58 Billion Impressions – Super Bowl 2018

This year’s Super Bowl was another big event for marketers using the Chirpify platform. As we, and others, have discussed in the past, the opportunity for brands to activate their Super Bowl commercials and campaigns for direct response, marketing automation, engagement, and rewards, has largely been missed. However, there are many forward thinking brands that have deployed this strategy with savage success.

The results of these campaigns are impressive. Furthermore, the joy brought to the brand’s audience when they’re given a way to engage with a campaign, and are recognized for their participation, is equally impressive.

Without further ado, here are some of the stats we saw during the Super Bowl, with campaigns running from Soccer.com, Marriott, and Avocados from Mexico.

58 Billion Impressions

Brands activating their Super Bowl commercials and campaigns with @Chirpify drove 58,434,483,777 social media impressions
Tweet

450K Social Posts

Brands activating their Super Bowl commercials and campaigns with @Chirpify drove 457,418 organic social media posts
Tweet

150K Messages

Brands activating their Super Bowl commercials and campaigns with @Chirpify sent 149,558 chatbot responses to fans
Tweet

50 Million Rewards

Brands activating their Super Bowl commercials and campaigns with @Chirpify gave out 50 Million rewards points for social activities
Tweet

By activating their Super Bowl hashtags for direct chatbot response, brands were able to drive organic engagement, deliver rewards points, acquire new members, and pile up a huge number of brand impressions.

With Twitter’s ad driven CPM at about $6, you can do napkin math to see how 58 Billion organic impressions compares. Spoiler: you’d need to pay Twitter $336,000,000.

Here are some of the activations

Marriott

Marriott continued their use of chatbot trivia campaign through the Super Bowl, asking trivia questions throughout the game. Using Natural Language Processing, our bots are able to differentiate between right and wrong answers to questions posed by brands, delivering different responses and rewards based on these answers.

Avocados from Mexico

After driving 3 Billion impressions using Chirpify in last year’s Super Bowl, AFM wanted to top their performance by activating their Super Bowl commercial for direct response. Viewers who saw the commercial and posted their commercial hashtag were responded to with various smart messages, driving different outcomes.

Soccer.com

Soccer.com leveraged our platform for the “other football”, running a social contest complete with chatbot responses to those fans that participated. The campaign was connected to their Goal Club Rewards program, so participants earned rewards points inside their Goal Club account for engaging. They also acquired new members into the Goal Club as non-members inevitably joined to participate.

Automation: The Dirty Word in Social Media Marketing

Most forward-leaning brands have social media teams using social listening software to aggregate, filter, sort and manually respond to conversations. These platforms have become essential for brands to know what their customers are saying about their brand—at scale.

And while this is a good start, brand marketers should be doing more to drive engagement and business outcomes at scale in social media. Automation, while often seen as a dirty word in social media marketing circles, can help.

Automation and one-to-one marketing

To drive greater levels of engagement, social media marketers should reply at scale with content in response to specific actions. We call these triggers. The triggers could be people posting about a certain person, keyword, url, hashtag, photo or topic. And the content could be anything from utility marketing responses, to behind-the-scenes video, to points, promo codes, contest entries, concert tickets and more. You get the idea: Any digitally deliverable thing can be sent right back to people.

While the merits of this approach are manifold, it’s the use of automation that often creates challenges for social media marketers. To reply in real-time and at scale with content in response to triggers, marketers need social media marketing automation software. They need the ability to listen for certain actions and automate responses to people who trigger them.

Yet I know that automation can be a scary word for social media marketers. After all, many of us grew up in the field as community managers—as people tasked with creating, managing and growing relationships with our customers—which at first blush appears anathema to automation.

The email parallel

However, before you give up on the idea of automation altogether, let’s think about how email evolved. I don’t think anyone would deny that email has evolved to become the workhorse of one-to-one marketing, and yet how many marketers spend their day emailing people individually? They simply don’t. Instead, they use automation and data insights to deliver personalized email at scale to their customers. And, it works.

For example, Safeway creates individually tailored emails with different versions of deals based on customer opt-in choices and their shopping habits. Safeway’s email program produces a 224 percent higher click-through rate and a 330 percent higher click-to-open rate than the industry average. And this is just one example from many of how email automation coupled with data insights is delivering higher engagement and loyalty for brands.

