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Joel R

[Guide] Writing a great Group Promotion message

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Posted (edited)

A client asked me this question on Tuesday May 7 2019:

Quote

I've read your latest entry it was an interesting read. It's really cool to have such tips when I'm preparing to revive my community.

However I wanted to ask you have you ever posted or have seen anywhere a good read about member promotions? I mean something like best practises when using IPB's automatic group promotion when use writes x posts, has been a member for x time and so on?

Because in IPB 3 days it was straightforward - auto-promotion happened only when certain post count was reached. Now I see there are many more variables which is great but however it creates some confusion for me. such things became a factor like do you have a blog or do you have an album. also last visit and post dates. its like the system isn't linear anymore like 10 posts, 100 posts, 200 posts to go up. Before I try to dive into this can you give me some tips to set up some rules that would be enjoyed by members? If this hadn't been done before you could make a public post about it. Would be cool if anyone got a piece of your mind and applied to their communities.

Before I even try to tackle this question, I had to go back to the client to ask two things:

  • His Goal?
  • His Community Lifecycle?

The reason why the first question is so important is that group promotion can be used for many goals.  Some admins use group promotion to filter out spam registrations; some use group promotion to reward paid subscribers and purchasers; some use group promotion to encourage activity or to offer unique forms of membership journeys.  The fascinating thing about Invision Community as a suite is that there are so many ways to engage - on my community, I have members who only hang out in their own profile and use it like Facebook with status updates; I have some members who only post to the Gallery; and I have many members who only hang out in Club.  Furthermore, clients don't just engage with the community by function / feature, but also by psychographics -- some members are very reminiscent of the community like a Historian, some members really like to meet and greet new members as Ambassadors, some members really like to share their daily life as a Blogger, some members really like feeling rewarded and accomplished as a Prize Winner, some members really enjoy the human connections like a Socialite.  You can start to parse your community by segments and really offer a unique member journey if that's your wish.  In the case of this client, his goal is to increase his overall engagement.  

The community lifecycle matters as well.  If your community is new or being renewed, you want to simplify the group promotion.  Mature communities, on the other hand, should offer multiple pathways to member engagement.  Knowing your community lifecycle and what you can reasonably accomplish is important -- most new communities try to do too much too fast, when community rituals like group promotion 'grow up' with the community.  In the case of this client, he was looking to restart his membership so we're going to treat it as a new community.   

Edited by Joel R

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Posted (edited)

Before I answer his specific question, I wanted to share some best practices I've seen in effective community management for group promotion.  

1.  Customize the language of group promotion to something uniquely your own

For example:

  • Gaming community: "Field promotion" to a new "rank"
  • Mental health community: "Care boost" to new "advocacy"
  • Harry Potter-themed community: "Sorting hat" to a new semester

Have fun with it!  It may seem weird and strange to outsiders, but it'll be even more cherished by the membership.  These are part of the rituals and symbols that I talked about in my Membership blog post.  

2.  Explain the Value

Give value to the promotion!  Don't just congratulate the user on a new title.  Explain things like qualifications to earn the promotion, the scarcity in how many members actually achieve the promotion, and the benefits of what the new promotion unlocks. 

3.  Explain the Next Challenge

Too many promotions skip this step, when it's so important.  Explain what it'll take to earn the next promotion.  

This is one of the most important things to share in the congratulations message, because it helps guide the future actions of the member.  Want to encourage more informative posts?  Want to encourage more total engagement? Want to encourage posting in an advanced section?  This is where you influence members when they're most open.  

4.  Align the promotion to your strategy

Finally, when you brainstorm and plan your group promotion, align the promotion to your goals.  Make every promotion's description reinforce the reason for the promotion and explain the importance of the strategy.  Why is more engagement important? Why is a new subscription important to the site?    

Edited by Joel R

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Posted (edited)

Let's bring this all together.  Here are two examples of a group promotion notification

Quote

 

BAD EXAMPLE

"Congratulations! You've just become a Superuser."  

 

 

Quote

 

GREAT EXAMPLE

"Congratulations!  Due to our your outstanding work in the HitZone Gaming Community, you've received a field promotion to Lieutenant ! 

This promotion is based on shooting 1000 posts, an achievement that only 8% of HGC recruits ever achieve. You've put in the time, effort, and grunt work and it's paid off!

As part of your new field promotion to Lieutenant, you’ll be able to send more personal messages and start a blog.  This allows for even more for you to talk, contribute, and engage in the community, which is important because it helps foster greater fellowship among the recruits. You’re seen as a trusted member of the community, so keep up the great work with your posting. 

Ambitious for the next challenge now that you've become a Lieutenant?  Your next chest candy will be the rank of Captain, when you shoot a total of 2000 posts."

 

This new message is customized.  It talks about the qualifications, the scarcity, and the benefits of the promotion.  It's aligned to the community strategy, and it also gives a goal to earn the next title.

Edited by Joel R
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On 5/9/2019 at 3:57 PM, Joel R said:

Let's bring this all together.  Here are two examples of a group promotion notification

BAD EXAMPLE

"Congratulations! You've just become a Superuser."  

This is ... useless.  How did I become a superuser?  Why do I care about the promotion?  The notification doesn't answer any of these questions, which means the new promotion doesn't mean anything.  

GREAT EXAMPLE

"Congratulations!  Due to our your outstanding work in the HitZone Gaming Community, you've received a field promotion to Lieutenant ! 

This promotion is based on shooting 1000 posts, an achievement that only 8% of HGC recruits ever achieve. You've put in the time, effort, and grunt work and it's paid off!

As part of your new field promotion to Lieutenant, you’ll be able to send more personal messages and start a blog.  This allows for even more for you to talk, contribute, and engage in the community, which is important because it helps foster greater fellowship among the recruits. You’re seen as a trusted member of the community, so keep up the great work with your posting. 

Ambitious for the next challenge now that you've become a Lieutenant?  Your next chest candy will be the rank of Captain, when you shoot a total of 2000 posts."

This new message is customized.  It talks about the qualifications, the scarcity, and the benefits of the promotion.  It's aligned to the community strategy, and it also gives a goal to earn the next title.

Great tip!

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