Creating bonds between customers is like taking a singular connection between you and the customer and exploding it into a spider web of support and strength for your brand. Here's four ways that you can start doing that even before you have a community of advocates.
1) Social Media Comments
Consider how you can encourage customers to not just comment on your post, but even like or engage with other comments on your post. Put really simply, when you ask for any feedback, opinions, or info from the follower, follow it up with a call to find someone else in the comments with whom they share that commonality.
Depending on the post, you can even start to play match-maker within your comments, connecting similar followers to each other.
Here’s a great example of what we’re talking about:
We LOVED this cheeky post from @createcultivate. But they could have gotten immensely more value out of the post if instead of just focusing on their 1:1 relationship with the customer, they inspired connection between them. With the simple addition “... then try to decipher your favorite!” They could pick 5 of their favorite interactions and join in on the fun.
2) Show your top customers some spotlight
Whether or not your all-star customers are world-class photographers, start finding ways to spotlight them in your social media channels. Do a short Q&A with them, write a blog post about them and how they use your product, or just shine the light with an Instastory. Instead of searching for an ultra-inspiring or insanely gorgeous customer, focus on who you have that is supporting you the most. Spotlighting your every-day, average jane is just as powerful (and arguably more powerful) than always creating an aspirational character.
In your spotlight, ask other customers to share one thing they have in common with this person or something that resonated with them. The more you’re able to get really specific and show who your target customer is (not just aspirationally), the more other customers can opt-in (even just as a mental check) with “oh yeah, that’s totally me too.”
3) Guide new customers to reviews
Depending on the complexity of your product, guiding new customers to reviews or to even talk with your top customers (that you have good relationships with so it’s not weird) can be an amazing way to build trust with the brand. When someone reaches out with a question before buying, you can add at the end of the email:
“In fact, would it be helpful if I connected you with a long-time customer and they can share a little more about their experience to see if it’s a good fit for you?”
Check in with that customer beforehand and send them a little surprise and delight after they have shared. This is especially powerful for super-small brands who have personal relationships with those top customers.
4) Facilitate a live event
When you get in front of customers live, you have just walked into a solid opportunity to cultivate bonds between those viewers. Pepper in questions about the audience. As you or a facilitator read through the comments, call out ones that are the same. If your comment stream is super packed, take the time to go back through after the live and tag commenters who have things in common or have similar answers.
At Sseko, our community developed such strong rapport with each other that during our live-streaming events, there would be so many side-conversations and inside jokes happening in the comments, it would take hours to go through the comments after an event. Talk about strong bonds between customers.
Ps. We are talking about WHY creating bonds with your customers is so important in our August newsletter - sign up in our footer below so you don’t miss it!
Picture credit: @freestocks on Unsplash
About the Author
Bri Leever is Chief Community Architect at Ember, a splasher of water, and lover of books doing life in an ever-changing migration pattern ✈️