Responding to Suggestions: How to Initiate Idea-Sharing

The common wisdom is that every idea in an ideation community should receive a response. The tone should be positive and encouraging – like a really great coach or mentor. But what should you say? Use any of these common replies to respond to ideas in your community.

  1. Ask for an image. Posts with an image receive 40% more engagement than posts without an image.
  2. Say thank you!: “Thank you for this thought-provoking idea.”
  3. Ask for an example. “What a neat suggestion! Can you share a link to an example?”
  4. Ask the author to share their idea with their network. “Thank you so much for your idea! Share it with your friends so that they can help to make it even better!” By enlisting your crowd to help get the word out, you can grow your community faster with even less effort.

  5. Provide an explanation. “We’ve been receiving tons of great ideas. While this idea is incredibly novel, the review panel determined that it will not be feasible to implement this year. While you’re idea was not selected for implementation this year, it was archived for potential use at a later date. We wanted you to know how much it means that you’ve participated in the process! I hope we’ll see you again in our next campaign.”
  6. Use emojis! If you’re digging an idea, use the “party” emoji. Even if you’re saying “no” to an idea, you can make someone have a positive experience a friendly smiley face.
  7. Ask the idea author to weigh in on similar ideas. “Have you taken a look at James’ idea?”
  8. @ mention an expert and ask them what they think of the idea! “@james.baillie – what do you think of this?”
  9. Ask for suggestions. “This idea is really interesting. Have you thought about who might be able to work on it? We’d love to hear your suggestions.”
  10. Find the positive part(s) of an idea and ask the submitter to build on the idea. Even if you think the existing idea won’t move forward today, you can encourage new thinking and collaboration to improve the idea for later consideration.


Want more? Review the best practices included in the subsequent pages:

10 Common Ways to Reply to Idea Suggestions