How to use levelling and XP to keep your Discord community safe

Written by Aidan Wilson

Rewarding your members is a great way of keeping your community happy. But there's a hidden bonus: rewards are also a fantastic way of keeping everybody safe and making moderation easier for the community leader.

In a Discord community, there are various ways to reward members for the contributions they make to the community. Rewards are a key engagement strategy for keeping people coming back and attracting new users, because it set them up with goals and tasks they want to complete. This gamification drives tangible ROI by motivating members to join the conversation with each other and with the brand.

Gamification rewards are based on 'XP' (short for experience points). Members earn points for doing things like sending messages in the server, engaging with polls and activations, and sharing their own content. As they collect more XP, they progress through levels that unlock more rewards and grant them new roles.

You can also incentivise members to spend money on revenue-driving monetisation opportunities, from streaming new music to merch drops and ticket sales.

For example, Conan Gray's team wanted to reward members who pre-saved his upcoming single, so they used the 'role' feature. As well as levelling up when they reach a certain XP number, users can be granted a role, which is essentially a badge of honour that shows their loyalty and can even unlock new features.

Discord screenshot
Conan Gray's team announce a role for members who pre-save the new single.

XP systems may not be right for every community, but rewards and 'levelling' are a proven method of keeping fans engaged with many groups.

And it's largely managed automatically by XP bots like AmariBot or Leveller's custom bot, so the community owner doesn't have to spend lots of time manually allocating points.

This does more than gamify the community and incentivise members. It also keeps them safe.

How does XP and levelling keep fans safe?

As communities grow, they attract new users of all kinds. Most will be genuine fans, passionate about the music artist, sports team or brand at the heart of the community. But every online space faces challenges, including users who don't follow the rules, such as spammers or trolls.

There are multiple levels of security and safeguarding tactics you can deploy to protect your members and your brand identity. For example, Discord's built-in safety features include a 'cooldown' anti-spam feature that limits users from gaining XP for a period of time after they post, which stops users firing off huge numbers of posts to rack up points.

Then on the front lines are your moderators recruited from the community. As superfans, they have their finger on the pulse of the group and can head off conflict or misbehaviour where it would be harder for the community owner to intervene.

These trusted fan mods are empowered with training and tools, and they're trained how to report back to the community owner. The owner also has access to security features to manually deal with disruptive members, or if necessary ban them.

Happily, rewards also help you deal with trouble automatically. By using XP, community owner gets a step ahead on moderation - without having to lift a finger or read a single message.

Safeguarding your community automatically

To weed out anyone who isn't making a positive contribution to the health of your community, you can use XP as a tool for validating members.

Here's how it works: you can limit certain actions, such as sharing links, pictures and videos, to members who've achieved a certain amount of XP or completed specific actions. Then ensure that those criteria point to genuine fans. For example, they have to send a certain number of messages, or introduce themselves with their first post.

The system can be fine-tuned to suit any community or purpose. For example, you can turn off XP for messages posted in certain channels, preventing members racking up points in easily-spammed areas like bot channels.

Roles are also useful for moderation. You can assign a user with a No XP roles, which disqualifies them from gaining XP.

The No XP role is handy for users who aren't interested in XP and don't want to show up on leaderboards. Or you can manually assign it to obvious spammers, so they don't gain anything from their posting and hopefully stop (or leave).

These automatic features cut down on the time a community owner has to spend manually dealing with issues. And they reassure the owner that the community is safe and secure even when managers are sleeping or unavailable.

Of course, community owners will always have to invest some effort into manually monitoring and moderating the space. Spammers and trolls are always looking for loopholes, and sometimes only a human can tell the difference between a quality interaction and a post designed to game the XP system. That’s why it's important to work with experienced community managers, like the team at Levellr, to decide which reward and moderation systems suit your community (and remember to reappraise these choices as your community grows or changes).

Leveller's community managers are already building bots and XP systems for clients in various sectors, from music artists like Conan Gray and Fall Out Boy to global brands like Starbucks. With our handy tools and trusty security dashboard,we've helped them safeguard their community members while driving tangible marketing ROI and monetisation value.

Contact Levellr today to find out how you can build a thriving online community where safety and rewards go hand in hand for your most dedicated fans.

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