Gamification is used by businesses across the world. It is a popular marketing strategy. If you are new to social media and marketing and want to get an understanding of how gamification works, you are in the right place!
Before we start, here are some helpful blogs related to online communities:
What is gamification?
Gamification is the application of game-design elements and game principles in non-gaming contexts. It can also be defined as a set of activities and processes to solve problems by using or applying characteristics of gaming elements.
We have all experienced the concept of gamification in our lives at some point. If you have a social media account, you have encountered how it works! When it comes to social media, the number of followers, or friends, or connections, likes, comments, and so on are gamification techniques.
If you have an online community, you need to incorporate gamification to reach a wider audience and increase engagement. If you apply the techniques skillfully as a community manager, your community has the potential to grow beyond expectations.
Common gamification techniques:
- Reputation scores
- Access to social privileges
- Ability to win prizes
- Leader board
- Getting badges
Gamification in online communities:
The most common gamification techniques used are scores and badges. Most online communities have common gamification strategies. These are proven to be highly effective in the growth of an online community.
Badges are seen by every member of the community. A member earns a badge when they have done something significant. Such competition encourages members to engage and participate in discussions and make posts.
Another way is by adding a score next to the profile of the participant, like Reddit does in the form of karma. If a user comments on a post or gets likes or upvotes, this score can increase. Users can then have a reason to regularly post or comment on other posts to increase their points.
Virtual currency is a novel technique that is used by communities nowadays. It means a currency defined within a community and can be earned based on the contribution a member makes within the community. This currency can then be redeemed by purchasing products or services from the community.
Also Read: Best WooCommerce Apps For Your Online Store
Gamification for community engagement:
While using gamification techniques for your online community, it is important to remember that rewards must not only be treated as transactional activities. These rewards, in the form of badges, trust scores, or virtual currency, must be awarded in recognition of the contributions made by the member and the basic social behavior of the member.
In any given gamification plan, one system can never satisfy all the members. Hence, while designing a plan, community managers must take into consideration how it can be helpful to achieve the larger goal of the community. The design must be made to acknowledge the contributions made towards the community.
Gamification for community managers:
A community manager acts as a liaison between an organization and its members. They basically make the path of the community to their success. The community manager is also responsible for creating an effective gamification plan for the community.
To make this possible, a community manager needs to be aware of various gamification techniques that could be useful for them. The community manager must be aware of the members they are communicating with, where they come from, and what they get by contributing to the community.
Once the community manager knows his members well, it becomes easier for them to come up with a better gamification plan with higher chances of reaching their goals. It is also important to create reachable goals for your members.
If the goals look unattainable, most members would lose motivation and skip through them. While designing a gamification plan, the community manager must also see to it that the plan reflects what the brand stands for, while at the same time is integrated with the community guidelines and processes.
Applying Gamification Techniques:
- You can integrate your community activities with customer loyalty programs and your members can receive perks in the form of various awards.
- You can reward your customer for sharing your post on their social media accounts. This helps your brand to reach a wider audience.
- Another great way is to build a sense of anticipation in the minds of the customer.
- It is necessary to stay engaged with your audience. You can facilitate this with different community activities. Your goal should be to make your customer a lifetime customer.
- It is also important to be consistent with your techniques. Keep introducing more and more activities for higher engagement. This also keeps your followers interested in your brand.
- You must remember to avoid distractions and any interruptions that may take away the interest of your members. Don’t make your gamification techniques too complex.
- You can also ask for organic feedback from your customers and make changes to your strategies accordingly. Understanding your target audience is a must.
So, there you go! Gamification needs to be an integral part of your marketing and social media strategy. Members tend to stay connected with the community due to these techniques. This will lead to brand recall and the generation of more leads – in short, all of this positively benefits your brand. The more connected your community is, the better is the loyalty rate. These members can then become your brand advocates.
Having a great gamification plan is the need of the hour. We hope this article has given you a detailed insight into the different aspects of gamification. If you want to retain your customers in the long run, we highly suggest you start working on these techniques right away! After all, every customer needs encouragement and incentive to stay with your brand.
Thank you for reading the article, stay safe, and all the best with your brand! We hope you can use gamification techniques ideally and grow your brand!