Online community badges are an interesting engagement tool.
Even when the badges do not have monetary value attached, members are keenly interested in learning how they can achieve the badge, and ultimately how they can earn as many as possible. To that end, it is important that the badge metrics clearly match the goals of the community.
“Gamifying” as some people call this process of adding game components, helps strengthen the community and loyalty. Badges are just one part of this puzzle, but it seems to be catching on. Companies such as The Huffington Post are starting to add badges to keep its readers engaged.
MY-TAKE has also begun to use badges in our online communities. Badges add a level of engagement, and even some friendly competition among members, which has increased the level of insight we receive in our online communities. What it accomplishes: friendly competition, reinforces their contribution to the brand, and establishes a valued but non-financial reward. Members are only given badges for aiding in the conversation and starting relevant discussion threads, therefore, our clients directly benefit from this idea. These badges allow community members to be ‘thanked’ publicly for their contribution, an idea that many members enjoy. Based on early results, the badges appear to have a positive impact on engagement and members certainly seem to be acutely interested.
Where does your company stand on this form of social engagement?