The most fundamental form of marketing is talking with your target market. When you engage the market, you learn more about them, how they talk, their most pressing problems, and how you can serve them better. If you have an email list, you can easily ping your fans to ask them questions or issue a survey, but how can you reach the people in your market that have not “opted-in”?
In this case study, we examine how Arcadia Ales (a brewery in Southwest Michigan) received high quality feedback from their market by posting to their local subreddit.
How to ask for feedback
Arcadia Ales is a brewery with a location in Kalamazoo, MI, so they were able to engage their target market through the /r/Kzoo subreddit. If you are a local business, then your local subreddit is a great place to start. If you serve customers outside of your local area, find the subreddits that are related to your business (read this post if you need help). The idea is to find where your market is hanging out on reddit and where it is appropriate to engage them about your business. Always start with the most targeted subreddit.
Here is how Arcadia approached the /r/Kzoo community:
When asking for feedback it is important to make sure that respondents feel their input is valued and potentially actionable. This title does a great job of this by stating the goal of the feedback (to improve Arcadia) and emphasizing the importance of each individual customer (“Let YOUR Voice Be Heard”).
We recommend not capitalizing entire words or using excessive exclamation points, although it did not seem to hurt this post. In some reddit communities this could generate downvotes because users will think you are trying too hard to get attention.
The body of the post did a great job of backing up the claim made in the title. The poster explained who they are, their relationship to Arcadia and then reiterated the goal of the post. They then went on to prompt the community with a series of questions, but also left it open for any type of advice.
Overall, the post was well received. It was ~88% upvoted and had a final score of ~12, which is higher than the average post in /r/Kzoo. There was 15 direct responses to the feedback and some additional comments that stemmed from these direct responses.
Below are a few samples of the feedback that was received. These responses are extremely constructive and are ideas that Arcadia can take into consideration to improve their customers’ experience.
All of the feedback should be compiled into a report and presented to the appropriate team members that have the ability to take action. Reading comments directly on reddit can be tricky for non-redditors, so it is important to organize and communicate the feedback in a more traditional format (e.g. slide deck, pdf).
When compiling the feedback, include the voting scores as well as the comments. This lets your team members understand the context of the feedback (e.g. “this comment received a score of 5 signifying that others related to it”).
Responding to comments
One of the key principles to successful reddit marketing strategies is to be accessible. In the case of a feedback campaign, this means acknowledging and responding to the comments made by others. The only reason to ignore a comment is if the user is being confrontational, inappropriate or completely off-topic.
Arcadia did a great job of responding to feedback. Here is one example where they thanked the user for offering feedback, identified with their complaint, and expressed that action would be taken.
When you respond to a comment, it might trigger a reply from that user or another user. Don’t be afraid to go deep into a conversation to learn more about the customers problem or idea. Always be professional and avoid getting dragged into an argument.
Arcadia Ales was able to create a valuable conversation with their target market. They received 15 direct responses to their post and additional comments stemming from the direct responses. Arcadia can now take this feedback and process it with the rest of their team. If they take any action based on the feedback, they should return to reddit to share what they did.