- I am a member of six airline customer loyalty programs, but I would only recommend one to my friends (appreciate the great service, Jet Blue).
- I have at least 14 frequent buyer cards shoved in my wallet, but I only visit one establishment enough to make it worth it (Nom Nom, Monkey's Nest).
- I've "liked" 243 brands on Facebook, but I only engage with a few of them (I regularly share posts from ACL Live since I love music).
- I've used dozens of enterprise apps, but only loved one so much that I decided to go work there (thank goodness for Jive).
My point - building and recognizing true loyalty is hard. Sometimes social managers assume that by giving away the latest tech toy or, let's be honest, Apple product, they will build loyalty. However, in order to be successful, it's necessary to build meaningful relationships with your loyal influencers. But what does this mean?
A lot of people have debated the meaning of "loyalty," "satisfaction," and "influencer," so I'm not going to go down that route. Instead, I will share 5 tips for moving away from being just another mass marketer on social to delighting your customers, employees, partners and fans.
1. Activate You have to make it easy for people to share your content in a meaningful way. Much like right-rail ads, people have become accustomed (a.k.a. now gloss over) social sharing buttons on websites. However, when you build a meaningful or unique experience, they will want to share that with their network. For example, for a recent campaign, we created a Facebook application that asked, "What Type of Office Hero Are You?" After answering a few simple questions, users got an avatar that they could share with their social networks. What's even more interesting is that when people shared that information, I could see who shared, what channel they used, and how many people clicked on the link. In essence, I could track loyalty to the application and influencer. Plus, we gave our customers an exciting experience.
2. Reward Building a good relationship with influencers is more than just increasing word-of-mouth-marketing. It's important to also reward people. For Jive's recent user conference, we created a series of online games for attendees. We understood that people attending the conference are some of our most loyal customers; therefore, by doing online games, they could earn their share and be motivated by limited edition badges and prizes. More than 10% of conference attendees completed the full game, and because several of the activities tied to social media goals (i.e., follow us on Twitter), we were able to increase our social reach among qualified people.
3. Recognize Don't assume it's all about the #bling. Customers aren't always looking for a t-shirt or gift card. They are actually trying to build a better connection with you. We regularly spotlight Real Office Heroes - a.k.a. customers who are pioneering social business at their organization. When we spotlight a user, we do a brief three-question blog post with them that is featured on our community, share the post on our social channels, have them show-up as the cover photo on our corporate Facebook cover image, etc. Here is an example of a blog series highlighting customers: Real Office Hero Spotlight: Tracy Maurer, UBM
Weekly, we also do #ThursdayThanks on Twitter, highlighting community members that said nice things about the brand or our products that week. This is an idea we got from Emilie Kopp at National Instruments:
4. Amplify Once you've gotten people talking, it's time to amplify their voices. As seen by the examples below, we've taken customer-generated social content and turned it into conversations starters on other platforms. For example, when we recently sent Jive-branded boxing gloves to attendees of last year's user conference. Enthusiastically, people shared tweets and pictures of their gloves. We then used that user-generated content on this year's conference website and on our official social channels.
5. Look Inside You don't have to look far to find advocates. At Jive, we've done a series of employee video interviews. The subjects are nominated by their fellow employees, and informally discuss how they use social business tools to get their jobs done. We've featured people from various departments, including support, human resources, engineering, and product marketing.These YouTube videos allow us to:
- recognize our best assets (our employees)
- teach people about our software
- generate awareness for the company
- and even help us obtain new leads (true story - one video turned into a major deal)!
How do you build valuable relationships with loyal influencers? Comment below.