In 2012, marketing efforts will continue to focus on social media to build organizations and businesses, to raise awareness for causes and products, and of course, to better connect with clients, customers and supporters. This is great!
However, from what I’ve been reading, the purpose of most social media marketing campaigns seems to be getting the most Likes on Facebook, the most Twitter followers, the most connections on LinkedIn, etc. More, more, more is the way to go!
This is a problem.
In my experience, quality beats quantity any day of the week, in any contest. You can pay special online services to gain 10,000 followers on Twitter. That number is impressive, sure. But how many of those followers know what you do? How many of them will ever look at your website, read your blog, make a donation or purchase your product?
My guess is – very, very few.
My focus for 2012 is acknowledgement and rewards. This applies to clients, donors, stakeholders, volunteers, staff members, customers, and the like. Current and past supporters and customers form the best foundation from which to grow your business and organization in 2012. Make sure the most loyal know that they are appreciated!
Social media happens to be a fantastic way to acknowledge and reward loyal customers, and in this blog post, I am going to leave you with 6 ideas of how to do so. Good luck!
1. Show the love. When was the last time you posted “We have the absolute best Facebook fans on the planet“? Try it, you will be pleasantly surprised how much interaction this post will receive. Try posting it on all your social networks and see the engagement grow!
2. Respond and reply. Answer all questions and Wall Posts, @mentions on Twitter and all public blog comments in a very timely fashion (within 3-4 hours). This shows that your business or organization is responsive and that you are paying attention to what your fans are thinking.
3. Say Thank You! Organize a “Thank You” campaign! Heather Mansfield of the blog Nonprofit Tech 2.0 lays out ideas for creating “Thank You” videos for your 2012 fundraising campaigns. (This can also work for businesses as a “Thank You” to their customers.) Participate in Diane Darling’s “The Thank You Project”, where you hand write at least four personalized thank you notes per week. Blog about your Thank You campaign, post on Facebook and Twitter, share your Thank You process on LinkedIn. Your supporters and customers will appreciate the special touch and the personalized attention.
4. Exclusive Discounts and Offers. Businesses can offer benefits exclusively to their loyal customers through social media – for example, giving fans the code “FACEBOOK2012” to get 25% off in a given period. That discount should be made available online and in store. Nonprofits can team up with local businesses to offer exclusive discounts – for example, when the local business hits 500 fans on Facebook, they will donate X amount to the organization and offer a discount of 15% to all of the nonprofit’s Facebook fans. This way, the nonprofit and business will mutually benefit through cooperative marketing, and the fans will benefit by being able to help give back in a fairly effortless way.
5. Pick a Fan of the Week. This is a simple, easy-to-use Facebook application to add to your business or nonprofit’s Page. It automatically highlights the person who interacts with your Page the most within a given week. Make this honor extra special and offer to highlight that Fan’s business or favorite cause for one week on your page, create a gallery of Fans of the Week on your website or make a special phone call to the Fan of the Week (if you have their information) to thank them for their engagement. You can also send them items such as a t-shirt, pen, coffee mug or other memento (with your logo on it of course)!
6. Help Fans Give Back. Many companies reward Facebook Fans by helping them give back, tying charitable donations to the growth of their fan base. Hosiery and leg wear company No Nonsense recently kicked off a program in which it is donating one million pairs of socks to needy children and families across the country. The campaign, called “Socks for America,” allows consumers to donate a pair of socks in their name to a person in need simply by becoming a fan on No Nonsense’s Facebook Page.
Do you have more ideas about how to acknowledge and reward your customers and supporters? Leave them in the comments below, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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