Sometimes we just go through the motions. And we forget to show appreciation for others. Valentine’s Day is, next to many things (a corporation scheme? the most heavenly day? party day for singles?), a reminder for you to show loved ones you care, and hopefully, more than just once a year.
The same goes for a brand and their customers.
So what does Valentine’s Day have to teach you about community management and showing the love all year round?
1) Delight Someone By Making Them Feel Special
Valentine’s Day is a lovely way to remind someone how much they mean to you. It could be anything from giving your dog a heart shaped treat or your hard working mamma a foot massage (been there, done that) or cooking a surprise breakfast in bed.
You could delight your fans any time of the year. An author once sent me an adorable bracelet made with red threads after I wrote a review about her book Red Thread Thinking: Weaving Together Connections for Brilliant Ideas and Profitable Innovations.
I doubt it broke her budget. Simplicity works well, too. A little something extra (maybe an extended trial or sneak peek in your new beta software?), a surprise handwritten thank you, or even a well thought out Facebook gift card works. Also check out these 5 brands that surprised their fans last year.
While the possibilites are endless, one thing is clear: it’s not impossible to delight.
2) Personalization is Better
94% of marketers agree online personalization is imperative to success of their business.
Jewels, chocolate or teddy bears come to mind as common gifts for Valentine’s day…and while they do a solid job making that special one go “AWW” we know the killer gifts are personalized. Instead of grabbing a box of chocolate when the lady really likes creme brulee, make it instead for dinner! I mean dessert (kind of).
It feels great to be part of a community. But it also feels amazing to be recognized individually. Pay attention to who’s speaking about you and speaking to your brand. The more you engage and listen, the better you get to know them and personalize their customer experience. Curiosity.com (owned by Discovery, a very recent virtual hub to inspire users to discover topics and content they want to learn) and ShoeDazzle are examples of creating personalized experiences. Curiosity has a “spark quiz” to determine what you’re curious about and suggests possible playlists of videos. ShoeDazzle has you take a style quiz and based on that, they send you recommendations every month.
If you’re craving more, see KissMetric’s list of examples of online personalization. Hot topic, isn’t it?
3) Play Cupid for Your Current & New Customers
Cupid is an excellent connector and shooter. Listen for current and potential customers complaining, raving or looking for a solution, and work Cupid’s magic. Make them feel heard, appreciated and introduce your product/service in the best possible way.
Show them why you’re a good match.
Grovo is a good example of pinging their customers with love arrows. I reached out last year about closed captioning accessibility on their videos (and they do a stellar job, by the way) and the founder personally contacted me. We’ve exchanged a few emails, and I was sent a cute tee shirt with his handwritten note, complemented by a pro membership for three months. Even though they’re a growing company, it felt intimate. I felt appreciated.
Then…ping, went Cupid again.
I wrote a post Studying’s Sexy months later and happened to include Grovo. Recently, I was contacted by an outreach intern who wanted to thank me for the shout out, and wanted to send me some swag topped with three more months of a pro membership. Even when I mentioned I already got one, I still got my sweet package. It was only natural they came to mind when I started writing this post and I’ve still got interest in their service. Sparks are flying!
4) Rekindle Your Relationship
Maybe somebody is feeling neglected. Or your fans have been repeatedly complaining about a certain feature. V-Day is a cliche-but-it-so-works way to show a loved one you took matters to heart and you want to step up your game.
But for your customers, the “perfect time” is when you take action. You have to listen online to monitor brand perception and feedback, and show them you care by addressing their concerns and feedback and making tangible steps towards improvement for the sake of your customers.
5) Awareness, All the Time!
Let’s not kid ourselves. Valentine’s Day is one of those things nobody can escape no matter what our take on it is – a chocolate nirvana day, money making scheme, the most heavenly day, or singles awareness day – we’re all aware of it. That’s perfectly alright. Let’s add reminder to the list.
It is a day to show love and appreciation, right?
Except it should be something that’s done naturally and everyday. Show your customers the love year around. I just shared several ways you could accomplish that. Look at the holiday as a reminder.
Community managers – and anyone who is involved with growing a community – should be never-ending compassionate, thoughtful and committed to the relationship kind of people.
Have a great Valentine’s Day – I’m sharing my virtual Oreos with you.