Automation and social media

“This is great for email, but social media automation software just isn’t mature enough yet.” This is another concern I often hear. However, social media marketing automation software has evolved to reach the point that email automation has.

For example, social media automation tools have the ability to segment users and send the right content, at the right moment, back to the right person, all in real-time. And all of this can be done through the use of complex rules such as influence score, frequency, language translation and geo-fencing.

Social media automation has evolved to effectively handle the level and sophistication of automation brand marketers need.

Indeed, the next evolution of social media marketing will be to take a page from email and apply automation to further engagement and one-to-one marketing. For example, Marriott, a leader in this space, uses automation to reward customers active in social media in real-time.

Even further still, Marriott uses our platform automation to send social media users different rewards and different messages based on campaign criteria, owned CRM data such as anniversary and tier level, or social data such as follower count or geo-fencing, sending the right message and reward, at the right time, on the right channel.

Become more strategic

The last concern I hear from social media marketers about adopting automation is more personal; many are afraid that automation will somehow take over their job and sideline them. To address this concern, let’s look again at the evolution of email marketing.

Automation has allowed email marketers to become even more strategic contributors to the business. Rather than sidelining them, email marketers have embraced automation—email automation technology is used by 82 percent of business-to-business and business-to-consumer companies—and according to the Data & Marketing Association, more than one-half of its surveyed marketers anticipate that their company’s spend on email will continue to increase.

No one would deny that automation has benefited email marketing, nor would they venture to eliminate email from the greater marketing mix.

In much the same way, social media automation has the ability to help social media marketers become even more strategic in their business contributions. Automation not only helps deliver responses at scale in real-time, but it can collect important data points to help these marketers continuously improve their processes and communications, delivering in a measurable way greater engagement with customers and prospects.

Just like email, social media automation is not an all-or-nothing prospect. Email marketers still have the ability to—and do from time to time—email people individually. Similarly, social media marketers still have the ability to manually moderate and respond individually to their community members. The difference is that they will be able to spend more time on strategic activities, saving the one-to-one communications for those instances where it makes strategic business sense.

Currently, only 5 percent of a social media marketer’s job is automated. Yet automation has the power to drive greater customer engagement at scale while giving brand marketers important data insights to further refine their efforts.

More and more brands are beginning to embrace automation as the next evolution of social media marketing, finding that automation isn’t a four-letter word, but rather a boon to building business-impacting customer relationships.

Five Loyalty Chatbot Examples

Natural language chatbots have been touted as the future of customer service, support and sales. And while they can certainly be helpful toward those ends, leading brands are finding innovative new ways to marry chatbots with initiatives like loyalty to create compelling customer experiences that further the customer relationship, impact specific marketing goals, and enhance the business.

1. Activate Ad Campaigns

One of the biggest challenges faced by chatbots is discovery. Facebook has tried to solve this problem for its Messenger-based bots with a yellow pages of sorts, however this still requires customers to proactively seek out chatbots. Effectively getting around the issue of discovery is Avocados from Mexico which solicited chatbot interaction via its Super Bowl ad campaign.

The Avocados from Mexico #Avosecrets campaign proved the power of ad activation. For weeks prior to the game, the group teased its upcoming commercial with the social trigger #AvoSecrets and a preview video with actor and comedian, Jon Lovitz. And, by the time the commercial aired — also featuring the social trigger — Avocados from Mexico had already driven over 2 billion social media impressions to its chatbot. Ultimately, the brand drove over 3 billion impressions. With this campaign, Entrepreneur magazine said, “The Avocados From Mexico campaign is writing the textbook on how social media can leverage traditional advertising.”

2. Surprise and Delight

Surprise and delight strategies seek to deepen the emotional link between consumers and the brand, in turn driving positive word of mouth. Chatbots can amplify these goals as they provide an easy mechanism for brands to surprise customers with rewards such as loyalty program points, unique content and more, in response to an event or customer action. For example, Marriott has linked its loyalty program to its chatbot experience, recently winning first place as Chief Marketer’s 2017 best loyalty marketing program.

