Content Discovery Smackdown: Hootsuite vs. Buffer vs. KloutContent Marketing Minds: Ingredients of the Tastiest Content [Nutrition Label]From the Corn Field to the Digital Era: Content Marketing Starts with TrustContent Marketing: Is 2014 Really Shaping Up to Be the Year of Video?
Your Customers Aren’t Listening! How to Create Consumer Dialogue that Converts4 Tools for Nonprofit Social Listening and Reputation ManagementThe Promising Role of Social Listening in Treating Health IssuesThe Importance of Social Listening for Brands
- Public Relations
Facebook Testing a Way for Users to Buy Products on the Platform7 Website Tips to Attract More Shoppers to Your PagesHow eCommerce, Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Redefine the Retail ExperienceSearch Query Analysis to Increase eCommerce Website Conversions
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Startups: Bizible Connects All the Dots from Marketing Contributions to RevenueCreating the Perfect Profile for Your Social Media Marketing EffortUsing GPS and Localization for Social AnalyticsAnalytics and Prospect Intel: Discovering Your Ideal Prospect
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
3 Security Risks You’re Taking Every Day While Using Social MediaShould the President Have the Power to "Pull the Plug" on the Internet?How Safe is Your WordPress Website From Hackers and Other Malicious Attacks?
- Software & Tools
- Small Business
- Social Organization
Celebrating the Grand Re-Launch of Social Media Today! SBH Podcast Episode 8Why Should You Care If Your Employees Are Thought Leaders?Beyond Engagement: The Art of Managing Social-Media Risk in Employee Advocacy
Why All-in-One Social Media Management Systems Don't Cut It for Social Customer ServiceWhat You Should Know About Customer, Digital, and Contextual ExperienceSurging into Q3: How to Make It Better Than Q2Is How You Serve Your Customers Costing You Business?
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Adding Gamification to Your Community
Posted on October 25th 2011
I wrote a post about Gamification last week and this week, I want to dive into more detail about how to apply gamification and game mechanics to a community site. It is interesting to see gamification now being applied in a marketing/website/community context, because many marketers and community managers have already been using these techniques to build engagement for several years. But I am more than willing to jump on the gamification bandwagon if it helps push the boundaries for other marketers and community managers.
In any case, there are many ways to incorporate game mechanics into a community and which ones are appropriate depend a lot on the make-up of your community audience and what the ultimate goals for the community are. In addition, my belief is that you need to gradually introduce new elements into a community and make sure that any new features are fully explained and documented. Otherwise, you could overwhelm your audience or get suboptimal uptake of the new features. Universe of Game Mechanics --
According to a definition in the Gamification Wiki,"Game Mechanics are constructs of rules and feedback loops intended to produce enjoyable gameplay." To break the definition into simpler terms, game mechanics let you build features that are fun and addictive. In my earlier gamification post, I provided a table that compared game mechanics to human desires. This is just a subset of possible types of game mechanics that could be incorporated into a community or website.
The Gamification Wiki actually lists 24 different game mechanics and SCVNGR identifies 47 unique game mechanics based on an article published on TechCrunch by Erick Schonfeld last year. SCVNGR is a mobile game with real world challenges -- and all SCVNGR employees are given the Game Dynamics Playbook and 'strongly' encouraged to memorize the deck of game mechanics cards. SCVNGR's games and challenges are built using combinations of these game mechanics. Both of these lists can be used to brainstorm on adding new features and elements to any website or community.
Community Audience Questions -- Before you can add gamification to your community, you need to really understand your community. Here are some probing questions that need to be answered before adding any new gamification features to a community:
Do you have an open or closed community? Is your community a professional, social, support, informational, hybrid or something else community? How do you want members to use the community? How many members do you have and how many do you add in a typical week or month? What is the typical member profile? How engaged are your community members? How do you measure engagement? What motivates your members to join, participate and stay engaged in the community? Do you have robust member profiles? Are member profiles searchable? Can members 'friend' or message other members? Do you have a way for members to add their Twitter or Facebook accounts to their profiles? How easy is it for members to share content on other sites?
Community Goals -- Likewise, you also want to make sure that the goals for your community are well understood and syndicated across your organization:
What goals are you trying to accomplish with the community? Can you measure them? Do you have any elements of gamification incorporated into your community today? Does your community platform support gamification elements? Can you track your measures in your community system?
Measures of Engagement for a Community -- There are 5 generally-accepted measures of engagement for a community:
- Recency -- when was the last visit?
- Frequency -- how often does the member visit?
- Duration -- how long do members stay on the sight when they visit?
- Virality -- how often do members share content on the site? and how much is their sharing amplified through their network?
- Ratings -- how often do members rate content on the site?
The Gamification Backlash - Two Long Term Business Strategies by Michael Wu, Chief Analytical Scientist for Lithium
Gamification Research Network - The Gamification Research Network (GRN) is a communication hub for academic and industry researchers and students interested in studying the use of game elements in non-game contexts. The purpose of the GRN is to further research in the area by providing a repository of relevant people, projects, and publications, and by offering a shared space of discussion and publication.
Gamasutra - The art and business of making games