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10 Ways To Celebrate Your Community and Build Loyalty For Your Brand, Too

Worker in an apron looking out the window of a food truck: community appreciation
Sometimes it’s the small gestures that mean the most. Focusing on the little things can show a person that they are indeed worth your time. [Maskot / Getty Images]

You have a connection with your community. Build on that relationship with customers, prospects, and supporters — and strengthen loyalty for your brand along the way.

In many ways, a healthy relationship between your brand and its community parallels that of a healthy relationship between two people. Community appreciation rests on simple tenets like respect and empathy, and a positive, long-lasting, and mutually-beneficial relationship should be celebrated whenever possible.

When thinking about the connection you’ve built with your community and its members, remember these 10 truths of a healthy relationship to keep your community feeling loved and appreciated.

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  1. Remember to say “Thank you.” People generally enjoy saying or doing nice things for others, and they tend to do it without expecting to be thanked. However, we all know how great it makes us feel when we’re recognized for our efforts. When your community says something nice about you, it’s always a wonderful idea to show gratitude and appreciation.
  1. Celebrate the successes of your community. This is the age-old principle of thinking of others before yourself. If you do so, then you will probably notice the great things members of your community are accomplishing. Congratulate them and share their successes with others whenever you can.
  1. Be a good listener. We’ve probably all received this advice at least once in our lives. As Stephen R. Covey points out in “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Great relationships are built on the idea of give and then, perhaps, get. Invest in your community by listening and understanding their needs.
  1. Ask for your community’s opinion. People like being asked for their opinion, and project collaboration almost always produces a better end result. Social media gives brands an amazingly simple and effective way to engage with those who have thoughts and ideas about them and their products and services.
  1. Don’t forget about the little things. Sometimes it’s the small gestures that mean the most. Focusing on the little things can show a person that they are indeed worth your time. When approaching relationships from a long-term frame of mind, it is very possible to make the time along the way for those important details without getting overwhelmed by the idea. Look out for the little touches to help each community member.
  1. Be patient. In any relationship, making things work means working through the occasional misunderstanding or frustration. Life is not supposed to be simple; if it were, it wouldn’t be all that exciting. Look at every challenge from the other’s point of view. Your patience and willingness to try to understand will be appreciated. Be known for your abundant patience and caring approach with your community.
  1. Admit your mistakes. Nobody is perfect, and holding onto your pride will never do you any favors. When you invest in building relationships within your community, members get to know your brand’s human side. You will make errors but, while members may be disappointed, your community generally has the ability and willingness to forgive. Be quick to admit your mistakes and be genuine in asking for forgiveness.
  1. Share a common passion. Brands and people are more than capable of setting up daily routines to get things accomplished. And while working side by side on a project can create a bond, it’s not usually sustainable long term. Finding a common passion, something you both enjoy doing and talking about, creates the strongest bonds. If your brand is passionate about what you do, find others that feel the same way. Invite them to your community, and enjoy learning and sharing together.
  1. Show respect and gain trust. The strongest relationships are built on mutual respect and trust, and it starts with you. Be willing to respect the views of your community even though you may not entirely agree with them. Community members have reasons for their points of view. It’s up to you to understand, or at least accept, them. And, when making commitments to your community, make sure you meet or exceed their expectations. Compromise will help your brand demonstrate respect and earn a community’s trust.
  1. Pretend it’s Valentine’s Day every day. Giving your community a valentine once a year is definitely a nice gesture, but strive to find ways that show them how much you love them on a regular basis. Apply your creative energy to think of new ways to accomplish goals one through nine above. Anything you do to show community appreciation can help your brand stand out in the crowd.

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Guilda Hilaire Director, Product Marketing

Guilda Hilaire is a Director of Product Marketing, Marketing Cloud, and proud Trailblazer advocate at Salesforce.

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