New SEO: Why Online Community Is A Game

Community & Games on page graphic on CrowdFunde

“All communities are inherently gamified,” I wrote yesterday building on 3 Pillars of Online Community. Once we aren’t alone we are playing a game. When you meet someone new what do you do? You play the “points or people in common” game. When you are in a boring meeting you fire up your phone and play the “entertaining myself during boring meeting” game.

And what game are you most likely to play? The “social media” game is becoming omnipresent thanks to smartphones and social networks such as Facebook achieving massive scale. Metcalfe’s law says the value of any telecommunications network is members squared. Translation – Facebook is worth a fortune.

More relevant translation – we are all in the community building business whether we realize it or not AND community HAPPENS. We play games. Smartphones = game consoles. The faster you realize your website / business is in the community creation biz the better and easier you online marketing life will get.

Creating Online Community Is HARD

Creating online community is one of the hardest things I’ve done including chemo and riding a bicycle across America. I had an advantage. I created online community almost 5 years ago. Our current Social / Mobile world looks different in important ways:

* Social + Mobile means gamification and community are happening faster.
* Everyone has made the turn now, so competition for community it a MONSTER.
* Most people have existing community preferences so need to disrupt, mashup or partner.

In The New SEO: 3 Pillars of Online Community we outlined the how Story, Authority and User Generated Content (UGC) create online community. Today’s post discusses the much-needed gamification layer.

If you are lucky enough to create engagement TODAY you must quantify and reward it. What you create today disappears. Empower ongoing community engagement and brand advocacy by rewarding behavior desired with socially recognizable value. Ring Pavlov’s bell and reward your most loyal dogs.

Visit my Scoop.it profile and see a ribbon across it, as some have, you read the ribbon. I would be proud to have the ribbon. My SHARES of that page would increase. I haven’t figured out who I have to kill to earn a ribbon (lol), but trust me once one is there I will shout it from the rooftops. That is what you WANT and NEED as an online marketer. You need advocacy. You need community.

Create a tribe of advocates or FAIL.

Post Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird your tribe of helpful Sherpas is BEYOND important. Want to keep those Sherpas engaged, empowered and advocating? Define socially accessible rewards. Why? Because the New SEO is about online community. Online community is and will always be a GAME.

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