Getting your game’s community stars to help you. 2 case studies

It’s mostly true that working in teams makes life easier. You get a broader perspective and you can utilize other team members’ skillsets. However, I’ve mostly been doing my work as a community specialist alone. Well, to an extent. There’ve always been graphic designers, proofreaders, other people to cooperate with, but when it comes to the core areas of my job, I didn’t have many people who’d help me. However, being in charge of communities means that you may potentially have a ton of people who’d be willing to help. In this post I’ll talk about 2 cases in which I was able to find people eager to help me accomplish my objectives, who were in it as players (and often paying customers) simply wanting to lend their hand, as honest admirers of the games. These cases are drastically different from each other, so here I go.

Case #1 – The Pride of Taern

I decided to create TPoT’s Facebook group quite a while ago and it’s been doing pretty fine ever since. As a matter of fact, it was doing well enough that, when I switched to working entirely remotely, I found it hard to keep up with what was going on there. This group’s members tend to be very acttive, as the group revolves around selling in-game items, finding clan members and generally creating discussion. The thing is that we tend to allow even slightly edgier memes and such, however the group ought to be heavily moderated, because of strong anti-cussing policy and heavy tracking of attempts to sell accounts, since it’s not allowed by our Terms of Service. It was pretty time consuming, so I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to have a bunch of helpers recruited from within the community itself.

The recruitment post. Translation:
GROUP MODERATOR RECRUITMENT!
Our dear community, there’s almost 5,5k of us in the group. A lot of people, a lot of content and… A lot of work. This is why we want to announce a moderator recruitment. Tasks of such a person would mostly include helping:
– Taernians, who have qeustions about the game or customer service service,
– with accepting perdning posts and people who’d like to join the group,
– with searching for content against group’s rules.
What would be good to have?
– you should behave well,
– vast knowledge about the game,
– ability to handle tough subjects and topics,
– activity and fairness,
– and most importantly – a will to help other people 🙂
What do we give in return? Mostly bragging rights, since you’ll be a part of the internal team… And a small pay in platinum (TPoT’s hard currency).
Applications telling us why you should become a mod shall be sent to our Facebook page’s DMs. We don’t exclude a possibility of recruiting a number of people.
Thank you for your applications in advance, cheers 🙂

This post was pretty much a job offer in its core. Even though I have taken part in a bunch of recruitment meetings as a recruitment specialist (AIESEC was wild and I had nothing figured out), this was my first (and so far, the last) post in which I had to take care about the recruitment matters. I don’t wanna brag, but I feel like I nailed it. In fact, the post performed so well that we got over 80 applications! It turned out to be quite a hassle and I had to postpone recruitment results, because of the amount of people willing to be a part of the team and because I was trying do do my job as well as possible and to pick the best possible candidates. After I was done, I shared info on the ones who got recruited and three great people became moderators.

It took me about a day to train them, and, oh my, they surpassed my expectations. These people ask quickly and, even though I had to invest a considerable amount of time, they are basically running the group, they also don’t have many questions and they rarely require help (which they are usually capable of – they are asking each other for help and I rarely have to intervene). They became pretty much autonomous and as effective as possible in this scenario.

I’d like to write some characteristics of this case:

  • main goal – to make group management easier (company and player oriented approach),
  • high-key recruitment,
  • positive approach of the community,
  • many people willing to take part in the recruitment,
  • relatively long and tiring training effort,
  • quickly went from high maintenance to low maintenance, basically autonomous volunteers,
  • within the group owned by the company.

Case #2 – Fishing Clash

Despite the fact that we were trying to find people, who’d be able to help us with moderating the group (and we even had a bunch of candidates, but they declined our offers, often due to personal reasons), we haven’t had much success when it comes to finding mods, so we decided to take another path.

My main goal at TSG is to gather info about what players think about our games, ongoing events, bugs etc. I realized lately that in order to fulfill this goal I don’t really need to engage anyone who’s a part of our main group. There’s a bunch of groups run by the players and a bunch of them is pretty big. I’m also aware that their policies are way less strict than in our group, so I’m aware that there is some crucial feedback in these groups which goes under our radar. This is why, after a short conversation, I’ve basically recruited one of such groups’ admins. This person’s main goal, from my perspective, is to gather such feedback and provide weekly reports to me in the form of spreadsheets with dates, links, quotes and short descriptions of these opinions/problems. In exchange, we provide an amount of in-game currencies once a month to this person.

This case is recent, we started cooperating less than two weeks ago, but I can already tell that these reports rock and have already provided interesting and valuable feedback for our development team. Not only are they extremely engaged when it comes to the game and community (starting and growing a group is a testament to that), they also are simply able to provide info about stuff which we had trouble coming by.

Characteristics of this case:

  • main goal – to find a good source of info which could be hard to come by in my case as a company’s official; to improve the process of gathering feedback,
  • low-key recruitment, basically headhunting,
  • no approach of the community (we want them to not be biased when sharing their opinions),
  • a very specific and narrow set of candidates,
  • pretty much no training effort,
  • autonomous volunteer, virtually no maintenance,
  • outside of the group owned by the company.

Conclusion

There are many different ways to describe the scope in which a community manager’s work can be done and even when it comes to finding people who’d be willing to help, approach and intricacies can make them an entirely different experience, which can be driven by multiple circumstances such as:

  • approach of the community,
  • your goal,
  • keeping everything high or low-key,
  • amount of training effort,
  • utilizing a community which is fully in your control, or one which is independent from you,
  • amount of managing your helpers.

I hope that you found this article interesting and that my cases broadened your perspective on hiring helpers and „superstars” of your community (or one adjacent to yours). If you’d like to talk about your community management histories, your cases or would like me to provide some mentoring or whatnot, hit me up on Twitter or LinkedIn. Following this blog on WordPress would also be neat!

Also, I have noticed that I got some site visitors from China, which was quite surprising. If you happen to be from the country, wouldn’t you mind telling me where did you find me and what kind of keywords did you use which resulted in finding my blog? Xie xie in advance!

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