Only a small percentage of your contributors will become super contributors, so it’s important to get as many people to start engaging as possible – a bigger pool will hopefully mean more potential super contributors. Make it as simple as possible to start contributing. Let people answer questions without registering – answers are useful to other shoppers, even if you don’t get the answerer’s email address for your database. Thank them for each submission and include more unanswered questions relevant to the same topic.
2. Build a strong participation chain to ramp contributors up to “super contributors”
A “participation chain” is the process of growing participation from an initial interaction to higher engagement, by repeatedly presenting users with relevant opportunities to contribute. An important aspect of building strong participation chains is making sure that no customer touchpoint is a dead end. A classic example of businesses letting their customers hit a brick wall is the submission thank you page – most thank you pages simply thank the reviewer for submitting, possibly offering a link back to the main site.
But think about the missed opportunity – here you have a customer who is engaged, enough to come back to your site after a purchase to submit a review. Don’t let their initial engagement die. You can assume the customer is knowledgeable of the product they reviewed, so ask them to share their knowledge with other shoppers. Include customer-generated questions on that product or category on the thank you page, and ask your reviewer to help even more customers by answering. After every answer submission, thank them again and present them with more questions to answer.
The more targeted the selection of questions to show the user, the stronger the participation chain will be. The logic behind Answer Request– our algorithm for choosing which questions to display on each submission thank you page – has been repeatedly refined. It displays the most relevant questions for each user, based on a compilation of all of their prior reviews and answers.
3. Recognize super contributors to maintain engagement and build aspiration
Recognition and achievement of “expert” status are likely motivators for super contributors. Badge your top contributors as such. Badges feed the recognition these answerers crave, and also lets other shoppers know that their answers are credible. Recognizing top contributors in marketing campaigns creates aspiration around contributing – both for your current top users and for new visitors. Free People featured their top reviewers in an email campaign and saw a 93% increase in review volume the first week of the email.
We’ve found super contributors more common in certain industries: mass merchant/ department stores, consumer electronics, health and beauty, sporting goods, and pets. These industries were also among the first-movers adopting UGC on their sites. As customer reviews and community Q&A become more common for every industry (it’s already happening), I expect highly vocal and knowledgeable customers to begin hyper-engaging in those industries as well. Businesses that draw these users in early and continue to engage and recognize them will have the most success in creating valuable super contributors.
Harnessing the Power of Community Q&A
Download the white paper that gives retailers practical direction on how to manage community Q&A and guidance on measuring the impact to their business.