Loyalty programs have been there for many years traditionally in-store, on-location. Lots of new, innovative ways have been devised to make loyalty programs work. Leveraging Social Media is one of the ways to make it happen. Social Media has no doubt revolutionised the internet industry. With billions of potential customers to be reached, the brands have been blessed with a way to reward their loyal customers as well as increase their overall reach with brand awareness.
In return, the customers are provided with reward points or vouchers which can be redeemed for products or service offerings. This way, the customer retention is also encouraged, driving more sales thereby increasing the profitability. Social actions performed by customers can be of great use to generate brand virality through social shares, just like word-of-mouth in traditional marketing.
Social Media Loyalty programs benefit the consumers for making a purchase as well as for other social actions including likes, mentions, shares, positive reviews and more. Interacting in this manner has helped brands and consumers to stay connected via constant social engagement.
The biggest achievement for any business is to attain a higher ROI. Social loyalty programs are a boom to this. The 80-20 rule or Pareto Principle as it is commonly called, holds true for social loyalty programs. By increasing the customer lifetime value (CLV) almost fivefold, this has resulted in a boost of sales particularly the repeat purchases.
Numerous brands have launched successful loyalty programs using social channels. The basic purpose of loyalty programs is for encouraging higher sales by creating repetitive behaviours among customers. Promoting and encouraging the actions taken by the customers is a key for the loyalty program to be a success.
Providing perks to super fans, incentivising every social action of the users, brands also have the power of measuring the loyalty program participation as well as the impact it has had by powerful reporting tools. Social media can enhance loyalty programs hosted by brands to have a long lasting impact.
Here are the roles played by social media to improve loyalty program performance manifold:
1) Encouraging Direct Communication:
Direct involvement among customers and brands has led to increase in customer participation. Through social media loyalty program offerings, brands are aggressively in pursuit of actions that lead to active conversions.
The active ingredient is communication from the brand. This results in active engagement. Also, brands are able to acquire new brand loyalists in organic manner. Even though newsletters are also a form of communication that drive consumer engagement, that is more of an indirect approach. Leveraging social media to drive user engagement has helped brands tremendously.
2) Targeting the customers based on interests:
Observing social actions of targeted group of customers helps the brands to tailor their loyalty programs accordingly. The social interactions of the consumers give the brands an edge to get their message across.
Most of the brands today are utilising the social media to collect relevant information about consumer interests and desires of the participants. This data can be leveraged to examine the current loyalty program strategies or to devise new ones.
3) Promotion via word of mouth mentions:
Social media word of mouth referrals have helped brands to reach untapped market areas. The basic idea that is the foundation of any loyalty or rewards based programs is they receive more returns on increased participation. A simple ‘Thank You’ message that is clubbed together with some kind of reward or benefit makes the participants feel special.
Adding social component to your loyalty program not only encourages the outreach your brand gets, but also helps in gathering the data about where your customers spend most of their time on social media, which of the communication methods is working for you and which of your campaigns is grabbing more attention.
Looking for ways of creating successful Social Loyalty Program? Below are some of the tips which would help you out.
Implementing a Loyalty Program using Social Media:
Devising a social media loyalty program has also a step by step process to be followed. Before implementing it, brands must decide on a business goal. The second step is deciding the actions needed for the users to undertake in order for the brand to reach that goal. Final step lies in devising the plan on how to promote and encourage users to take those actions.
The best approach in devising a loyalty program using social media is to offer flexibility. To make the customers feel that they are being heard. The first step in creating a winning Loyalty Program is to reward the first time subscribers and encourage them to connect socially to the brand to make them feel special. Rewarding the site visitors on first time sign ups and through social interactions, the users represent the brand as brand ambassadors. That special feeling has a great impact in driving the social media loyalty program to a successful end.
Following are some of the ways to create a winning Loyalty Program utilising social channels:
Rewarding every social action such as likes, shares, positive reviews, mentions, referrals, online/offline purchases etc.
Keeping eyes and ears open to leverage social media interactions. This will enable brands to take prompt actions on consumer suggestions to build brand trust.
Offering rewards that are difficult to find elsewhere. This enables users to attain higher social status. Take for example, giving limited edition products to super fans.
Drive engagement through different levels. For example, providing different points for different social actions. Say liking a post earns fewer points whereas a positive review or mention earns maximum points.
Make reward points easily redeemable. This can be achieved by analyzing social actions closely. If the reward points are redeemed in a way users don’t like, the participation level would be reduced.
Creating a loyalty program utilizing social media empowers the brand to gain visibility exponentially. They provide an effective way to boost sales by increasing user engagement. A brand’s social touch points should reinforce the loyalists. After all, they are company’s most valuable customers. Loyalty programs are beyond competitions. It’s all about user communication.