they’re becoming a part of your community. By the time they’ve achieved your goal, you will have an active, engaged community member.

Here’s an example scenario:

Creating community engagement

It's sort of like this

I like to play bass guitar. I find a bass guitar community online and am intimidated by the size, number of members, and number of discussions. I don’t know where to start or even if I want to invest the time to become a community member. It’s daunting.

However, I sign up because I noticed an offer for a 10% off coupon at a popular music store just for registering. Once I register, I find out I can increase that coupon to 15% if I complete a few simple tasks: Filling out my complete user profile, verifying my email address, adding a profile picture (avatar), and posting an introductory message in a discussion called “Welcome new bass players”.

“No problem,” I think. I do the simple tasks and post “Hello! My name is Brian and I’ve been playing bass for 17 years and am looking forward to talking to everyone!”

As soon as I complete those tasks, I find that I’ve got a new achievement. Ding! It pops up on my screen, and it’s a little shiny badge with a bass guitar on it that says “Friendly neighbor”. The achievement is worth 5 points. I click on it and it takes me to a page that describes what all this means.

“Congratulations, you’ve earned 5 points for getting the Friendly Neighbor achievement. You filled out your profile and introduced yourself to the community! Earn 50 points and get a free issue of Bass Player magazine, on us!”

I see a list of other possible achievements. A few of them seem daunting (attend a local community gathering, chip in money for a charity, etc.) but others seem quite easy and more my style (Post a picture of the bass guitars you own, Like us on Facebook, Tweet about our $5000 gift certificate contest). I start getting involved so I can earn points and get achievements. In the mean time, I’m completing their conversion goals (They wanted to get more Facebook fans. They wanted to get social spread on their contest for their sponsor, etc.) left and right, at an unprecedented pace.

I like all my shiny badges, and some of the achievements involved me participating in community discussions and meeting other community members. After a couple of weeks of this, I find that I’ve made friends. I decide that the more daunting achievements (like attending a real-life gathering) don’t seem so daunting any more. I keep on going, deeper and deeper until I find that this community is a part of my life and I’ve made valuable connections and friendships. I start becoming a brand advocate.

We have refined and honed this model to great success over many years of community management, and we have the technical and community expertise to implement this system for you, to help you create a bold and effective community engagement program.

Our system involves consulting to help you identify your community goals and create the roadmaps to those goals, as well as the technical platform for achievements, community discussions, user profiles, badges, and rewards.

If you’re interested, please fill out the contact form below and we can begin helping your community thrive and prosper.

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