You already know that your social media fans are responsible for much of your success. They spread the word, earn you revenue through referrals, and often become paying customers and lifelong fans of your brand. Rewarding your fans is a great way to show how much you appreciate their role in your success.
Though it might seem obvious that you should reward them, some people just don’t know how or when to do it. Here are some ideas for rewarding your fans to make sure they feel appreciated.
- Special offers: When you release a new product or you’re running out of stock, offer your social media fans first dibs on the goods. There are many types of special offers you can make that don’t involve discounts. For example, you could give your social media followers a coupon which, when entered at checkout, adds a free sample or bonus item to their cart. You can give them access to pre-order merchandise, or post last-minute specials for the first few people to claim them.
- Discount codes: Discount codes can be the tipping point that causes people who were thinking about ordering to actually go ahead and buy something. They might not have remembered otherwise, or they might have been waiting until they got paid and then forgot about their order. It doesn’t have to be a huge blow-out discount; just 10% off will help your customers out, and you can limit it to one per customer if you’re concerned.
- Value-added content: Help your loyal fans solve a problem by providing more than just a sales pitch. Ask questions of your fans, or ask them what they most want and need to know, then publish the answers for free. Share interesting articles or fresh information, and post when there’s big news in the industry. One of the best ways to thank people is by helping them, even if it doesn’t lead to immediate profits for you.
- Thank you letters: Simply e-mailing a valued client or customer to say “thank you” after a purchase can be a fantastic way of thanking them. If they aren’t concerned about staying confidential, you can post a thank you to them personally on your page, or even think about mailing a physical thank-you card or letter. Every once in a while — at good opportunities, like your business anniversary or a milestone number of Facebook page fans or Twitter followers — post a heartfelt thank you to everyone following you.
Brands that do it right: If you need more inspiration to figure out how you can thank your customers, look at what other businesses are doing. Domino’s Pizza ran a “50% off online orders” special in June 2012 to celebrate reaching a billion dollars in online sales in a year, while Target ran an Olympic trivia contest on Twitter where followers could win a gift card. Kraft’s 2011 Twitter campaign “@ mentioned” two people who used the phrase “mac & cheese” at the same time, and the first one to respond would get a free Kraft Dinner.
Nobody likes to feel that they’re just a number on your social network. Show your appreciation for everything they have done for you by reaching out to your friends, fans and followers with a variety of strategies.