Twitter and Facebook Are Not Loyalty Programs
Social media is huge and loyalty program developers are scrambling to get caught up with the social media wave. According to DDB Worldwide and Opinionway Research, a large majority (84%) of Facebook Fans are existing customers. Although, Facebook and Twitter may be a great place to market and advertise your loyalty program it’s not a good idea to rely on them solely to establish your customer base or provide insight into buying habits.
Are Getting Facebook Likes A Loyalty Program?
Facebook encourages “likes” and Twitter promotes “followers” and once a customer “likes” or “follows” a brand or company they seldom go back to that page to visit. Businesses and companies often measure the success of their programs by the ‘new likes’ or increase in followers on their pages. This gives a false sense of great loyalty when statistics show that once you’re liked, customers are un’like’ly to come back for return visits.
On Facebook for example, business fan pages have insights that show handy graphs of the number of likes, followers and comments. These are summarized on the page itself with green arrows, pointing upward, showing marketers that there are new likes to your page.
You can also get the dreaded red arrow. The red arrow, pointed down, means that you have not added any new people to your list, and there are fewer people visiting your fan page. As a marketer, the Facebook insights is the easiest way to see at a glance what is happening on your Facebook page. Unfortunately, many likes or green arrows does not quantify a return loyal customer.
Loyalty Program and Social Media
Loyalty programs are used to keep current customers happy and offer them special discounts, gift cards and upgrades for their loyalty. Having many followers on Twitter or thousands of likes on Facebook can complement a loyalty program but should not be used a standalone solution to a company’s loyalty solution program.
Facebook and other social media sites are not designed to benefit the brand or company itself. It is designed to farm information from the user so marketing strategies, advertisements and campaigns can be designed specifically for each user based on their likes and use.
Loyalty Program is Direct Access
Loyalty programs are meant to encourage direct access to your customer. Direct access from customer to brand, offers companies the opportunity to get first hand data regarding, buying habits and user behaviours.
By relying only on Facebook or other social media networks to build a brand, companies can lose the opportunity to interact directly with the customer. This interaction is important when establishing a relationship with a new customer and making them a loyal repeat customer.
Successful Loyalty Program
Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms offer opportunities to interact with customers. Here are some points to consider when establishing a successful loyalty program:
- Companies/brands can benefit from social media, but they should also interact directly with the customers as much as possible.
- A loyalty program should offer meaningful interaction with the clients. This should move beyond a ‘like’ on a web page and could include emails, newsletters, snail mail and other interactions.
- A loyalty program should offer its users a reason to stay loyal to the program. Incentives and discounts is one motivator.