Loyalty programs can be affected by strong social media strategy.

Loyalty programs can be found in almost every aspect of sales and customer retention.   It has become a foundational program to sustain strong customer connections, and build brand loyalty through many industries.   Today Loyalty programs depend more and more on developing effective social media campaigns to engage and keep the customer actively involved in all aspects of the loyalty programs and the information shared with others related to opportunities they may share in this unique loyalty marketplace.   Check out this in depth review of how some top companies have socialized their loyalty programs…


4 Ways To Socialize Your Loyalty Program


by Michela Baxter 
Loyalty Director 


Loyalty programs are a great way to get to know your closest consumers. Indeed, they should be part of the overall communications cycle between your brand and the consumer.


  • Building social sharing into your program’s design makes it easy for loyal consumers to act as megaphones for your brand.
  • Introducing user generated content into loyalty programs is a great way to engage your members.
  • Building Facebook login into your loyalty program’s registration can help answer questions about who your consumers are.

Otherwise, you could be missing a major opportunity to maintain the conversation and keep your brand top of mind.

Through social media, you can engage with loyal fans and nurture a deeper relationship through a more direct dialogue outside of stores or at the point of purchase. Social media also can extend your loyalty program’s reach and organically generate advocacy among your consumers by connecting the dots between your loyalty program and your brand’s social channels.

Here are four easy ways to integrate social media into your brand’s loyalty program, along with examples of programs devised by HelloWorld.

Increase Program Awareness With Social Sharing
The ability for consumers to share content across channels makes social media capabilities a natural extension to loyalty programs for advocacy and increasing brand awareness. As such, building social sharing into your program’s design makes it easy for loyal consumers to act as megaphones for your brand. You’ll extend your brand’s reach across social networks with messages that can be personalized by consumers, serving as a powerful third-party endorsement.

Adding Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social-sharing buttons to your Web site can help encourage social engagement. But don’t include every network. Focus on the platforms where your brand has a meaningful audience and support, and enable shares of content worth talking about, such as videos, promotions, and reward items. Providing incentives (points, sweepstakes entries, or exclusive benefits) will increase the likelihood of sharing. Just be sure the value of the incentive matches the scale of the sharing ask to ensure participation. You also need check each social channel’s terms of service to make sure awarding incentives for sharing is permitted.

My Coke Rewards is an example of how to weave social sharing into a loyalty program. Its rewards catalog includes Facebook like, tweet, and email share functionality on every item so that members can reach out to their friends and followers with a single click. My Coke Rewards does half of the work for its members by prepopulating tweets with the message, “I just got this reward on mycokerewards.com!” and emails with, “Hey, look at what I found at My Coke Rewards.” Members can also choose to edit and personalize these messages. This basic social-sharing technique helps promote the program while also confirming the value of the ultimate payout through an authentic, member-driven communication.

Drive Cross-Channel Interaction With Social Actions
Having consumers interact with your brand across multiple channels is a sign of deep brand engagement. If you want to increase cross-channel communications with consumers, try incenting them with a points system.

A simple way to create a points-based engagement campaign is by having consumers enter secret words found on social channels. These words can be found in images or posts and encourage consumers to visit and explore your page, boards, or feed to uncover them. A weekly or monthly cadence can drive visit frequency and indirectly encourage page or account follows while complying with social channels’ terms of service. Then, these rewards points can be added into a rewards system on your brand’s Web site.

The newly expanded Zyrtec Rewards program uses a monthly Facebook secret word to encourage its members to engage withZyrtec’s Facebook page. Every month, Zyrtec posts a picture on its timeline that includes the secret word and a link to the rewards Web site. Once logged in, members can enter a word, such as “NoAchoo,” for 10 points. This tactic not only gets members to visit the brand’s Facebook page, it also builds awareness of and encourages enrollment in the program among its Facebook fans who may not be rewards members.The benefits go in both directions.

Generate Authentic Content With A Program Overlay
Whether it’s a tweet, a Pinterest board, or a Vine video, incorporating user generated content (UGC) into your loyalty program will let your consumers tap into their creativity to express themselves and create authentic content for you. And because the content is personal, it is inherently more sharable by your consumers and other fans and followers. Introducing UGC into loyalty programs is a great way to engage your members, boost a social channel’s following, and test and learn.

Generating sharable content through Pinterest is a great solution for home, fashion, beauty, travel, and food brands that want to connect with young and affluent female consumers. For example, Belk wanted to educate bridal consumers about its wedding registry and acquire data for remarketing purposes. It used its presence on Pinterest for a “Share Your Wedding Style” sweepstakes that encouraged brides-to-be to pin their favorite bridal style images for a chance to win a $5,000 Belk gift card. Consumers could select pinnable images from four bridal categories or upload their own images for an entry in the sweepstakes. The pins appeared in the bride’s stream, and Belk gained valuable insights about its consumers’ preferences–not to mention a stream of new followers.

Gain Insights With Facebook Login
CPG, electronics, and other brands that don’t directly own the relationship with consumers face the daily challenge of identifying and understanding their consumers. Building Facebook login into your loyalty program’s registration can help answer questions about who your consumers are and what they like beyond your brand. Through data analysis, you can gain permission-based account information and generate consumer insights beyond the brand page data that Facebook provides.

For example, you can use Facebook insights to analyze page likes to determine top retail, TV, music, and cause brands your consumers are passionate about. This is rich information that can be used as an asset to leverage with relevant retailers, identify partnership opportunities, and create conversations on Facebook that resonate with your fan base.

Incorporating social activity within your loyalty program can help your brand nurture deeper relationships with its best consumers. Social media integrations are relatively simple to execute and result in a well-rounded loyalty program that allows for interactions throughout the cycle of communications with your customers.

About Michela Baxter

Michela Baxter is loyalty director at HelloWorld.

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