How are Social Media ‘Loyalty’ Programs Helping Businesses Thrive?

Social media is constantly active. People’s opinions and reviews are always being shared. If a consumer wants to discover more about your business then social media is a great, informative place for them to go.

Now social network loyalty schemes are the hoping to transform the customer experience.

Social media loyalty programs have the insight to deliver more relevant communications with specific customers. With more than 800 million users on Facebook alone, it’s obvious why businesses see social networks as the future of loyalty clubs. The social media platform also gives companies more information on customer’s viewpoints and allows communication between everyone involved. Data is a central point of the development, brands that offer digital services have a wealth of data available and as the loyalty programs develop they become more relevant.

The overall purpose of customer loyalty programs is to increase purchase frequency and revenue overall. They are also there to help decrease customer complaints, build brand loyalty and increase market share.

Because of the amount of people that can be reached through social networks, social media loyalty programs help businesses thrive because customers can sell for them, through sharing. This way, businesses aren’t only increasing sales from current customers but are also attracting new customers.

Loyalty programs take little effort to set up but offer a lot of potential. Boosting customer appreciation helps establish a stronger relationship between consumer and business. With loyalty programs on social media sites customers will hear about that business' products and offers first and are likely to choose that company over competitors. Another benefit of social media as a loyalty program platform is that they allow customers to redeem their points and loyalty rewards instantly.

Social media loyalty programs are helping businesses thrive because the exclusivity they give to loyalty members are visible to be seen by potential customers unlike if offers were sent personally in the post. This encourages new customers, especially if they see that loyalty members are receiving money off coupons or rewards for buying a company’s products they are likely to show interest.

Examples of businesses benefiting from social media loyalty programs are Heinz using coupons through their social media page to drive awareness of its latest ‘fiery’ sauce. They offered 25p off to current members, or 50p off if they forwarded the offer to friends. This enticed new customers, secured a buy from current customers and achieved the aims of purchase frequency and increased revenue.

Social media loyalty programs can offer promotions, public praise which will keep the interest of the current customer and attract the attention of their followers and they can offer ‘VIP’ access such as access to sales before the general public.

Microsoft Xbox also had a successful social media loyalty scheme where players got points for the number of interactions they had with the brand, which could be redeemed for other Microsoft content. Also, after signing up, customers were rewarded for interactions such as renewing their ‘Gold membership’ or for giving them social feedback through the Xbox live network.

Overall, businesses thrive from social media loyalty programs because of how many people it allows them to reach out too and to make sure they keep valuable loyalty members. Incentives and rewards of a loyalty program give added value to products which help them stand out against competitors. Ultimately this should boost sales and customers interest.

By content assistant - Alice Hughes - @aliceeehughes

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