With the yearly celebration of giving thanks upon us, I figure that now is as good a time as any to cover how you can say thank you to your online community.
Thank you can go a loooong way!
In an era where marketing coordinator has started to mean community cultivator, we need to learn to give back to those that have made us successful online. Building a community of fans that all know, like, and trust us is not an easy task. It takes work, and we need always remember to thank the ones that got us there in the first place.
This list is not full of gimmicky things that you can do just because it is Thanksgiving. These are the regular, every-day, steps that will show your community that you care, and keep them singing your praises.
1. Say Thank You
Let's start of with a simple one. Saying thank you when a customer posts on your Facebook wall, or RT's your blog post can go a long way in the social economy. It has been said that silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. Being polite lets your fans know that you appreciate them, and that you don't take what they do for granted.
2. Shower Praise
You community will never know what you think about them unless you tell them. For some (like me), showering praise on other people doesn't come naturally, but it is a very important part of building community. We need to lather our community in praise for the things that they do for us, and in general. Always be willing to give someone praise for their successes. They will value your attention, and your generous words.
3. Stay Positive
In the world of social, I suppose we should call this sentiment, but the key here is to keep a smile on your face as you type. A positive tone on your Twitter feed will help set the tone for the consumer interactions that take place each and every day. When you are positive, the members of your community are far more likely to be positive as well. No one likes a party pooper, so keep things on the up and up.
4. Give Selflessly
So much of online marketing and social media is about giving things away. Great brands and community curators have learned that if they give away a little bit of what they do best, their community will reward them with their business. Social media is a share-driven economy. So, say thank you to your community by giving them something to take, give, and share.
5. Be Authentic
There are many reasons why consumers follow brands and companies that they care about, but a big one is the authenticity that these accounts usually provide. In today's age of the customer, corporate transparency and honesty go a long way. As brand evangelists, your community deserves true honesty and authentic information. Giving them the real you each and every day is an amazing way to say thank you, and to build trust.
6. Follow Back
If someone has taken an interest in your brand, and your business, don't you think it would be worth your time to invest some of yourself back into them? The thing is, most brands don't care who their followers are as long as they have some. Pay attention to what they say. When they celebrate, come along with them. When they ask a question, chime in. There is no reason that brands and businesses can't reach out in the realm of social media engagement.
This Thanksgiving, don't take your community for granted. What are you going to do to say thank you to your social media audience?