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3 Tips for Making Your Users Feel Like They're One in a Million

Reddit General Manager Erik Martin recently discussed his best tips for making a big user community feel small and personal.
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Many regular and non-regular Reddit users alike would probably be surprised to learn that the employees of the Reddit community team number in just the single digits. 

Meanwhile, the site has been used by more than 100 million unique visitors per month internationally, according to First Round Review. The blog recently asked Reddit General Manager Erik Martin for tips on how to make sure users feel connected to the hub, even when they're one of millions of spokes. 

In other words, what steps does Martin take to make users feel like they have a personal relationship with the company? "Sometimes people just want to know there's someone else on the other side of the line," Martin told First Round. In short, displaying empathy is key. 

Here are Martin's three tips for pulling this off in all of your communications with your users: 

Be kind and courteous.

It's all too easy to forget that there is a person behind a user name or email address. But each number on your marketing listserv represents a real life recipient. When you're drafting an email, whether it's to one person or a thousand, demonstrate the kindness of someone you'd like to spend time with, Martin advised. 

Practice efficient responsiveness.

Being responsive doesn't necessarily mean that you need to respond to everyone's questions and concerns personally. There are more efficient ways to be attentive. Be on the lookout for recurring patterns or issues, then consider addressing those with some type of user resource. For example, think about implementing a help center or an FAQ page.

The user might be wrong, but don't tell them that.

When communicating with a user one on one, try to see a bad situation their way so you can learn where they're coming from. "When you communicate with them, make it clear that you understand their motivation, and then walk them through a desired course of action to resolve the problem," Martin said. Then listen to what they have to say. That way, they'll remember that you're human, too.

IMAGE: fjordaan / Flickr.com
Last updated: Jul 9, 2014

LAURA MONTINI | Staff Writer

Laura Montini is a reporter at Inc. She previously covered health care technology for Health 2.0 News and has served as an associate editor at The Health Care Blog. She lives in San Francisco.




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