Specifically, Marriott recently launched a new campaign to surprise and delight its loyalty program members to celebrate their anniversary in the Marriott Rewards program. It proactively reached out to members and rewarded them with much coveted Marriott points. By coupling a surprise and delight strategy with its chatbot, Marriott is able to proactively reward its Marriott Rewards members, deepening its relationship with its customers.

3. Native Language & Geo-Fencing

Univision and Walmart teamed up at the Copa America tournament to engage fans with their chatbot via the social media trigger #CopaAmerica. The Copa America campaign featured geo-fencing, with only those fans attending a soccer match at one of the participating stadiums able to use #CopaAmerica #Copa100 or #CopaCentenario. These fans received an automated response from Univision and Walmart with premium, tailored content. In this way Univision and Walmart were assured that their personalized chatbot responses would be well-received.

Moreover, as an event drawing people from across the continent, the chatbot in this campaign further personalized its communications by replying in the person’s native language. Fans could vote for their favorite teams in Spanish or Portuguese, for example, and receive a response in that same language. This campaign proved the power of native language engagement and conversion, especially when coupled with geo-fencing and exclusive content.

4. Mobile Loyalty

Silver Diner, an East Coast restaurant chain, has linked its loyalty program to its chatbot. Its chatbot solution listens for engagement, applies rules, automates responses, and tracks members’ earned points and redeemed rewards in a digital wallet. This means that when a customer checks their loyalty account, the social media points are visible and accounted for. In addition, to fuel more participation, Silver Diner also integrated off-site social registration into its mobile app so members can instantly connect their accounts to begin earning rewards.

Connecting a brand chatbot to the loyalty program is an ideal approach as it allows marketers to identify customers individually and in aggregate and provides the opportunity to offer customers loyalty program points or other valued rewards in exchange for their participation. This value exchange is critical to chatbot adoption and long-term success and in the process also provides brands with significant data that informs the ROI of their chatbot efforts.

5. “Big Event” Marketing

For the Super Bowl, the Marriott Buzz team deployed a bus to the streets of San Francisco. It was wrapped with #50to50 campaign branding and a hashtag call to action that was designed to generate buzz in the week leading up to the Super Bowl. Specifically, people were asked to take a picture of the bus and post it to Twitter with #50to50 and #MRpoints in exchange for Marriott Rewards points and the opportunity to enter the contest. When people posted the photo the Marriott chatbot responded to them with different responses based on their membership status. Members recieved different messages letting them know they’ve earned points, and non-members were invited to join.

Furthering Marketing Objectives

Leading brands are seeing success with chatbots beyond customer service, support and sales. While conversational commerce may have begun with an emphasis on commerce, marketers are beginning to focus more and more on the conversational aspects and how they can impact marketing objectives across the customer journey — from new customer acquisition to increased sales, and stronger social advocacy to better business intelligence.

Brands deploying chatbots to enhance the customer experience are seeing greater levels of loyalty and brand trust; customers who were more likely to engage and participate with the brand; greater rates of conversion and new customer acquisition; and customers who are more likely to purchase from the brand, shopping more often and spending more per visit.

Customers want chatbots to be tied to the overall brand experience and provide utility by already knowing who they are and making it incredibly easy to take the next step in participating or interacting with the brand. The brands discussed here have successfully done so by connecting the chatbot interface to meaningful experiences, back end business processes, and consumer programs that already exist within the organization. Loyalty programs are an ideal example as they are designed for utility, are supported by a deep customer database, and are home to the brand’s most loyal customers.

2017

2017 has been a year of expansion for brand loyalty programs, evolving from solely rewarding for spend to rewarding for engagement in the channels that consumers spend all of their time – Social and messaging channels.

To give you a sense of the scale, brands using Chirpify gave away over 100 Million loyalty points for engagement… in November alone. This year the Chirpify platform has rewarded Billions of points to millions of happy loyal consumers for engagement, and that doesn’t even count the many other use cases such as contests, samples, reminders, sweeps, trivia, reveals, and other marketing outcomes we’ve driven for brands in 2017.

 

Even more impressive than the stats around engagement, are the results of these efforts. In 2017 Chirpify customers performed independent ROI studies to understand if it is worth it to give away rewards for engagement. What they found was staggering. Consumers that connected through the Chirpify platform had the following data points vs non-connected members.

