Another implication of a community [Part 2]
Before reading this blog post, I would like to refer you to ‘Another implication of a community [Part 1]’.
How to set-up a community
A community is very much dependent on the top users of the community, also called; superusers. From my point of view, a superuser is a user in the community how is very active in creating valuable content for the community and shares his/her knowledge. More important, how do you attract these so called superusers and make them achieve your business goals? According to Malone et al. (2010) members of the community act because of money, love or glory. Money stands for a financial reward, love stand for social interaction and glory for reorganization.
If you have provided an environment which offers at least 1 of the above mentioned motivators, you can start attracting people to your community. In the case you’re a business, use your company website (e.g. frontpage, footer, etc.), and especially the service section of your website to promote your community. For example, on your contact page, place a big search field with the line: Search the community for your answer’’.
The Drivers for superusers
As said, superuser are very important and motivated by several factors. From my point of view, you don’t want to pay the community to achieve your business goals, you rather trigger them by implementing gamification in your community. According to Wu (Lithium.com, 2015) gamification is “the use of game mechanics and dynamics to drive game like engagement in a non-game context’’. In a community, gamification can be applied by implementing different ranks, badges, persons of the week, special access (e.g. VIP place), moderation functions, and so on, which al triggers the ‘’glory’’ motivational part. However, although gamification does a lot in motivating your community to help each other, a personal message or a ‘behind the scene’ session at your company probably makes them feel even more special.
There are a lot of different ways to set up the gamification part, and of course, for every business it is different. Some like Giffgaff decided to financially reward their superusers, which in their scenario is logical. However, at for example TomTom they don’t reward them financially, but rather motivate them with their gamification part or personal attention.
Other business gains
Since I don’t know very much about this, I just want to mention some other possible advantages. Firstly, higher search results in a search engine for your website as a whole (because of user generated content). Secondly, the possibility to use your community as an idea generation for your company. Thirdly, you can get all kinds of information from your target group such as geographical, age, gender, etc.. Finally, you have the possibility to ask your community (or superusers specifically) to give feedback on your new service or product.
My goal was to give you a general introduction in another implication of a community. If you’ve enjoyed it, and like to read some other interesting stories about communities in a customer service environment, I would recommend you to check out the links below.
PS. Let’s share thoughts, comments can be written below 😉
Author: Ivar van der Lugt
Malone, T., Laubacher, R. and Dellarocas, C. (2010). The collective intelligence genome. MITSloen Management Review, 51(3), pp.20-31.
Wu, M. (2011). What is Gamification, Really?. [online] lithium.com. Available at: https://community.lithium.com/t5/Science-of-Social-blog/What-is-Gamification-Really/ba-p/30447 [Accessed 16 Sep. 2015].