- Know Your audience: Understanding the psychographics and technographics of your audience is paramount. What are their triggers and inhibitors? What motivates them? How do they use social media? What sites are they participating in? How do they use mobile? From here you can choose the media for your message. Use data analytics and brand studies to ascertain your audience make-up. Many social networks offer full demographic packages you can use to help in your decision-making process.
- Engage in the conversation: A conversation implies “two-way.” Simply sending out promotional messages about your loyalty program is a disservice to your community. Listen to what customers are saying and respond to their comments. Think about how to use sites like Twitter and Facebook differently. Look to engage beyond traditional CRM.
- Always add value: It starts with the product. What features does your product offer after the sale? Great packaging? An unexpected benefit? Beyond this, how are you helping to delight your customers beyond purchase? Offer tips, advice, ideas on how to use your product or better enjoy your category. YouTube is a great vehicle for offering this kind of value.
- Stand for something: Build strong relationships with organizations that share your core brand values. Use social media as a platform to do good. Consider using specialized campaign microsites, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, etc. to share the great work being done by your employees and the greater organization to support your cause. Offer special loyalty incentives for those customers who also participate.
- Humanize your brand: Your people are your brand. How are you enabling them to participate in service and loyalty programs post-purchase? Consider adopting a fairly open social media policy and encourage your staff to participate in the conversation.
Ian McGonnigal is senior vice president, client strategy and brand performance, Jack Morton Worldwide.