Identify the positive contributions you want members to make and reward them with points. Points highlight the top members, points establish an element of competition. Points let you create awards like newcomer of the month, member of the year etc…

Points should lead to levels. Levels like newcomer, member, regular, expert and VIP. Levels give members specific motivations to earn more points. A member that needs just 10 more points to move up a level is likely to be active.

Levels bond members within their community groups. These levels should be clearly visible on every member’s profile and every comment they post. Each level should require twice as many points as the previous level (at minimum). Levels should lead to increasing recognition and power. Every increase in level thus offers greater reward.

For example, you might only mention individual members in your news updates who are regulars and above. You might only interview members who are experts and VIPs. You might only share power and admin access with members at VIP levels.

Quick warning. Never add too many game mechanics into your community at one time. Introduce one element at a time. Points. Then levels. Then stars, comment counters etc…

(Image via The Noun Project)

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