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Yvette Pistorio

Four Ways to Reward Your Online Community

By: Yvette Pistorio | April 15, 2013 | 
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Four Ways to Reward Your Online CommunitySocial media matters because everyone likes it.

Even if you detest some (or all!) of the platforms, using the big ones is almost mandatory for brands at this point.

Each day millions of people all around the world log into their social networks and brands work hard to accumulate and connect with just a fraction of those people.

Companies are always looking for creative ways to build their community and keep them coming back for more.

The answer is to reward your online community, and sometimes the simplest things can be the most successful.

Four Ways to Reward Your Online Community

Recognize Fans Individually

We do this on the Arment Dietrich page. Each week, we announce a Facebook Fan of the Week. We pick some of our favorite comments from the week and as a team, we vote on which one(s) we like the best. Our fans don’t win a prize, but they do have fun with it. A few have even given speeches and it’s become common to “pass on the torch” to the next fan of the week. Recognizing individual fans shows you care about them. They get a kick out of it because, even though it’s a simple bit of silly fun, it shows we’re listening and we care – and their friends see them displayed in all their glory.

Build a Two-Way Relationship

Just like you see regulars at a restaurant, bar, store, etc., the same happens with your social networks. All you have to do is regularly interact with them. People are more likely to return when you acknowledge their presence. Respond to their comments, answer their questions immediately, or simply like a comment they make, and you’ll soon have yourself a hardcore brand advocate for life!

Ask for Help

You know what your community likes, so don’t be afraid to ask them when you need help. They will feel honored by the invitation and eager to help shape the brand they love. For instance, our head honcho is currently on a ‘writing vacation’ to focus on her upcoming book, and we needed ideas to fill her normal #FollowFriday posts. Where did we go? Our community of course. And we actually got some really good ideas (thank you!).

Food for Thought

According to a study done by market research company Lab42, about 50 percent of consumers think a brand’s Facebook page is more useful than their website. They surveyed 1,000 social media users about how they interact with brands on Facebook and found consumers are viewing a brand’s Facebook presence as more important than ever. If this isn’t reason enough to be heavily engaged and fan friendly on the social network giant, I don’t know what is.

Each and every one of our fans are SUPERFANS as far as we’re concerned. I mean, our goal at Arment Dietrich is to take over the world…we hope our fans will help us achieve that goal!

About Yvette Pistorio


Yvette Pistorio is the shared media manager for Arment Dietrich. She is a lover of pop culture, cupcakes, and HGTV, and enjoys a good laugh. There are a gazillion ways you can find her online.

52 comments
minabypass
minabypass

@boramiljanovic iz koje si ti marketinng rupe iskočio...? zar tvoje vreme nije davno prošlo...pluskvamperfekt..;)

C_Hipke
C_Hipke

We share a goal - world domination.  Awesome. 

Also, a very good post, I'm not surprised that brand's Facebook presence is more useful than a brand's website. I am one more bad company website away from drafting a "Your website is killing me, please consider hiring someone to make it actually usable" form letter. Besides, social media platforms provide a framework of consistency. Every Fb page has a certain amount of similarity, as do twitter feeds, etc.. Makes sense and is good stuff.  Thank you!

Andrea T.H.W.
Andrea T.H.W.

I 'm not really into the social thing and especially I can't stand Facebook concept of privacy. But I must admit you're right, like it or not we need it and these four points are surely good.


I will stick to commenting as a social tool though. :)

LauraPetrolino
LauraPetrolino

Great, great article! 

When it comes down with it, people like to be treated as...wait for it....people. It is an innovative and radical concept, especially in the age of social/digital communication when often people never meet or even talk on the phone. It is very easy to lose that connection when all communication is done digitally. Even easier to forget that people are emotional, living, breathing creatures that have a brain, which forms thoughts and in turn like to know they are being heard, that they are not part of a nameless, faceless mass, but actually matter...as individuals. Our individual identity is so, so important to us, but often overlooked in the current communications landscape. I read a great blog post right here on Spin Sucks awhile back on that topic:   

http://spinsucks.com/communication/operation-name-drop-a-new-communication-method/

(oh yeah...I just went there and hyperlinked my own freaking article! Hahahah! I'm an only child, this type of egotistical move is obviously not my fault but a result of my upbringing. I'm a victim here)

When you stop and take the time to interact and individualize, to let people know that you know them and THEY matter to you (not their money, or business or the fact they up your facebook algorithm). 

You all do an AMAZING job at Arment Dietrich. Honestly one of the best. You have a huge community, but you make every active member feel special. That makes you stand out and creates a kind of emotional loyalty that is unmatched. 

