Community Incentives

Katherine Bentley
Katherine Bentley Member Posts: 8 Seeker
First Anniversary
Hi everyone,

I'm managing a community in the early stages (6 months since launch date) and I'm looking to utilise gamification to boost the stickiness of the community, and overall health.

As well as an engagement leader board, I am looking to create incentives which may include awards such as 'The most proactive team' which can be awarded to the team who logs in the most since they've had their onboarding, for example.

What other labels of awards could I use? Has anyone done this before and if so, do you have any tips/anything I should be aware of in terms of success stories/not so successful stories!?

Thanks in advance,


  • jennyweigle
    jennyweigle Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    First Anniversary Photogenic
    edited July 2021
    Hi Katherine! You could reward:
    1. Community anniversary dates (anniversary of when the user joined)
    2. Number of logins, such as 10, 25, 50, 100, 500 as an example 
    3. Completion of <insert certification or program here>

    A big factor will be the functionality and reporting you have available to you on the platform you host your community on. Always always always be sure that the gamification tactics you select will compliment your overall community goals! Hope this helps. 

  • Matt Myszkowski
    Matt Myszkowski Member Posts: 143 Expert
    First Comment Photogenic First Anniversary
    edited July 2021
    Hi Katherine,

    I am just starting to look at my first community and discovered this podcast on community building & management - it is well worth a listen!

    Look at Episodes 5-7 to help wit your questions.
  • Mike Davis
    Mike Davis Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    edited July 2021
    Hi Katherine!

    Excited to hear about your recent launch. I remember those days-they are terribly fun.

    Our community is about 7 years old now and over that span I've tested out a variety of engagement and member programs, some more successful than others. Given you are in the early stages, I'd recommend a few things.
    1. Develop an approved strategy. This is key, and something I've only gotten better at later in the game. Given you are in the early stages, you can get started on the right foot. Set aside time to build a strategy for this initiative. Meet with stakeholders on what they want. Even chat with your members on what they are looking for. Develop goals, objectives, tactics, and metrics and write them down. Then, get buy-in from your managers so they know where you are going, what you are doing, and how you will measure it. It can be easy to just fly blind, so a strategy outlining your month, quarter, year plan helps.
    2. Find and foster a group of champion members. I can't say enough about how great these members are. They can help in moderating questions, seeding content you need and growing conversations so that new joiners land in a community that is active and full of info. You can likely identify these champion members by those who are already most engaged today, but you can also reach out to your CSMs to find some candidates who were passionate and vocal advocates. When we started our community, we had a core group who assisted us and each year we grew that group, little by little. Over time we needed them less as the organic conversations were happening, but today I still promote members to this status based on their engagement. We offer these folks swag, discounts on training, access/convos with our product team and digital badges. We also have a private forum for only these members, where they can chat and we can ask for input/feedback.
    3. Appeal to extrinsic motivation, then intrinsic ones. It's human nature to want to win a prize, compete, or get free stuff. Gamification in a community aims at these, with the hopes that once engaged the members will start to feel a pull to help others. In this case, you want to get a little nerdy on a psychological approach and target the behaviors you want and step back to figure out what emotions, feels, etc., lead a member to that behavior and then gamify that.
    4. Don't get stuck in an engagement trap. Related to Item 2 for sure. What I mean by an "engagement trap" is simply going after engagement and lots of it, no matter what it is. It can be easy to fall into, esp. so if stakeholders are eager for those numbers as measure of success. They are an important metric, but not the only one. In reality, quality of engagement is better than quantity.
    Hopefully some of these help. Let me know what questions you have on any of the above, or anything under the sun. Best of luck!
  • Triin Ilves
    Triin Ilves Member Posts: 4 Navigator
    First Anniversary
    edited August 2021

    Hi Katherine!

    I'm in a similar position, working with a community that's now a year old. And the stickiness of the community as well as overall health are also two of my main challenges. Apart from things that have already been mentioned, one thing that has worked for me well (but are also a work-in-progress) is to celebrate either community-related or company related holidays. It helps a lot to bring variety to the otherwise business-oriented discussions. I.e. with Klaus, we sort of have it easy: cat-related holiday(s) is a perfect excuse to do something fun, sometimes we also connect it to a giveaway.

    I also keep occasions like Customer Service Week in mind and have already some polls, discussion rounds, etc, planned.