Retail

Have a higher NPS score (79% vs 73%)

Have a higher trust in the brand (65% vs 60%)

Spend more with the brand (35% vs 22%)

Mark the brand as #1 in preference vs competitors (62% vs 57%)

Hospitality

Spend 75% more with the hotel

2X more bookings in the same time period

They found these consumers spend more, and are more loyal because they engage more with the brand, have more touch points with the brand, and participate more frequently in brand campaigns.

2017 also brought quite an expansion of the Chirpify platform, providing new features such as a full CRM and dashboard, Chatbot capabilities, integrated registration, and mobile app integrations.

We’re looking forward to more expansion, and blowing these stats away in 2018. We want to thank all of our customers for the great working relationships. It’s great to partner with Brands that understand that by connecting their social, digital marketing, and loyalty teams, they’ll modernize their loyalty programs, make their digital marketing campaigns perform better, and enable the social team to finally claim their efforts directly affect the bottom line.

Marriott and NFL Chatbot Trivia – Chatbots with Outcomes

We’ve been building Chatbots on social media since 2011. Since then our bots have grown ever more intelligent, with the ability to deliver the right message and reward, at the right time, on the right channel.

Some examples of Chirpify platform Chatbot functionality include responding differently, and delivering different rewards and marketing outcomes, based on complex rules such as a user’s geolocation. Frequency rules governing how often consumers can engage, or how many times they must engage. Rules to govern rewards like points, promo codes, contest entries, and reminders. Moderation and blacklisting to prevent bad human actors. Our bot will respond in a user’s native language. The bots can reply differently based on user and campaign criteria so that members of a loyalty program will receive different responses than non-members. Messages and rewards can be differentiated based on membership tier, influencer level, time of day, status of a member, language, campaign parameters, and more. And all messages and rewards can be delivered by your brand over public reply or direct message.

You get the idea, these are just not conversational bots, these actually deliver rewards to consumers, collect consumer data, and connect engagement to real business systems producing real business outcomes.

We wanted to highlight an interesting use case that some of our customers are doing – Trivia games! Using Natural Language Processing, our bots are able to differentiate between right and wrong answers to questions posed by brands, delivering different responses and rewards based on these answers. Let’s take a recent campaign from Marriott and the NFL.

Every Sunday Marriott and the NFL have been asking people trivia questions during NFL games. People who answer the questions correctly earn Marriott Rewards points inside their Marriott Rewards account. Behind the scenes Chirpify’s platform is checking multiple different criteria instantly before responding and rewarding. The first check is to see if they answered the questions correctly. The bot can interpret answers in multiple languages and also check for common misspellings.

The second check is to verify whether a Twitter user is a member of Marriott Rewards and has connected their Twitter account to their Marriott account. Our integrated Bot can look up, add, and edit members. If they are not yet a member, the chatbot will invite them to join. Chirpify’s platform even provides the mobile landing page for consumers to connect. Responding differently based on member status provides valuable member acquisition for brands.

If they are a member, the bot will check to make sure they have to exceeded their points limits and will issue Marriott Rewards points inside their Marriott Rewards account. The exact point total can differ based on tier, influence, or other campaign criteria.

All participation is tracked by Chirpify’s platform as well, delivering valuable data inside our CRM system, and pushing into our client’s systems of record.

As you can see, complex games can be designed that can engage consumers at scale, responding to hundreds of thousands of consumers at once based on complex logic. When you weigh this type of organic engagement vs an ad buy, our brands know that this is a better way to create more active, engaged, and loyal customers. Brands like Marriott, who have been using our Chatbot for years understand the power, and the ROI, of organic engagement at scale.

Sending the right message and reward, at the right time, on the right channel

Sending the right message and reward, at the right time, on the right channel. This is the mantra that has guided our product roadmap, and the functionality we’ve enabled for brands.

When these things come together, consumers are absolutely delighted. Let’s break down how we do this. It all comes down to data.

