Understanding the motivation
Before you start splashing out resources to start the motivation spree, you have to understand the possible reasons that people join the community in the first place. In this way, you can avoid wastage and generate bang for the buck in using your resources to maximize outcome of rewarding people to grow a digital community.
Below are the commonly cited reasons for joining a digital community:
- Receiving support
- To build a professional reputation
- To enhance one's professional skills & abilities
- Build self-esteem, bolster ego and
- To simply feel good about being part of something cool / greater.
Once you understand and identify the key reasons for getting the key influencers to contribute contents, perform housekeeping duties and keep inviting others to grow together, you can then describe the key features of a reward mechanism to support and encourage these digital influencers to iterate the process of growth.
A good reward mechanism originates from a good game theory of Nash equilibrium , which was developed by the Nobel prize economic laureate , John Nash whose story was made into a movie, Beautiful mind, played by Russell Crowe. It also requires abit of behavioral economics elements so that you can design it such that it works like Candy Crush. Too complicated? Ok, here are some simple tips to design a simple reward mechanism:
- Create a multi-leveled tiered reward system
- Create "if you do this, then you get that" logic
- Ensure output is greater than input at the macro level
- Ensure individual's received reward is greater than one's effort at the micro level over each increasing level
Other equally important features include:
- Give influencers special privileges that cost less to your company but perceived as great value to these members.
- Give influencers digital power to enable the community to self moderate itself.
- Create a simple digital badge / ionic symbol for the digital influencers
- Protect the integrity of the reward system like a bank protecting its vault
Like any system, you also need to setup a reward system for those behind the scenes so that they can ensure the reward system in the digital system is operating in a fair and equitable manner. Sounds like the movie , Inception?
Don't forget to also reward those who run the show
Regardless of how great the wall of China is, the downfall of Ming dynasty is due to the inability to prevent the Ming eunuchs to open the gates to the rebels. The moral of this historical event reveals to us that having a strong digital community requires an external reward mechanism for digital influencers as well as an internal reward mechanism for protecting the system.