You’re one of thousands in a group of social media followers, but believe it or not, companies CAN make you feel special. And they should – you’re loyal enough to proactively follow them, be it via Twitter, Facebook, or any social media channel for that matter, so they should give you some love! But how? I recently read an article that listed numerous tactics that companies can implement to reward their followers for their loyal business.
- Give your customers special offers. Whether that means first crack at a newly released product, a bonus gift for spending more a certain amount of money, or a sneak peek at a seasonal item. Underscore the word special.
- Offer discounts. As added encouragement to customers who haven’t pulled out their credit cards, you can give your loyal social audience a special sale price to help sweeten the pot…and that extra push they need to type in those magical numbers.
- Encourage conversations. Rather than shoving your products or services down their throats, ask your followers questions and engage with them directly. What do they like? What do they want more of? Express to them their value and let their voices be heard.
- Thank you. The two-word phrase that goes miles beyond in emotion. Thank your customers for a purchase, or a piece of feedback that they’ve shared. A simple comment on their social media page can go a long way and demonstrate that every customer matters. If you really want to suck up, try sending hand-written notes. (I’ve received these before, and I’ll admit, it leaves a soft spot in my heart…and wallet…for those companies.)
The list doesn’t stop there – there are countless ways companies can show their appreciation. Personally, I love social media contests. Ask anyone in the office, and they’ll probably tell you that I’m crazy about them, and have won my fair share of prizes. (Shirts, hats, jewelry...we’re not talking junk here, people!) Whether it’s a scavenger hunt for intel on a company’s website, naming the geographical location of a Facebook picture or answering a trivia question about the user conference, the possibilities are endless. Why do I do it? Well, I love competition (and free stuff), but I also love to support the brands that I’m passionate about. Even more so, I appreciate that they take the time to interact with myself and other customers, and pull together creative amplifiers that we can all benefit from.
How do you interact with your audience, and how do you interact as an audience member yourself? I’d love to hear what works for you and your company.
- Mary Evans
Oh, those clever mobile technology providers! First, there was the Smoked By Windows Phone promo/contest/parlor trick. Now, reeling mobile device company Research in Motion is attempting to get people to “Wake Up” again to the BlackBerry brand -- to the dismay of Apple fans around the world.
In case you didn’t hear, the folks at RIM claimed responsibility for a “BlackBerry Wake Up event” that took place last week at an Apple store in Sydney, Australia. Beleaguered store patrons and employees watched in dismay as a small army of people, dressed in black and carrying signs emblazoned with the words “Wake Up,” pulled up to the store in a couple of buses. The “protestors” then proceeded to stand outside the store screaming nothing but “wake up” for the next fifteen minutes. Then, they left, just as mysteriously as they came.
An intrepid blogger “happened” to film the event; his video was subsequently viewed several hundreds of thousands of times. It turned into a Web sensation that received a great deal of media coverage. But no one knew why it happened or who was behind it. Until RIM came clean.
Turns out it was an organized event orchestrated by RIM Australia. The company even went so far as to tip off the blogger who filmed the event of the time and place where it would take place (although, supposedly, he was not paid).
Now, the question is: was it successful?
I would argue that it was…and it wasn’t. If you read some of the comments on The Verge, for example, you’ll see that many were unimpressed, stating that RIM “needs a reality check” and that the marketing tactic was “lame” (then again, RIM probably lost a lot of those folks a looooong time ago). On the other hand, this has gotten RIM some coverage in mainstream press and notice across the Web. Some has been negative, some has been nonplussed, and most has been “huh?” But, this left field, strange guerilla marketing “protest” has at least gotten people talking a bit about a company that is generally considered, well, pretty boring these days. At the very least, it’s out of the box thinking. The fact that it came from a company not necessarily known for that perhaps makes it all the more effective.
Still, it should be pointed out that this type of tactic may not work for everyone. RIM is a company with the size and budget to effectively pull something like this off. Your average start-up, on the other hand, may be better off sticking to more traditional means of attracting attention – social media channels, media relations, etc. These tried-and-true tactics effectively work in making audiences “wake up” to what smaller companies have to offer – and can be far easier to implement than a faux flash mob.
- Pete Larmey
Photo taken from YouTube video