Today’s article is a guest post from social marketing writer Lori Davis.

You sometimes hear opinions like “Businesses are cold” and “They don’t appreciate customers.” An unfortunate fact of life is that, by and large, this is true. When a popular brand shows appreciation to customers in some substantial way, it’s usually big news.

However, it’s only big news because it’s the exception and not the rule.

As a brand operating on social media, you have a great opportunity to change the way businesses are viewed by many customers out there. You can celebrate your customers and show your appreciation in numerous ways. After all, if not for customers, you wouldn’t have a business. So, let’s go over some ways to show your appreciation to fans and customers alike.

5 Tips for Giving Thanks to Your Fans

1: Give Them Free Stuff
Though we may not all be selfish, we’re all self-interested. That’s just a softer way to say that everyone loves free stuff! One of the best ways to show your appreciation is to start rewarding your customers. This doesn’t mean that you have to start stuffing stockings with goodies. You can offer a BOGO (buy one, get one) promotion, you can hold a contest, you can give something to repeat customers. Giveaways, in any capacity, show your appreciation.

2: Dedicate a Day
Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Customer Appreciation Day — it seems to fit right in. And if it doesn’t, make it fit anyway. Pick a day out of the calendar year as a business to show customer appreciation. On this day, you could offer 30% off on all products, give people a sign-up bonus of some sort, or do something else that will truly show you appreciate your customers.

3: Say it with a Smile
It has long been said by many aggrieved people that an apology has little to do with the wording and everything to do with the tone with which it was delivered. That goes for customer appreciation too. You can write out a slew of posts and create a lot of cool graphics and whatnot, but unless it seems as if your heart is truly in it, customers will see right through it. So just remember that you have to put a little soul into anything that you do. Say it with a smile and let customers know that you truly do appreciate them. Adjust your tone accordingly.

4: Start a “Thank You” Campaign
Whether it’s a photo album, an infographic, or a video, you could start a “thank you” campaign and show real employees from your business saying thank you to the fans and customers. You could send out personalized messages to everyone within your network. You could – and should – start a post on Facebook and create hashtags on Twitter that expressly show gratitude to your customers. They have carried you this far, after all.

5: Reward Loyalty as a Policy

Don’t show your customer appreciation only on a designated day, however. Make sure it’s a policy of yours that loyal customers will be rewarded. The best way to show appreciation to customers is to start out showing it. Offering some type of loyalty program signals to would-be customers that you value them. This type of policy builds trust and helps you keep happy, repeat customers.

Happy customers make for a happy business. The benefits are too vast and varied to name here, but you can except to see less drama, a better reputation overall, more customers spreading your brand around to their networks, and much more positive feedback.

It’s well worth the little effort it takes to show that you appreciate customers.

About the Author: Lori Davis is an online writer and social media enthusiast who enjoys engaging with different communities and social forums. Get more from Lori on Qwaya.

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