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Customer Reward Programs through Social Media

Contributor: David Brim March 15, 2010

Social Media can be utilized in many ways outside of standard interactions and basic communication. Some additional ways that social media can be used that people often don’t thing about include market research, customer service, participation marketing, reputation management and as the title of this post suggests…Developing customer reward or customer loyalty programs.

The transparency and openness of Social Media makes identifying your brand enthusiasts very easy. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of marketing there is. Conversations are happening online all the time whether it be on established social sites like Facebook or Twitter or rising ones such as Yelp or FourSquare. Identifying customers who are passionate and talking about your business or service within their social circle and rewarding them with bonuses or perks can do wonders for your business.

According to a new study customers are more likely to recommend a product, service or brand if they have good experiences with customer reward programs. The Colloquy study, “Measuring Word-of-Mouth Activity Among Reward Program Members”, reveals that customers who have good experiences with customer reward programs are 70% more likely to recommend that product.

Of the 7000 respondents who participated in customer reward programs, 55% describe themselves as “brand champions”. A huge 68% of these “brand champions” say they will recommend a program sponsor’s brand during the year.

Here are a few examples of ways Social Media can be utilized to implement your customer rewards program:

  1. Rewarding the Mayor of your establishment on FourSquare with a special offer or perk. Four Square helps people earn points and unlock badges for discovering new places, doing new things and meeting new people. Nearly every retail business, bar or restaurant can be found on FourSquare. The person who “Checks In” the most at that establishment is dubbed the “Mayor”. Mayors in real life get perks and often the good graces flow back…why not reward your establishment’s social mayor on FourSquare?
  2. Build a Facebook Fan Page or Group and send out messages with Discounts or Freebies When someone becomes a fan of your business or a member of your group on Facebook an update is shown to all of their friends. This is free advertising and exposure for your business. Once you have an audience connected with you on Facebook cultivate this connection by offering discounts or Freebies for being a Fan. You can also craft a contest of some sort that engages your customers with a task centered around your product or it’s theme and reward the winner(s) with a prize.
  3. Direct Message The Accidental Spokes Person a Coupon Code for Helping Spread the Word As mentioned people are talking about your brand online. If someone talks about how they had a great experience with your establishment why not surprise them with a Coupon Code or small gift for their next purchase. This small gesture and investment will pay off dividends. This will form a bond with your customer and causing them to be even more exited to share their experiences with others in their social circle.

The first step in developing these customer rewards programs through social media is to reach out to your existing customer base and ask them to connect with you on their favorite social site. Next determine where your other current, present or past customers are communicating with one another online and uncover what is being said about your business. If it’s negative or you can’t find anything being said, you could use our help extending your social foot print or identifying these conversations through our brand monitoring service. Finally figure out your brand champions who are sharing their good experiences with others and reward them!

There are millions of blogs, forums, social networks and other social sites that people congregate and discuss their experiences with businesses and brands just like yours. Contact us today to be your guide in navigating this social landscape. The team at Brand Advance will help you identify your brand champions, monitor your brand, craft a customer rewards program and fully harness the power of social media.

Thanks for reading!