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Inspiration Alley: Arby’s Thanks Their 1 Million Fans

Arby’s hit a milestone this week, they passed 1 million fans on Facebook. To celebrate they made a Facebook header photo to thank each fan personally.

Okay, so they can’t list every name, but it’s a clever idea for two reasons. First, it shows that Arby’s appreciates every person who liked their page. This isn’t a celebration of something the company did (“we sold 1 million sandwiches!”), it’s a celebration of something the fans did and that goes a long way. People like to be recognized, even if it’s only a token show of appreciation.

Second, it’s a milestone. I don’t know why, but human beings love any kind of a time or achievement marker. 10th Anniversary, the first, the biggest, the longest, etc. We’re goal-oriented. We like to check things off To Do lists and rip pages off of the calender. I don’t know the psychology behind it, but it works.

Take a look at your business. What milestones are in your future? Check the followers on Facebook and Twitter then round to the nearest important number. See, that’s another odd thing about milestones, we celebrate in round numbers — 100, 1,000, 10,000. No one ever has a celebration for the 253,450th customer but maybe they should! It sure would be an attention getter.

Once you pick your milestone, make it all about the customers. If it’s 1 million burgers sold, give thanks to those who made it happen. Arby’s is going to be giving away limited edition “Born to be Roasted” t-shirts and you can bet that the fans who get them will wear them with pride.

Celebrating the milestone – it’s an oldie, but a goodie. How are you going to make it work for your business?