Rewarding fans with XP: How levelling bots work

Written by Aidan Wilson

Ready to level up your online community? One of the key ways to keep fans coming back is gamification. Giving customers a sense of progression and achievement is a winning tactic for keeping people interested, and you see it everywhere from fitness apps to education.

Gamification is also a key tactic for creating tangible ROI by building self-sustaining, thriving and engaged online communities in platforms like Discord.

And your secret weapon for gamifying the Discord community experience? XP bots.

What is an XP bot?

Put simply, gamification means rewarding members of your Discord community when they do things you want them to do.

You do that by awarding your members 'XP' (short for experience points), which in turn allows them to progress through levels that unlock more rewards. This 'levelling' system is proven method of keeping fans engaged with the community.

XP and levelling is managed automatically by bots. Levellr's bot gamifies Discord servers based on the user actions you specify, rewarding their engagement and keeping them interested.

XP can be awarded based on any number of things. The most basic but vital XP reward is for sending messages in the server, incentivising fans to join in chats and interact with their fellow fans. That peer-to-peer interaction is crucial for building a safe space where fans make genuine friendships, which adds up to a self-sustaining community where interaction continues independently of the community owner.

You can also reward fans for engaging with the community, for example by participating in polls or reacting to posts. That incentivises fans to offer their opinions, so you can take the temperature of the community and see what's working. And engagement keeps the community feeling active and exciting.

As fans rise through the ranks of the levelling system, rewards can include things like badges, assigned roles and a position on leaderboards. XP allows fans to show other fans their dedication, and win the trust of their peers in conversations.

There are many off-the-shelf levelling bots available on Discord, with varying levels of quality. What differentiates our bot is that it also allows users to provide XP based on interactions with external product through our custom integrations.

Reward fans for listening, playing and buying

A great way to drive your goals is to reward fans inside the community for doing things outside the community, where you earn revenue.

If you're a music artist, you can award XP to members who listen to your music. Fans link their Discord account to their Spotify streaming account, which allows the artist and their team to track which of their songs are popular. Streaming a certain amount of music earns a reward for fans, encouraging them to stream more.

Or if you're a game developer, XP can be awarded to players who take certain actions in your game. Play and conversation about the game become linked, instead of siloing the game and chat into separate spaces.

These circular actions are a win-win, providing a boost to both the community and the community owner's products or revenue.

As fans earn XP, they see others doing the same, so XP continues to be a motivating factor. Even better, XP is an ongoing process. Fans are excited to keep earning XP continually, so community engagement remains high and keeps the game, music or product in the forefront of member's minds.

Essential XP bot features

Here are some key features to look for when choosing a bot:

Avoid spam

It’s important to manage how often and in which channels the bot posts XP and level updates. Fans appreciate this because it minimises spamming their feeds.

Basic XP bots which solely reward engagement can lead to bad habits among users who know they get a prize for sending lots of messages. So we've built our own Mee6-style functionality, but with an improved XP system that intelligently analyses messages to reward quality content:

  • Messages get 2-5 XP based on length and complexity (weighted against copypasta and spam, only counting one message per 30-60 seconds to avoid spamming).
  • An additional 1-12 XP based on reactions from other users, which rewards quality posts

Manual XP awards

As well as automated XP for common activities, a bot should give the community owner the ability to reward fans on on ad hoc basis. For example, you could reward a fan who gets involved in an activation or campaign you’re running.

Messaging that relates to you and your brand

A custom-built bot is always going to outshine a generic bot from the Discord app store. When custom made of your brand, a bot is not only built to convey your specific brand, it also suits your community. A community of 200,000 might want different levels of engagement than a smaller server of 5,000 people, for example.

Levellr's custom-built bot is safe, specific to you and hugely powerful compared to many of the free or cheap options out there.

Clients in multiple industries and sectors are already trusting us to mage their communities, from music artists like Conan Grey and Fall Out Boy to global brands like Starbucks. With our powerful tools and custom-built bots we've  helped them drive tangible marketing ROI and monetisation value through  genuine engagement with their fans.

Contact Levellr today to find out how you can build a thriving online community and keep your fans coming back.