The overwhelming temptation for brands is to push to get the benefits they want from a community. You want feedback right? Perhaps increased sales? Maybe advocacy too?
So why not ask members to give you feedback, buy more items or tell their friends (ugh!).
Because they will feel like you're selfish. They will feel like this isn't a genuine community for them, but a marketing exercise for you. They will feel like you're manipulating them.
Members don't like to feel they're being sold to. Members hate feeling used and manipulated. Members have a natural (and often healthy) distrust of brands just like yours. It doesn't matter if you're a non-profit asking for a donation or Coca Cola wanting advocacy.
The funny thing is, the best way to get these benefits isn't to wait until the community is a success. The best way to get these benefits is to not push for them at all.
If you want members to buy more of your product, asking them to buy more wont do it. But if you create an amazing environment where they come to chat every day, like Kotex has, they wont buy from anyone else.
In addition, for many products, by participating in a community they're likely to use that product more often. That naturally leads to increased sales. Likewise, if you want feedback – you can get it. But don't take the GenerationBenz approach and demand feedback – just watch to see what members talk about.
The second you get pushy, is the second your community begins to fail.
You can join the Professional Community Management mailing list for detailed bi-weekly articles and case studies in building branded online communities.