October 12, 2012

Points: The New Network Currency

By Lee Aase, Director, Mayo Clinic Social Media Network

At last year's Social Media Health Network Member Meeting we got some great ideas, including the suggestion from Luke Kobold of Billings Clinic to include some level of free attendance at meetings or conferences as part of the benefits of Network membership.

We thought that made a lot of sense, because we wanted to give incentive for our members to participate in training and networking events. But we also wanted it to be flexible, so members could choose the events that best meet their needs.

So as described here, we added a system whereby each member organization gets Credits worth $100 each toward regular registration for Network-sponsored events such as the Social Media Summit, Social Media Residency or the Network Member Meeting. The number of Credits has been based on the membership level, with larger organizations that pay more for membership receiving more Credits, because they also would have more employees interested in attending.

Credits are Multiplying and Becoming Points

After a year using this model, we see a better way to do it. Instead of Credits worth $100 each, we are moving to a system of Points, in which each point is worth $1. And members will be able to purchase additional points as needed for $0.75 each, so you will always get at least a 25 percent discount.

This will be much simpler to communicate and easier to understand: Spend your points like cash on any product or service offered through the Network.

If you have enough points for a given event, you don't have any out-of-pocket registration charge. But if you're 200 points short, you can buy those points for $150 and combine with your existing points to pay for your registration.

When organizations join the Network or renew membership, the key contact will receive the points and will be able to distribute them to fellow employees as needed.

Did we Succeed? Do you have Questions?

We want this to give you a simpler and more flexible system. With a 1 Point=$1 formula instead of 1 Credit=$100, we know it will be more flexible, because you will be able to make "purchases" of less than $100.

We hope it is clear and intuitive too.

Is it?

If you have questions or need clarification, please discuss in the comments below.


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