How to Offer Deals, Discounts, and Promotions to Your Online Community - dummies

How to Offer Deals, Discounts, and Promotions to Your Online Community

By Deborah Ng

If you’re bringing together an online community around your brand, in order to drive sales, build buzz, and create awareness, it would be a total downer for them to receive nothing out of the arrangement at all.

For product-oriented brands, your members are there because they hope to receive some sort of perk, such a product samples or discounts, for being a participant in the community. For others, it’s to discover more about the brand or share tips for hobbies and careers. Your community is hoping to receive something of value from your community, so you need to consider how you’ll provide that for them.

One way brands reward community members is to offer them stuff the general public won’t receive — things like special coupons or coupon codes, free products, and giveaway items. You also might offer them swag, such as branded keychains, t-shirts, hats, and other promotional products. Even if everyone doesn’t like what you’re offering, they will appreciate the gesture because they feel like they’re getting something in return for their participation.

Most products and perks offered to the community don’t break the bank. You can use coupon codes and sales for community members frequently and entice others into joining your community as well.

Your community has no obligation to talk about or promote their coupons or swag. Their participation in the community should be enough. Therefore, unless specified, they shouldn’t be expected to blog about, tweet about, link to, or otherwise promote a product after it has been offered to them out of the goodness of your heart.

Generally, word-of-mouth marketing takes care of itself. If you’ve given your members a bargain, they’ll talk about it on their own anyway. These perks and discounts are a way to give back to the people who are so supportive of your brand.