Sending the right message

Chirpify enables brands to send messages over email, social comment, or private direct message across multiple social media and messaging platforms. These messages can be sent automatically based on triggers and rules, or manually from a brand’s dashboard. The key is that these messages can be differentiated based on data owned by the brand and/or social data we know about a consumer. A good example of this is sending different messages to consumers based on whether or not they’re a member. Here’s an example of that…

Member – Instantly entered into contest

Non-member – Invited to join

The Right Reward

Just as messages can be differentiated based on data points, so can the rewards your brand sends out. Whether it is points, coupons, promo codes, content, contest entries, free tickets, or any other reward, the key is to make sure it is relevant to a members status, geography, influence, birthday, tastes, and other data points. These data points can live on social, inside the Chirpify CRM, or inside your brand’s CRM. Either way, Chirpify’s platform is built to leverage them, sending the right reward. Here’s an example of that. Marriott is able to send different points totals, images, and copy to different members based on anniversary, tier, and status. What’s more is this happens automatically, without the brand having to do any work. The platform just runs. It just works.

Platinum

Gold

At The Right Time

I think it’s safe to say consumers have zero patience. The expectation on social is to receive responses immediately. Not in a couple of hours. When a person takes action on your CTA, our platform responds to them within seconds. There is no delay. On mobile this is an amazing experience. Your brand IM’ng on a 1:1 basis with thousands of people simultaneously at scale.

Over The Right Channel

It’s impossible to understate the importance of being able to message consumers on the same channels that they’re taking action on. If your marketing automation does not include social and messaging channels you’re ignoring consumers on the channels they literally spend all of their online time on.

Leveraging This Data Inside Your Dashboard

The data points that enable differentiated marketing automation is also available in your Chirpify dashboard and CRM, so you can filter and segment users based on these data points.

Most Social Media Marketers Don’t Measure ROI – Because they can’t

According to Simply Measured’s annual The State of Social Marketing report, the leading challenge for social media marketers is measuring ROI, with nearly 60% saying they struggle to tie social to business goals. Indeed, aligning social media marketing strategy to specific business objectives is the number one area of focus for agencies this year. In this regard, the biggest challenge for many social media marketers is having the data to connect the dots between consumer social media activity and measurable business outcomes. Connecting social media to the CRM and loyalty marketing efforts can directly address this delta while giving marketers an opportunity to drive even greater value.

It’s not just driving value that’s important, though. Marketers also need to illustrate the power of their efforts. While 88% of respondents in a recent study from Social Media Examiner saw increased exposure from their social media marketing efforts, few have translated those efforts into improved sales.

The primary reason social media marketers give for not measuring ROI: they don’t have a mechanism by which to do so.

The Challenges Social Marketers Face in 2017

Source: Simply Measured’s annual The State of Social Marketing report

Connect Loyalty To Social For Measurable ROI

We’ve known for a long time that connecting social media and loyalty programs is a direct way to increase and measure ROI. Our customers have proven it by doing their own independent ROI studies.

L2 Research — who benchmarks the digital performance of consumer brands and categories — recently released its annual Loyalty Intelligence Report which highlights four key ways that loyalty marketers could help fill the ROI gap for social media marketers while using social media to help further specific business goals around customer lifetime value and customer spend.

Promoting Loyalty On Social

“Winning brands leverage multiple channels for communication” says L2 Research. However, according to the firm, the majority of surveyed companies do not take advantage of opportunities to communicate about the loyalty program in social media. For example, only 7% of brands promote their loyalty program in their Facebook bio and even fewer do so in Instagram.

The opportunity to promote the loyalty program within social media is a large, untapped opportunity for many brands. According to research conducted by a Chirpify retail brand customer, socially connected loyalty members are more likely to engage and become advocates on social media. Indeed, they have a higher Net Promoter Score, (of 79% vs 73%) and are much more likely to share their activities on social media, at 53% vs 42%. This advocacy drives earned media and new customer acquisition — two important business goals.

Leveraging Existing Followers

“Given that launching a robust rewards program can be costly, brands should take advantage of their existing social media assets to drive visibility.” Whether a brand already has a loyalty program or wants to start one, social media can provide a sound foundation for promoting the program — and is an ideal way to reward customers for their advocacy activities.

Moreover, Chirpify can help brands connect their existing loyalty program database with customer activity in social media. By asking loyalty members to connect their social media handle(s) to their loyalty membership account, brands can begin collecting a variety of meaningful data points in the CRM and can help drive activities that directly map to specific business goals. For example, if a sports retailer is interested in increasing store traffic, Chirpify can listen for geo-specific posts and automatically reply to those consumers with a reward for visiting the store.