I always try to teach my clients to treat social interaction as if they were at lunch with some friends. If those friends made a comment or asked questions, you wouldn't just ignore them and launch into another topic. If you can take a look at your facebook page and imagine translating it into a lunch and it makes sense, then you are doing a good job. If not, re-think your strategy or lose your friends. 

biggreenpen
biggreenpen

Good points Yvette, and I agree! I personally experienced the two-way relationship component recently when I visited a local food truck for the first time. It was my first time VISITING, but I had tweeted about them when  a friend was eating there, and commented on how my friend's lunch from the food truck was ">" than my "#frozendisappointment" (yet another frozen lunch). Based only on my first name (which is different from my Twitter handle), the food truck guy immediately said "oh you're the one from Twitter -- I wasn't sure that was a compliment" and I was able to assure him that yes, it was! He made me feel like big ol' local Twitter celebrity making such a big deal out of me in front of the other customers, remembering my tweet, etc. etc. @mobistreetfood has a friend and customer for life. :-)

tnfletch
tnfletch

Good post. Also a lot of brands offer special promotions, presales, and giveaways to help build and reward their online communities.  

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

Great post YP. Regarding #2 -- this point is apparently being lost on A LOT of brands, especially ones outside the U.S. trying to break into the market. I constantly see brands who talk only about themselves, don't acknowledge when people mention them, even RT their own tweets. As prehistoric as this behavior may seem, it still happens with quite a few brands I observe.

Social media is a two way street. Hope people get this message soon and put the megaphone down.

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

You knew this was coming in response to the @Lab42Research  link. Because if it is true then no one visits websites...period. and this COULD be true.

Fact 1: Average person visits a Brand Facebook Page once every 6 days. If I like 52 pages I visist a page 1x per year.

In fact I bet I have never been to the website of the brands I fan on Facebook. and bet I go to their pages almost never. The recent changes in timeline per Scott Monty from Ford on the Beancast he said 90% of views of Brand page osts come from seeing in the feed vs visiting the page.

So while I agree with 1,2,3 wholeheartedly I feel the fact is no one goes to Brand ages or websites for information.  It is a flawed study. or at least results that were 'Spun' by an agency all in on social like Likeable and Mashable and the fibbing talking heads.



JoeCardillo
JoeCardillo

@LauraPetrolino Amen. Pretty much everything I was going to say. Also, it does not  require a novel every time you acknowledge someone, just a "hi, so glad you're here" or "thanks for dropping by" goes a long way. 

yvettepistorio
yvettepistorio

@tnfletch Thank you!! Yes, they do offer special promos and giveaways too, but that's a whole other post...one which I may write next!

yvettepistorio
yvettepistorio

@John_Trader1 I know, I see it all the time even in the U.S. One thing I like to point out when I do a competitive analysis is which competitors are using social media to engage and which ones are just using it to broadcast any and everything about themeselves. 

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes

@HowieG @Lab42Research I do wonder about this. Maybe I am being too provincial in my thinking, but I only visit a brand Facebook page to see if there is a discount being offered and even then it is rare.

I still think of their website as being where the information is located,

yvettepistorio
yvettepistorio

@HowieG @Lab42Research Hey at least you like 1-3 :) The study may very well be flawed...who am I to say it is or isn't. And you bring up a good point too. I bet I haven't been to most of the brands I fan on Facebook either and I rarely go to their FB page. I personally go to a company's website if I'm looking for information, not their FB page but that's just me. I still, think it's super important to engage and be fan friendly with those people that do take the time to interact with brands on FB. 

Howie Goldfarb
Howie Goldfarb

@Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes @yvettepistorio  deals I think are the number one reason people follow brands on social.

Points 1 and 2 since everyone knows I love Chobani which is one of the few brands I talk about on social often. Before I basically quit facebook I used to go to their brand page directly and post funny photos. But the last year I barely am on Facebook. When they had new flavors launching this January I got a DM from them asking for my current mailing address so they can ship me a box to try them. I actually rarely go to their website. I was clueless. 

And my point 4 I get emails for white papers from WildfireApp, Likeable Media and a few similar agencies that are 100% in on Facebook. The studies always are very biased. One recently funded by Facebook and I think with Radian6 showed a 22% higher engagement and response rate if you paid for facebook Ads to suport your Brand Page posts. But they never gave the base line. I believe the baseline is 0.04% response rate. 22% increase is great....but not from 0.04%. Just says it still fails. That is why I am leery and Lab42 based on their website are all in for social media.

I would guarantee while A-D advises on Social Media that you choose the best solution for clients vs force fitting into one segment.

yvettepistorio
yvettepistorio

@HowieG @Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes @yvettepistorio I agree you should choose the best solution for clients too. Social isn't necessarily right for every organization. I have a client who isn't right for certain social networks and I haven't pushed them to go there. They'd probably laugh at me if I did! Ha!! 

Trackbacks

  1. […] your community. Social media offers a great opportunity to reward your most loyal customers and fans. Randomly give freebies to your audience (as Chobani did for me with the case of goodies below), […]