Social media has given loyalty programs an entirely new way to connect with their members and complement their messaging in other channels. If used thoughtfully, social media can help programs to better understand their members and create more engaging experiences.
With the advent of social platforms and behavioral analytics, programs can extract deeper insights about who their customers are, what they like and how to talk to them more effectively. There is no doubt that you can improve your loyalty program with social media. The challenge with social media is getting it right.
There are two simple rules for social media behavior:
- Keep it authentic
- Keep it on all the time
Every marketer feels the pressure to get social media right, but loyalty marketers have the added pressure of fostering a real relationship with customers. Not only have these customers committed to giving you some of their attention by joining your loyalty program, they are sharing that personal fact with all their friends publicly on social media. When it comes to social media, we believe there are two golden rules:
Keep it authentic
Participating on social media, personifies your program. Members will engage with you in the same way they do with their personal friends. Don’t be the annoying friend that only boasts. Share thoughtful, interesting and relevant information and stories. Comment on real life. Make your brand a “real” person with your actions.
Keep it on all the time
Social media is a real commitment. By engaging in social media, you’re telling your members “I want to talk to you, to share with you and hear from you.” Social media is a non-stop activity for your members. It has to be on all the time for you too. When your customers engage, they expect you’ll respond. One way conversations are no fun.
Marketers agree that the channel builds loyalists:
- Social media, regardless of the platform, is an authentic way to engage loyal members and nurture a deeper relationship through a direct dialog
- Social media can complement a loyalty program’s marketing efforts by connecting the program and current campaigns to its members on social media and generating organic advocacy among them
- Social media can create a sense of community amongst your members
Social platforms also show the power of peer pressure. People admit that their purchasing decisions are influenced by their friends and their social media posts, almost as much as they are by the posts of brands they follow.
Investing the time and effort to use social media wisely and authentically can bring a lot of benefits. Listening and engaging in conversations with your members can tell you what’s working, what’s not and what your members are thinking. It can help bring your brand to life. Social media is all about making connections, leveraging them to create deeper relationships with your members and keep them coming back. Just make sure you’re doing it authentically and all the time.