Forge Relationships with Online Community Members - dummies

Forge Relationships with Online Community Members

By Deborah Ng

When you spend time talking each day to the same people, you find out about them. Sometimes, you know more about your online community members than about how they use your brand. You may know about their kids, hobbies, or favorite types of books and movies.

These details may seem to be sort of personal, but knowing them is a way to deepen discussion topics and add to your relationships with members. Although you don’t want to offer intimate details about your life, it’s okay to talk about your favorite music or actor. Sharing likes and dislikes is a great way to find common ground with your members.

The relationships you build do more than just create good discussion topics; they also create trust in you and in your brand. People like supporting brands that they feel good about, and you’re the one who’s tasked with bringing on those good feelings.

If your community trusts you, you continue to find out more about them, and you can provide feedback to the brand so that it can create more of the products and services people want to use.

Thanks to the Internet and social media, brands now have the tools they need to learn about what people want and need. There are no more impersonal form letters or surveys to fill out or telephone recordings to deal with. Feedback is instant and it’s made directly to the people who can do the most good.

Having good relationships with your community means they don’t feel shy about telling you how they use your community or your brand.