In the previous blog post, we wrote about designing the community for effective rewards and recognition, starting with the user's successful first visit to the community. Now, let’s take a look at building a recognition program for your valuable users and superusers.
Before you start building your recognition program
It would be best if you gave your community time to grow. It could take six months to one year before you decide to start setting the foundation for your recognition program. Take this time to encourage returning users by thanking them for their time and recognizing their community contributions. You can do this by messaging them privately, publicly acknowledging their contributions in a community newsletter, or featuring their valuable posts.
During your community’s first year, it is important to begin setting a positive example for users with your moderation team. Effective moderation helps set a positive tone in the community and encourages users to follow suit. When deciding upon users to recognize in your future recognition program, you’ll want them to be upstanding users in the community, not just providing value but being an example other users can look up to. Getting those types of well-behaved users starts with great moderation from the start.
Consider prerequisites to starting your recognition program
When you begin planning your recognition program, you should have some users in mind whom you’d like to recognize their effective moderation and relationship building with users.
Despite this, begin with a set of guidelines. Who is the ideal candidate for this type of program? What criteria must they meet? Are they providing value to the community, or are they only statistically significant? A recognition program is special. You won’t just pick any superuser in the community, and you need to develop a set of criteria. Here is an example:
Must be a member for at least six months
Be a role model to others in the community (aka follow the rules!)
Contribute valuable discussions and insights to the community
It can be as simple as that, but it is important to set guidelines that these users must follow if they are admitted into the program. To keep their special status, they must continue to meet the criteria for the program. One option you should consider is a time-based approach, where you review and add/remove members to the program on a regular cadence (every six months or once every year). This is best to ensure you keep the program fresh and each member who is currently recognized meets the criteria.
How do we adequately reward these members that are admitted to a recognition program?
It is important that they are recognized using standard gamification tactics via a special rank and badge. You can use a private Group Hub to collaborate and build your relationships with your users. Simply giving your time or offering time from your company (product team, for example) is a valuable reward for these users.
These are the most important steps in starting your journey towards a great recognition program for your community. As reviewed in our Engage session, there are other tips, which cover creating a strategy for launching your recognition program.
Questions? Comments? Thoughts?
If you have any questions on the tips provided, please comment below, and I’ll get back to you!