You really don’t need to spend much of your time, nor money, to create a simple community. Here it is:
- E-mail 10 customers a day asking if they would like to join your online community and meet others like them. You can also include an invite note with every purchase.
- Add each person who responds to a mailing list (be sure to introduce them).
- Start the conversations then chime in periodically with your thoughts and asking for their opinions on your products.
It pains me that this is so, so, simple to do, yet so few people do it. If you’re running a small business, or stuck trying to get approval for a community project at a larger business, you should absolutely be doing this.
For a small business, the moment you start connecting people the world of possibility grows infinitely. The more your customers like each other, the more loyal they become to you.
For those in larger organizations it’s a fantastic prove of concept. If you can demonstrate that a community of just 30 people recruited dozens more, came up with great ideas for your next advertising campaign and have bought more products than they usually would – getting approval (and a healthy budget) becomes much easier.
It takes just a few minutes each day. Do it.
One note, don’t let a single list grow beyond 20 to 30 members. After a time, create a second list. Then you can set challenges for your two communities. If activity dies you can always merge the two.