A week or so ago, I opened up Tweetdeck and sent the following tweet:
I’d like to see fewer inspirational quotes & more practical suggestions in 2010.
Following along in that vein, here is a list of 21 things I, as a customer, appreciate seeing in an online community. If you’re in the process of developing or maintaining a community see if any of these suggestions resonate with you or compliment what you’ve already done. After the first one, they are in no particular order.
Things I like to see in a community.
1. Honest content generated by you about your product
2. Information about new products
3. Detailed information, including pictures and video about your product lines
4. Coupons and info on sales and other discounts
5. How to maintain my product once I buy from you
6. Other products you sell
7. Comments, including product reviews, from other community members, or better yet a discussion forum
8. Two-way conversation between you and your customers
9. Easy navigation
10. Archives for the blog and other resources
11. Easy opt-in on newsletters, e-mails, and social media
12. Easy account management
13. Simple sign up process
14. A sense of humor
15. Other ways I might use your product
16. Where I can find you on different social media platforms
17. How you and your employees are involved in giving back & how we can join you
18. A secure well designed, vibrant site
19. Opportunities to create user generated content
20. How we can resolve customer service issues
21. Your vision and mission statements
Also, your philosophy concerning your community should be more about adding value to our customer experiences and less about selling us stuff or collecting marketing data.
Finally, if you’re a clothier or someone who has seasonal product lines, I’d like advance warning of when you start selling your next season’s products.
An example of a community that I like and that meets most of these is Stonyfield Organic. Check ‘em out.
I’m sure I’m missing some things here. Any suggestions?
You can commune with me on Twitter. I’m txglennross