How Effective are Social Media Loyalty Programs?

Apr 9, 2015

A properly designed social media-based loyalty program is an excellent way to connect with your best customers, encourage some form of positive repeat behavior, and reward your most engaging fans and followers.

social media loyalty programs improves campaigns

Faced with a bewildering array of choices, today’s consumer is becoming less and less brand loyal. Competition for a piece of the consumer’s budget is fierce, and debilitating price competition is commonplace in many niches. A brand loyalty program might be just the ticket for retaining more of your best customers without having to rely solely on continuous profit-draining price wars with your competitors.

  • An estimated 62 percent of consumers join brand loyalty programs in order to obtain discounts, but only 36 percent have actually received sufficient rewards to entice them to come back to the brand offering the loyalty program.
  • The problem is that 81 percent of program participants report not fully understanding how the loyalty program works, or what type of benefits they may be eligible to receive.
  • By doing a better job of designing your loyalty program and describing its benefits to your fans, you can increase program participation and boost the number of loyal customers returning to your brand.

Understanding Loyalty Program Basics
A loyalty program is an ongoing social media campaign that relies on rewards to encourage customers to take some form of recurring action that benefits your business. The pre-determined accumulation of those actions is rewarded with some form of special offer, discount, or free gift.

You want to make sure that these recurring actions are easily understood and relatively easy for the average participant to achieve. For this reason, it usually makes more sense to provide a greater number of smaller rewards over time instead of offering a larger reward for an action that fewer participants will be able to complete.

How to Design a Socia Media Loyalty Program for Your Business
The first step is to decide on the business goal that you expect to achieve with your program. You might choose increased fan engagement, increasing your organic reach, encouraging visits to specific pages of your website, or subscribing to your newsletter. Whichever goal you select, your next step is to decide on the specific actions that program participants will need to take in order to help you reach that goal. Last but not least, you need to choose a promotional strategy that encourages those actions.

Loyalty programs that reward visitors to your website. Both Facebook and Twitter offer retargeting options that enable you to display ads only to those followers who have visited a designated website page. This strategy allows you to drive traffic to specific pages of your website, rewarding users either as they complete each page visit or complete the process.

Here’s how it works. Simply create a link ad that redirects visitors to a special landing page. Create a custom audience group within your Facebook or Twitter account consisting of all the visitors to your landing page. Wait a couple of days and then create a second link ad and corresponding landing page that will display only to users who visited your first landing page. Create another custom audience group for visitors who visit your second landing. Repeat the process for each landing page that you wish to display. After each landing page visit, offer a reward for participating users.

Reward ongoing Facebook engagement with points for each post like or comment. Likes and comments increase your overall exposure as well as engagement, which in turn will boost your organic reach. Offer participants a variety of options for exchanging their accumulated points for something of value.

While it’s possible to track program activity manually, you might consider using a third-party platform such as ShortStack to do the grunt work.