Non-Transactional Loyalty

“Leader brands have begun to focus on non-transactional loyalty programs, which can increase brand engagement and offer opportunities for improved marketing personalization.” According to L2, only 35% of brands currently reward members for non-transactional engagement. Yet, as reported by Loyalty360, 84% of consumers say they would spend more with brands that offer points for activities other than spending.

This approach offers the opportunity to provide a differentiated value exchange for customers and the brand. For example, in exchange for a social media participation with the brand, customers might receive a sneak peek, behind the scenes video, VIP access and more. In exchange, marketers get the opportunity to gather additional information about their customers which allows them to further personalize their efforts.

In this way, marketers can immediately identify customers in social media and provide offers that better reflect their personal interests and needs, creating a deeper relationship. This relationship translates into customers participating more often with the brand and converting seamlessly within the social media context. As this virtual snowball grows, the value exchange becomes deeper and more meaningful to both customers and brand.

Integrated

“The best loyalty programs will be integrated across all digital touchpoints, providing consumers with an always-on experience and increasing program engagement.” In addition to CRM integration, this level of integration can be achieved by allowing consumers to link their social accounts to the reward program directly within the brand’s owned channels. In this way brands can feed the CRM with important social and messaging data that allows the brand to recognize customers wherever they are — in social media, messaging, eCommerce, and more.

The future of marketing is providing utility to consumers. With ever decreasing time and attention spans, consumers will be loyal to those brands that save them time, engage in the moment, and make doing business with them easier across all channels. With the new ability to recognize customers regardless of the digital touchpoint, marketers can come ever closer to achieving this goal.

Bringing it all Together

According to Chirpify customer research, 75% of socially connected loyalty program members are more likely to purchase from the brand three or more times per year, compared to 68% of those that have not connected their social media accounts to their loyalty program account. On the retail side, customers spend 13% more with the brand. On the hotel side, socially connected loyalty members spend 75% more and book 2x in the same time period. For brands and agencies looking to align social media strategy with the business, uniting loyalty marketing with social media is an important step to meaningfully and measurably impacting business goals like topline growth, customer loyalty and lifetime customer value.

L2 remarks that there is a clear correlation between their brand index rank and loyalty program adoption with 88% of Genius and Gifted brands having loyalty programs. Yet, of these, there is distinct room for improvement. By connecting social media and loyalty marketing disciplines, marketers can directly impact business goals — and the topline through social media loyalty initiatives.

For more information about how Chirpify can help your social media and loyalty programs create strategic business value contact us here.

Announcing Integrated Registration

We’re pleased to announce integrated registration, enabling brands to embed engagement loyalty opt-in directly into their owned properties on web and mobile. With integrated registration, consumer opt-in is as easy as logging in with their favorite social media platform. For brands, installing registration is as simple as adding a link to your website or mobile app.

Clients that are using integrated registration are seeing conversion rates over 80%. Wut?!

Here’s how they’re doing it…

Kimpton Hotels

Kimpton enables their Karma members to opt-in to their engagement loyalty program by adding our links to simple social login buttons on their Karma portal. All a Karma member needs to do is log in with one of these social accounts and our platform instantly links social identity to their existing customer record. Once connected, that member has a social media remote control to participate in brand campaigns and earn Karma for their advocacy. Brands are able to pass any data they would like through our embeddable links. Or, they can use our registration form builder to collect additional data, as well as incentivize them right in the flow for different actions such as connecting multiple accounts or following the brand across social channels.

Silver Diner

Silver Diner has integrated their engagement loyalty registration into their mobile app, making it super slick and easy for their members to connect social and start earning. The app passes all the relevant consumer data to our platform, and in return we connect social identity to a Silver Diner member record. The consumer is able to start earning instantly for their social media engagement.

Silver Diner has developed award-winning fresh and local menus to address today’s lifestyles. To stay relevant and participating in our customers’ lifestyle, we know we need to engage our diners between meals on social media. With Chirpify, Silver Diner gains new customers and valuable customer data, and diners accrue rewards for dollars off their next visit. This virtuous cycle of rewards, earned media, new customer acquisition, and customer-driven data underscores our philosophy of “Eat Well, Do Well”.

