How do you build strong connections with your audience?

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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One of many things I’ve learned managing a community is that it includes all kinds: Some members are looking for a space to share their knowledge and learn in return, while others only pop in when they need an answer and then leave until next time.

That means that the relationships built are tailored to what’s been gathered about a person's needs and personality from past interactions. It’s a lot of one-to-one emails outside of the community to get more details about goals, handwritten notes dropped in the mail and phone calls to learn more about their vision for a certain feature’s future.

Some of my favorite bridge-building tips:

  • Include a Twitter handle field on your signup form, and then follow these contacts. Or, check out your mailing’s response page to see who clicked an icon in our new Social Follow feature, and proactively follow and friend those folks.
  • Always tweet back at someone who has tweeted at you.
  • Use personalization in your emails.
  • A thoughtful card or gift via snail mail goes a long way. (Get Satisfaction, the company that powers Emma Community, sent me a loose-leaf tea sampler for Community Manager Appreciation Day last month, having ascertained from our past conversations that I’m a tea lover. I was surprised and felt really appreciated.)
  • Segment, segment, segment. Emma’s segment feature makes it so easy to filter your audience down to those who will most benefit from your message so you aren’t blasting emails out of a t-shirt canon, not considering where they’ll fall: Maybe they’re in a certain postal code, have been a customer for X months or haven’t opened your emails in awhile and need to be retargeted with a coupon offer. Who are your ideal contacts, and how can you cultivate them?
  • Listen to and consider every contact’s idea coming from a customer-centric place. We’ve collected so many thoughtful ideas from the community, and every, single one gets our product owners' eyes on it.
  • Never stop surprising your contacts. Here’s one of my favorite customer service stories, which helped create a brand advocate.

Stop and think: How do your subscribers and customers feel they’re being treated?

And please share with all of us below: What are you doing right? :)

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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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Posted 4 years ago

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Brandi Leath

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Katie, I still have my card you mailed me hanging right in front of me on my bulletin board.  It is those special personal touches that I think make a world of difference.  You took a moment out of your busy day to hand write me a note (which no one does anymore) and sent me an awesome T-shirt.  It made ME feel special.

To know people are listening to you and care about your input makes it all that more inviting.  That's why I keep coming back.  I can't wait until I get that champion stamp on my picture, slowly but surely I'm working on it.

I love being apart of this community and sharing any knowledge I have with anyone who needs it, and learning from those too.

And from one tea lover to another......if you like green tea, you gotta try matcha!! :)  Super healthy and good for you.

Brandi


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Katie Lewis, Official Rep

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Brandi, your timing is perfect: I was just reading up on matcha yesterday. :)

So glad to hear that a handwritten note still has an effect on others, too. What else can be done to show your audience that you’re listening to them and care about their input?
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Brandi Leath

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Shoot me an email with your address so I can send you a sample of matcha, I have plenty!! :)  It's awesome!  It's definitely something you want to try before you buy.  It's strong, you either love it or hate it.

I think you are doing everything right.  Shout outs....acknowledging those who like me try to help out others.  Which you already do.  Staying positive no matter how negative a person can be.  I try to give as much positive vibes as possible to out weigh the not so positive ones.  Emma definitely has a more positive vibe, you can feel it in the community.

I like that you send me emails with emma community questions that I can possible try to answer.  Not sure what else you can do....aside from what you are already doing. I think there are a lot of companies that could learn from you guys at emma.  The community is awesome and you have done an excellent job running it!!!

THIS is awesome!!! Keep these coming....I'll be there!
Customer Loyalty: How Better Data Builds Better Relationships
(Edited)