Me? I get excited when I get a new badge on my hotels reward program and can share it on Facebook.
Ah, Facebook. Its gamification genius has taken social media by storm. In fact, it seems companies of all sizes are joining the gamification bandwagon.
But what is it?
According to Clickipedia, “Gamification is used by brands to motivate employees, create healthy competition among teams, generate buzz or social proof and encourage customer loyalty, among other benefits. With a variety of techniques – some easy to implement, some requiring advanced planning, coding, or technical expertise – any business can use gamification to get better results, no matter what your goals.”
And this means associations.
For example, if your association operates a blog, consider ranking users – and commenters – to reward those who contribute the most to your blog. Create badge levels and then allow commenters to share the badge on Facebook. You can also do this on your website. Create reward programs for the materials your customers buy, the articles they read and the events they attend.
Or, if you’re unveiling a new education module, consider making the demo a game.
For more ideas, check out Clickpedia’s 25 Best Examples of Gamification.
According to EventMobi, there are five basics of gamification:
- collect points
- achieve new levels
- earn achievements such as badges and prizes
- participate in challenges
- compare progress with others via leader boards.
But where to start? In June, Incentive Research Foundation released a whitepaper on gamification, listing some important dos and don’ts.
It suggests thinking of those you’re trying to entice as “gamers.” These gamers could be employees, customers, community members or meeting attendees. An app might be the best way to do it. For instance, if you’re hosting a conference, create an app. Think about doing a mobile scavenger hunt with the app to foster networking and creativity. Or, reward conference attendees with badges for taking short quizzes at the end of a session.
Gamification is mostly about psychology, not technology, the authors wrote. So it’s important to identify the behaviors you’re trying to engage.
But be careful. Games can be addicting and they can alienate a potential customer base. So make sure that your efforts are valuable.
“Gamification is hyped and often touted as a kind of magic bullet for getting consumers or employees to do what you want,” IRF said. “Yes, gamification can change human behavior, and it is effective, but your players aren’t stupid. Regardless of the experience you are gamifying, it must eventually generate some real value. Otherwise, your players will eventually realize that you’ve wasted a lot of their time playing, but provide no value what so ever. This leads to gamification backlash, where your players start to resist your future attempts at gamification.”
Has your association entered the gamification world? If so, tell us about it.