By Zoe Rose, Senior Research Associate
Traditional economic theory predicts that players in a perfect market will make rational choices that lead to wealth maximization. This is not reality.
More often, people make decisions based on internal drivers – we invest hours into our hobbies with no expectation for financial gain, we sometimes spend on luxuries simply because they make us feel better, we leave cushy corporate jobs to pursue our passions – and the results of countless performance studies reveal that people are far more productive when they are motivated intrinsically.
Your community members are motivated intrinsically, too.
Clicking through survey after survey after survey is bound to start feeling like a heady chore unless adequately recompensed. Prior to launching every community, we encourage our clients to create a Member Value Proposition – a promise you’re making to your members about what they can expect to gain from their participation.
A $5 Amazon gift card alone isn’t enough to keep your community effervescent and thriving.
Regularly posting and promoting new activities (we recommend 1-2 per week) is one of our top tips for establishing a healthy cadence in any community. In addition, I’d like to share some tried and true strategies for how to transform traditional research studies into engaging, memorable, and meaningful experiences for your members.
- iHUT – In-Home Usage Testing is a great way to get your prototype into the hands of the people who will eventually be making the decision to purchase… or not. This is a fun and physical way for members to interact with the concept and feel they are contributing at a crucial point in the development process.
- Photo / Video Albums – The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than words, so by encouraging your members to submit photo or video of themselves, you’re not only inviting them to get creative by sharing in full color, you’re gathering a wealth of visual data for your stakeholders.
- Live Chats – These offer community members the unique opportunity to interact with one another and with the Moderator in real-time. Promoting the attendance of a special guest, such as an internal VP or department head, skyrockets community enthusiasm and participation.
- Member Generated Discussions – Encourage your members to take initiative by spurring their own discussion! Suggesting open-ended prompts around new product development ideas, for example, can be a great way to guide your members to establish their own organic ideation spaces where they can have fun and feel they are making meaningful contributions.
- Research Survey with a Twist – “Choose Your Own Adventure”–styled surveys can mimic a shop-along, which results in delicious qualitative data and engages your members in a unique narrative-driven survey. You can even masquerade a consumer segmentation screener as a Buzzfeed-esc personality quiz, with a final reveal of “what kind of shopper are you?”
Experimenting with any these methodologies will result in a community-wide morale boost.
If your members have an enjoyable experience every time they log in, you’ll see an upsurge in participation rates and quality in no time.