By Amy Kattan
On Sunday night at 10pm ET, #LikeableChat celebrated its first birthday (YAY BIRTHDAYS!!) with the topic of gratitude. We’ve heard a million social media peeps say things like “don’t forget to respond to your followers,” “thank your consumers for being your fans,” and “a little surprise and delight goes a long way.” It’s one thing to hear your colleagues say it, but hearing it from your community is entirely different. Well, I listened closely to the #LikeableChat community and noticed a few themes I’d like to share with you. Behold, the importance of gratitude:
1. Gratitude boosts customer retention.
@BTMurr: I think brands need to recognize the importance of nurturing existing relationships, not just fostering new. #LikeableChat
@MichaelCarusi: A2 The relationship doesn’t end after the first sale. Customer who feel valued become repeat customers. #LikeableChat
@LikeableCC: All it takes is a small gesture. Brands can really make their customers feel special and ensure repeat customers. #LikeableChat
Brands are often so focused on getting more Facebook “likes” and Twitter followers that they lose sight of their existing relationships. Come on, quality over quantity, people! A valuable community is defined by the strength of the brand-consumer relationship, not by a specific number of followers. The stronger your relationship with your current community members, the more repeat customers you’re going to get (which means more $$ for your company!).
2. Gratitude facilitates brand ambassadors and loyalists.
@LovelyLu: A2 A brand that expresses #gratitude surely increases loyalty! #Likeablechat
@jonjsilves7789: A2: Fans receiving gratitude from brands is an amazing feeling. It will make them spread the word and keep them coming back. #LikeableChat
It’s so simple: make your consumers feel special and they’ll have a great story that they’ll want to tell all of their friends about. Showing your consumers you care with a simple “thank you” increases the likelihood that your consumers will show you how much they care by recommending your product or service to their family and friends. With a small gesture, you’re increasing the likelihood that you develop loyal customers who openly spread the word about your company (and hey, free advertising!).
3. Gratitude helps you make friends and keeps the enemies to a minimum.
@bberg1010: A2. Necessary. When it’s so easy to acknowledge your advocates, to not do so is like saying you don’t really care #LikeableChat
@TaylorWAlderson: A2: Very important! It’s a sign of active listening and let’s the community know they care. #likeablechat
@karintracy: A brand that doesn’t express gratitude won’t have fans for long. #likeablechat
Saying “thank you” is SO easy, a baby could do it (I just decided that my general rule of thumb is if a baby can do it, a brand can too. Let’s roll with it). It doesn’t take a lot of time or effort, but it lets your customers know that you value them. However, the most important takeaway here is to pay attention to the message that your brand is sending if it doesn’t express a little gratitude. Your brand is now sending the message that it doesn’t care and that its community members are only worth the amount of cash they have in their pocket. A few minutes out of your day to say “thanks” makes all the difference.
4. Gratitude (if executed properly) humanizes your brand.
@SteveRhinehart: A2: Not to mention it shows humility – a distinctly human trait we can all appreciate and connect with. #likeablechat
@ottogrl: A2: It’s crucial for brands to thank their community- be human, humble, passionate, and vulnerable #LikeableChat
@erinmharris: A2: Think about HOW you’re thanking your fans, too. Not just a “thanks for the RT!” – that’s lame. Prove your gratitude. #LikeableChat
@colormelauren: A2 Gratitude should be expressed organically. Engaging in conversations, fostering relationships. Not just “Thanks for the RT” #likeablechat
We say this all the time: people do not want to talk to robots. People want to talk to real, living human beings. Unfortunately, a basic “Thanks for the RT!” or a generic message that has been copied and pasted a million times won’t cut it (although let’s face it, we’re all guilty of doing this once in a while). Provide your community with the details: WHY are you thankful for them? WHAT have they done? HOW did they do it? Personalizing your “thank yous” gives your brand a human voice that is easily relatable. Relatable content drives increased engagement and strong, long-lasting relationships. BAM.
5. Umm… you owe your customers big time.
@FrankRamblings: Brands owe their communities a lot. Without a customer base, what is a brand? #likeablechat
Your company would not exist without your customers. Regardless of the ROI of gratitude, you owe it to your customers to take a little time out of your day to express your appreciation. Seriously, don’t be a snob.
While we’re talking about gratitude, I’d like to give a huge shout out and THANK YOU to the #LikeableChat community. Your answers inspired me to write this post and I’ve learned so much from all of you!
Do you feel it is important for companies to express gratitude? Why/Why not?
For more tips on how to improve your social media presence, download our free Beginner’s Guide to Community Management here.