Joe Howell, Senior Marketing Manager, Silver Diner

CRM

All of the data collected during registration, as well as ongoing campaign participation and engagement history, is presented inside a brand’s Chirpify CRM dashboard. The CRM allows brands to see their member’s social, engagement, and earning history, as well as first party data that is located in existing client CRM systems. For example, brands can see member tier, anniversary, and other data points alongside their social engagement and campaign participation. The dashboard also shows non-member data for member acquisition. Read more about our Social Loyalty CRM.

While the process of linking social accounts to a rewards program has always been easy with Chirpify, it’s become even easier, allowing customers to immediately begin earning loyalty program rewards for their social and chat engagement directly from brand’s owned properties. Contact us today to get a demo.

The Liability & ROI of Rewarding Engagement

Accounting for loyalty program points can present a challenge to organizations looking for ways to modernize their program by expanding beyond “spend and get” to reward for engagement. After all, the argument goes, points are a liability and creating more of them can’t be done lightly. This perspective will not only keep you from much needed transformation, but will also keep your program from reaching its true potential. To understand why, let’s take a look at the logic behind loyalty programs in the first place, how marketers get trapped in accounting-related exercises, and last, how we can collectively break free to modernize our programs for a truly customer-centric rewards experience.

Discount vs. Loyalty Program

Prior to loyalty programs, companies would offer a discount to encourage sales. Discounts are customer neutral, meaning that anyone can redeem them — whether they are a new or existing customer. Intuitively, some customers are worth more to the business than others. However, discounts do not differentiate and are just as easily redeemed by loyal customers as they are by deal seekers.

Now, if an organization applied the same discount via accrued points to loyalty program customers, not only would they ensure a repeat sale, but they would create goodwill and build value in the relationship. The dollars are guaranteed to come back to the business when points are redeemed and even then, not all points will be used.

Accrued Points

The downside to this approach is that is has created a phenomenon of certain customers who like to bank their points for a future big purchase. The impact of this is two-fold if you are a business that tracks the value of your loyalty points in financial statements. First, points are a liability in the accounting sense which makes loyalty marketers concerned about creating too much liability for the organization. And, second, as most organizations’ loyalty programs revolve around a spend-and-get approach, there is a defined equation between revenue generated by loyalty program members and the liability they are able to create through their activity.

It is important to note here that while some organizations don’t track rewards on their financials at all, others have created their own guidelines for doing so as there remains no standard accounting method for tracking and reporting on program-created rewards.

The Flip Side

While loyalty marketers have become sensitive to the balance between revenue and reward, introducing new methodologies to this equation can be seen as challenging, or at worst, a threat. However, a fixation on the spend/liability equation ignores the flip side of the coin — the impact loyal customers have to business operations. To maximize the impact of a loyalty program, marketers should consider how they can maximize the value of customers to their business, further boosting the topline.

More to the point, customers are maturing and demanding more from brand relationships. Consider that according to research by Accenture, 51% of U.S. consumers are loyal to brands that interact with them through their preferred channels of communication. Increasingly, that channel of choice is mobile and social. Indeed, as reported by comScore, one of every five minutes of digital media time is spent with social media. Of this, roughly 80 percent is spent on mobile. Given all this, it’s clear that there is a large opportunity to use social media as a mechanism to turn the smartphone into a key component of your loyalty program.

Engagement Loyalty Drives ROI

Bringing it all together, engaging customers in these new channels–enabling them to earn rewards for their brand advocacy–allows loyalty marketers to modernize their programs and focus on the operational, topline value loyal customers bring to the business. By taking a social engagement approach to loyalty marketing, with an emphasis on providing utility and a fair value exchange, brands are able to drive social actions that not only engage customers but also create social proof, earned media, and word-of-mouth that simultaneously serves to grow new customer acquisition.

Moreover, research from brands that have added social media components to their loyalty programs have found that socially connected members buy twice as frequently as non-connected members. And one hotelier with such a program found that its connected members, in a given year, spent 75% more than the average member. They also had 2X more purchases than the average member in the same time period. Companies that track engagement loyalty find that the ROI is just as attributable as with “spend and get” programs.

Independent ROI Studies

Independent ROI studies conducted by our enterprise retail and hotel customers found that their socially connected loyalty members (connected via Chirpify) had the following data points vs non-connected members. To find out more, download the ROI study.

