Business is only possible by the support of the community; it’s the people that follow your brand that are the ones willing to purchase what you have to offer and it’s these individuals that are the ones that will triumph your brand (which results in it being shared around the Web).
The funny thing is, however, that you don’t see a lot of website owners really going up and out of their way to be thankful to their community.
Yes, they may do an occasional post about what’s going on and the things in which they’re grateful but it’s important to note that it shouldn’t be a one-off event when thanking the community because there are always times when it’s appropriate – not just some special occasion.
The following is going to point you in the direction of how you can say thank you, on a regular basis, so that your community feels appreciated (and so they’re more willing to keep coming back and being a vocal individual about your brand/products/services).
Give them something free
Isn’t it a great feeling when you’re recognized by a business/company and they give you free items? You feel a sense that they are listening and they’re excited that you’re passionate about their offers.
The same can be done with websites!
1. Create something above-and-beyond (usually content) based around frequent requests you have from community feedback. Put every bit of effort to create something that’s worth paying for; have the creative intention that you’d sell it but with the notion that it will be free.
2. Start giving it to your valuable community members either through a direct email, your newsletter, or just posting it to the website.
Those that follow your brand are adjusted to receiving high-quality information and expertise but they may not have expected to receive something of massive value such as a premium product that doesn’t cost a dime. Not only will they feel appreciated (because they’re getting it for free) but they’ll get vocal and tell others about why you’re such an amazing individual which means better exposure for your brand!
Send ‘em a personal message
If you’re building an email list than you already have a good amount of emails. Likewise, you can access email information from within your comments. Again, you could simply type their name into Google and do a search to find their social profiles.
Either way, the point is to get information about those that are highly active in your community so that you can send them a personalized thank you through email, Skype, or any other platform where you can really show your gratefulness.
1. Identify about 20 – 30 individuals that you feel are the most passionate of your community members.
2. Go through your contact list, do a search, or get in touch through social media so you can get their personal contact information.
3. Write out (or actually say) a sincere thank you that’s personalize to each individual such as certain comments/feedback they’ve left, shares they’ve done for you, or some of your thoughts about their project.
Doing this, even for a few individuals, will really open up the door for a better network. You’ll build real relationships with your community members because it’s not just a one-directional flow of information – now you’re talking to them on a real level and they’ll appreciate that you’ve taken the time to acknowledge what they do for your community and business.
Don’t let it stop there
Spend some time to take notes about how other websites and businesses say “thank you” to their customers and community members. Find ways to integrate these types of thanks whether it’s sending off a hand-written thank you note or adding in some physical freebies with a purchase. The more you thank them the more you build a relationship and it’s with that relationship that they’ll keep coming back for more.