By Ted McEnroe, The Community Roundtable
Where’s your college diploma?
If you’re like most people, it’s hanging on an office wall, sitting in a drawer, or stuck in the back of a closet. It’s nice to have, but the recognition that you graduated from the University of Western Maine or Generic Ivy U. in itself doesn’t do that much for you.
What works for you are the things you learned, the connections you made, the way it taught you to think – the things with real value. It’s great to be recognized as a graduate, but it’s your college experience, not your diploma, that you remember – and that makes you more likely to give back to your alma mater.
The same is true in your community.
Your top community advocates and contributors might welcome recognition and rewards, but the State of Community Management 2015 research finds that best-in-class communities do a better job of giving their advocates rewards with real business value – such as early access to products and access to the community team or executives.
That’s not to say recognition and badges don’t matter – they are a valuable way to say thank you, and let others in the community see the people you count on to contribute, giving others someone to emulate and see as the leaders you want them to be. Being an advocate takes time and effort, however, and to make advocates a valued part of the community, make sure you are giving them real value in return.
Community advocacy programs are a major focus of the State of Community Management 2015, and a regular topic in TheCR Network. Thought about joining? Learn more at communityroundtable.com/TheCRNetwork.
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