How to leverage social media for your rewards program

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Social media has been at the helm of all things ‘marketing’ for over a decade now. As easily as brands utilize Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok for promotional purposes, the same can be done to strengthen reward programs as well.

Best customer experience sprinkled on top of great product offerings and voila, you have a strong foundation for a brilliant rewards program. Social media is key in taking this strong foundation and building a robust customer rewards program on top of it.

A staggering 4.55 billion people use social media as of October 2021. This number translates to every 9 out of 10 people who have an internet connection using social media platforms regularly. (Global Statshot Report)

With this social media statistic in mind, imagine leveraging it to its fullest potential. You will not only have the most loyal customers & great sales but also attract new patrons in the process.

Here are a few ways to take utmost advantage of social media to retain, promote, and strengthen your rewards program.

1. Promote your Rewards Program on Social Media

First things first, begin by promoting your rewards program on a social media platform where your audience is most engaging.

Creating awareness on a global scale is easier today than it was a few years ago and the beauty of social media is that you can connect with audiences all over the world and in your own neighborhood the same.

The second step is determining the right platform where your audience is most engaging and creating a promotion that suits that particular platform. A message, design, or promotion that is made for Twitter may not be appealing to the crowd on Instagram so be clever about it.

Design attractive graphics, illustrations, and highlights for your rewards program and deploy it on the chosen platform.

“Visuals express ideas in a snackable manner”. — Kim Garst

Communicating the value of your rewards program in the form of visuals is important and Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, Youtube, all have a unique benefit you can leverage.

Take Sephora for instance. Known as one of the most popular loyalty programs in recent years, Sephora’s Beauty Insider Rewards Bazaar was designed simplistic yet beautifully to convey a clear message on its social media. You can find more information about their rewards program here.

Even though the reward system was traditional, tried & tested point-based one, Sephora appealed to its loyal customers with the design, and the fact that they could choose where to spend their reward points knocked the idea out of the ballpark.

Remember that sharing the right message on the wrong platform could be detrimental to the brand. For example, LinkedIn posts need to be designed drastically differently from a Tiktok promotion as the audiences who view this is dramatically different.

2. Blend in Social Media Efforts with the Reward Program

It may be a tough task to encourage customers to engage in the rewards program on your native app but not so much on social media. Most of your loyal customers already use social media and would gladly participate in spreading the word to earn reward points.

Start with the customers who follow, like, and comment on your social media feed and give them attainable goals to reach. Such loyal customers would be glad to speak about your brand, share your posts on their timeline, with friends, and via DMs. Upon achieving the given milestone, you can award them reward points or induct them into your reward program completely.

Recently, Anker tied up with a popular tech YouTube channel; Unbox Therapy for Black Friday, and gave away thousands of dollars in rewards. The task was to simply tweet #FreeiPhone13 and to follow Anker and Unbox Therapy on Twitter.

What resulted in more than a million tweets with #FreeiPhone13, Anker’s masterstroke left the branding industry in awe.

An added benefit of this exercise is a free promo where your loyal customers increase your engagement rate by talking about your reward program across all social platforms. It is studied that up to 24% of social media posts may reach up to 5,000 people so you may witness conversions as well.

Up to 33.2% of social media posts reach around 999 people, and 24% of these reach more than 5000 people.

On the hind side, encourage your loyal customers to participate and earn points on social media platforms they’re more active on. If they end up sharing posts on platforms they seldom use or create fake profiles, the redemption rate plummets, which isn’t good news for the brand and the customer.

An ideal win-win situation for the brand and the customer alike, indulging in social actions can earn them rewards and exposure for the brand as well.

3. Utilize your Social Media Statistics & Analytics

One of the most important arrows in your quiver, social media analytics is the ideal place to keep tabs on your goals & achievements. Although all the major social media platforms provide background analytics to monitor and improve upon, powerful tools like Buffer and Hootsuite Analytics take things to another level.

With the ability to monitor key metrics in real-time, these tools not only allow you to analyze what your followers are engaged with but also tell you why.

“I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper, and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures.” — Paul Barron

For instance, Barclay’s launched an app called PingIt for mobile banking services. Based on the results of real-time social media analytics, Barclays made significant changes within no time. Initially, the app received numerous negative feedback as customers younger than the age of 18 weren’t able to use the app properly.

What may have resulted in a PR disaster, social media analytics helped Barclays update their app completely, within just a week, giving access to 16 and 17-year-old users.

4. Get Ready for the Metaverse

A word that was thrown around in the gaming world the last couple of years, Metaverse has come to life with the announcement of Facebook warping into ‘Meta’. Using social media apps and websites is about to take a monumental leap forward and you best be a part of this.

Imagine visiting the Starbucks Instagram page and you’re immediately taken to your nearest Starbucks virtually, where you can place your order in the VR world.

The implications to this are endless as shopping, watching movies, concerts, meeting relatives from a different corner of the world are all going to become a hundred times more intuitive.

Brands can take complete advantage of this breakthrough in technology and get creative with their reward program offerings.

For a hypothetical example, imagine if Walmart builds a virtual store where all their products are placed on shelves (like a real store) and an entire family can virtually go grocery shopping here. Walmart could offer reward points to the first 1000 customers who shop above $1000, on its virtual store.

The possibilities in the metaverse are endless so it definitely pays to keep up to date with technology.

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