My favorite podcast of the past few months was the Get Together episode "When you growth hack with incentives, you erode authenticity".
Bailey and Kevin of People & Company interview Laura Nestler who shares the story of leading community initiatives at Yelp. Laura describes Yelps approach to building community as "bringing a dedicated group from the community (Yelp users) into their business".
TripAdvisor, on the other hand, had a different approach to community. TripAdvisor created a program where they would go to events and offer free water bottles (the incentive) to anyone who wrote X amount of reviews on their site. Laura states that TripAdvisor providing this incentive made the act of writing reviews transactional. "Every time a person writes a review, they're going to expect those water bottles." The relationship between reviewers and the company is no longer genuine.
Yelp went for those early adopters, those who loved the community and wanted to be a part of this "exclusive club". This contributed to the reviews not only being genuine, but those who wrote the review actually enjoyed it. If you enjoy being a user or member, you'll continue to contribute without incentives.
Blending social norms into business norms often creates a culture that fosters relationships. Yet, by blending business norms into social norms, you only make the dynamic more transactional.