Every interest is bound to have an online community dedicated to it. According to PostRelease, 1 in 5 Americans use an online community to discuss and recommend products. Brands and businesses that can successfully participate in these consumer groups have a lot to gain. We outline the steps to joining and engaging in exclusive communities in the guide 103 Ways to Sell a New Product.
In this post, we'll focus on a specific feature shared by many online communities: the upvote button. The upvote button allows members to show approval for a post if they find it particularly funny, engaging, interesting, or all of the above. Upvotes help the community see and discover good content.
For brands, this type of visibility can help accomplish two things: amplify brand awareness and generate traffic. We advise that the best way to get upvotes is to consistently create and contribute interesting and helpful content. The steps below are a short term hack that will only boost the popularity of one of two posts– positive long-term brand reputation is a long-term strategy.
1. Choose your community wisely.
Keep in mind the guidelines we’ve previously provided for taking advantage of forums, and choose one that offers members the option to upvote.
2. Create Your Offers
With the community in mind, create two offers: one offer will be part of your actual post and the other will be in a follow-up email to those interested in your first offer. The efficacy of this tactic largely depends on how well suited your offers are.
3. Post and Track
Post your first offer into the community you’ve chosen with a unique URL so you can track it. Remember – most community members will not appreciate anything that’s heavily salesy or self-promotional. Try to find other successful posts that have properly promoted an outside product and model yours after it.
Once someone redeems your first offer, follow up with an email containing the second offer your know they can’t refuse. However, in order to redeem this second offer, they must go back to your first post and upvote it. If you need to, require they respond to your follow-up email with a screenshot as proof.