Retail

Have a higher NPS score (79% vs 73%)

Have a higher trust in the brand (65% vs 60%)

Spend more with the brand (35% vs 22%)

Mark the brand as #1 in preference vs competitors (62% vs 57%)

Hospitality

Spend 75% more

2X more bookings in the same time period

Leave Liability Behind

Traditionally, brands have approached the loyalty equation with points, but research featured in the International Journal of Hospitality Management found that “providing social rewards [e.g., a member-exclusive personal lounge, health club, concierge services, and invitations to special events] increases customers’ emotional attachment and effective commitment to a company, and hence they are more likely to behave in ways that are beneficial to it.” This insight is important as brands look to create a value exchange that converts in social media.

Successful ideas for creating value in exchange for social participation and loyalty include invitations to social VIP only events, free upgrades or sneak peeks, unique or exclusive content, and the opportunity to engage with a brand celebrity — none of which result in liabilities you need to report to finance. For example, a leading sports retailer found that its members who were socially engaged spent on average $40 more per year. Multiply that by total connected members and it’s easy to see how the old accounting of points and liability must be modernized to reflect the new math of social engagement ROI.

At the end of the day, customers want to engage and interact with their favorite brands — and they want to be rewarded for it as they recognize the value of their time and their voice. Simultaneously, customers at organizations who have connected social media to their loyalty program are more engaged, participate and spend more with the brand, positively impacting the topline.

Chirpify Helps Soccer.com Score Big with Goal Club Rewards

Sports Endeavors Incorporated (SEI), the company behind popular sports brands such as Soccer.com, Lacrosse.com, and WorldRugbyShop.com, thinks of its employees, its community and its customers as a team. To that end, we’re teaming with SEI and soccer clubs across the country to not only outfit teams for the season, but reward them with a free 12-month Goal Club Membership.

When soccer club athletes receive their team uniform this summer, it will be accompanied by a uniform care guide and a free membership to Soccer.com’s rewarding membership program, Goal Club. Additionally, now through December 31, 2017, members sharing a photo of their new team jersey on Twitter or Instagram using #soccerdotcomteam will score 100 Goal Club points for registration and 50 Goal Club points for sharing the photo. Accumulated points can be redeemed for coupon codes good for dollars off the next order.

SEI engages customers with our engagement loyalty platform that listens in the background for social triggers — in this instance the hashtag #soccerdotcomteam — and rewards customers for the action automatically and immediately.

Avid soccer players and fans are already posting fun and exciting pictures on social channels; SEI is simply acknowledging and thanking them for their advocacy when the pictures are of team uniforms bought through Soccer.com. At this point, it’s game on; customers are recognized for their advocacy, positive social publicity ensues, and a virtuous circle is created. (Read here further background on how Soccer.com worked with us to expand its Goal Club program to embrace its loyal fans on social and messaging channels.)

While this particular campaign runs for a limited time, coincident with summer uniforms, it is part of the larger, ongoing SEI loyalty program designed to enhance customer loyalty by actively engaging people in their social channel of choice. Once the member’s Goal Club email account is linked with their Twitter and/or Instagram social accounts, SEI can use its CRM to seamlessly gather valuable social data to both analyze and fine-tune marketing efforts.

Thanks to our reporting tools, SEI can measure and calculate ROI on a variety of matrices. For example, they can assess which social channels are most frequented by their customers and sports communities; they can compare this campaign to previous campaigns to see what worked; and they can even quantify and pinpoint trends by moderating social conversations to address any customer support issues or glean ideas for improving products. Most importantly, though, the data can help SEI better understand how to effectively communicate with customers to build and strengthen team relationships.

The Chirpify engagement loyalty platform creates a win-win situation, rewarding loyal customers and providing valuable data to businesses, all while increasing customer loyalty, advocacy, and spend. Our customer research has proven that people are loyal to smart companies like Sports Endeavors that engage them in the moment. This loyalty generates brand advocacy that brings new customers to the game. The cycle repeats, positivity grows, and so does revenue.

Learn the many ways your business can actively engage your community and customers and increase revenue with social media engagement loyalty. Contact us for a customized social media game plan for your company today.