This post was contributed by Raul Harman, editor of technivorz.com.
There’s nothing businesses love more than loyal customers. Not only are they willing to spend good money and engage in repeat buying, retaining them costs the company a lot less than acquiring new customers. When it comes to building loyalty, utilising social media is a great way to amplify your brand messages and reach out to a wider audience. You can also foster organic brand engagement, which is hard to pull off using traditional marketing methods. Let’s talk about how to use social media to keep customers coming back to your business, so you can weave a loyalty web that will catch even the most resilient flies.
Start with the Basics
We can start by defining loyalty programs as ongoing campaigns aimed at creating repetitive behaviour among your customer base. This is usually done by providing small rewards on an ongoing basis, rather than offering one big reward that only a handful of people can compete for. Like any other business strategy, creating a loyalty program starts with a pre-determined set of goals. These goals will determine two things:
What kind of actions are needed from your social media following to help you reach them
- How you will promote and encourage these actions
Reward Loyalty and Loyalty Will Reward You
Recognising and rewarding loyal customers is paramount to success in today’s business world. Customers no longer want to be treated as passive consumers of marketing messages, they want to feel like part of the company. Social media allows us to create an interactive, entertaining environment where we can engage directly with customers and foster this two-way relationship. This allows companies to better recognise loyalty and reward it accordingly. Giving loyal customers attention via social media doesn’t just make them feel good, it fosters conversions which provides tangible and beneficial results to the company as a whole.
Engage Existing Connections
One of the first things to do is to encourage social media engagement within your existing email list. The goal is to direct people from the email to their social networks of choice, and encourage them to join the program. This brings about an initial boost in organic traffic and allows you to get the ball rolling. It also provides insight into the social media preferences of the users, which you can do by monitoring the performance of each network and noting the number of sign-ups. Keeping track of the participation demands technical skills, funding and time to tackle, but it will bring benefits to both your social media and digital marketing strategies.
Find New Followers
Your existing email list is a great place to start, but there are countless ways to leverage social media to build loyalty. I recommend taking a look at this comprehensive list of tips on growing your social media following, it will give you a couple of techniques and tips that are likely to fit in well with your pre-determined strategies. You might notice that many of these techniques involve establishing and maintaining a human touch with your following. People are much more inclined to be loyal towards brands that instil positive human values. Making sure that people are aware of real people behind your brand, products and services is a paramount objective of all good marketing strategies.
Make sure customers are aware of your loyalty programs by promoting them across all your social media channels. Highlight the perks of participating in it, and show commitment to forge deeper relationships with customers. It’s also a good idea to include social rewards in your loyalty program to make it more appealing. The logic is simple: Users who display active participation should be awarded for their social actions such as liking your page or sharing your content. A nice prepaid gift card is a practical choice, and a safe bet as it gives customers an opportunity to spend money on things they desire. Feel free to explore other inexpensive items and handy gadgets.
Freebies, Freebies and More Freebies!
Everybody likes coupons and discounts, and these incentives, if properly executed, allow companies to avoid excessive spending. Geo location rewards are well-received as well. For example, a customer who visits a local restaurant may get a nice reward in the form of “cut-the-line pass” or early testing of an experimental dish. No reward is without costs, but the benefits outweigh them. It is much more cost-effective to maintain a loyalty of an existing customer than to acquire a new one, while word-of-mouth promotion helps in the process of building a positive image in the public’s eye. Finally, repeated purchases over a longer period of time can do wonders for the sales revenues and your chances to hit big.
Set the Social World on Fire
Social media is a tremendous tool for building loyalty and trust with the customers. You should always make an effort to get people to join your marketing activities to widen their reach. Be creative with rewards and you will not have to spend a truckload of money. Even if that happens, know that the loyalty enhances your company’s bottom line and propels it towards flourishing success. More engagement is closely tied to increased customer value, so ignite the social media flame and see the loyalty fully shining.