How to Measure the ROI of a Social Media Loyalty Program


According to research by Cap Gemini, 97% of loyalty programs reward participants for “spend and get”. Yet, 84% of consumers, as reported by Loyalty360, said they would spend more with retailers that offer points for activities other than spending.

In tapping into the desire for rewards outside of traditional spend and get programs, the question looms large: How to measure the ROI of a program that rewards for outcomes like brand advocacy.

Working with leading brands to develop and measure social media loyalty programs, here at Chirpify we have developed an ROI model that can be used across loyalty programs to impact organizational goals. Without further ado, let’s break it down, diving into each of the metrics, why they matter, and how a social media loyalty program can increase the value of each.

1. Customer Acquisition

Social media helps create a virtual snowball that drives more consumers into a program because participation is public. For example, if you see that your friend Kim is earning Marriott Rewards points for being social, you are much more likely to join the program. So, not only is Kim publicly advocating on behalf of the brand, she’s validating it as part of her social persona, which not only increases Kim’s loyalty to the brand, but encourages others to do the same. Participation within retail loyalty programs when social media is included has been proven to help brands acquire 45% more customers.

2. Engagement

Sixty-two percent of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. With Chirpify, brands can proactively engage with and reward social consumers, encouraging them to join a new or existing loyalty program. Tying these two together, people engage with Chirpify-driven brand posts and content on average 4x more than other content because there is an actual reason to do so. And, as a public activity, this engagement drives public advocacy and increases participation.

3. Participation

With a brand new channel and way to earn, social consumers participate more. As they participate more with the brand, frequency of interaction increases which is in turn a proven way to grow and solidify loyalty and advocacy. This self-reinforcing loop of participation, engagement, loyalty and advocacy helps feed customer acquisition and engagement as we just discussed and grows per customer spend.

4. Retention and Happiness

Consumers really do appreciate it when their brand advocacy is acknowledged and rewarded. Happy customers are proven to remain more loyal to a brand and spend more with that brand. In fact, according to Rosetta Consulting, these consumers buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction and are five times more likely to indicate it is the only brand they would purchase in the future, all of which delivers three times the value to the brand over the course of a year. Social media loyalty programs allow brands to recognize and reward advocacy in near real-time, quickly reinforcing this positive brand relationship.

5. Data

Your social media loyalty program should identify any campaign conversion data by social ID and tie it to an existing customer record in your CRM. Once this data is linked, brands can slice and dice it in a myriad of ways to measure campaign success and create measurable improvement. For example, Adidas linked its customers’ social IDs to its CRM records which it then tied to its eCommerce system to determine that social loyalty members spent 25% more than non-members.

6. Store Visit Frequency

Today the customer journey more often than not begins online. As a result, one desired outcome of many social loyalty programs is increased in-store visits. Reward program members with incentives redeemable in the store and track which offers drive the greatest number of responses. Chirpify provides several smart ways to encourage in-store spending – from listening for social check-ins to automated responses with in-store offers.

7. Spend

Closing the loop and applying these measures to overall corporate metrics, happy, satisfied customers contribute 2.6 times more revenue than even just somewhat satisfied customers. Socially engaged consumers tend to spend more because they are more likely to be satisfied with the brand as they appreciate being acknowledged for their brand advocacy, and like being rewarded not just for spending money but participating with the brand. Moreover, social loyalty creates a virtuous cycle of customer acquisition that drives even more people to become totally satisfied brand advocates, driving increased participation and redemption.

Of these seven measures, we find that engagement is typically the lead metric for social media teams. And while Chirpify certainly increases engagement (4x on average), it’s the least interesting and valuable metric to track. We recommend instead that social teams close the loop on more meaningful metrics – like spend – by tying social identities to campaign conversion data and incentivizing loyal customers with offers that move the needle on specific goals.

Leading brands like Marriott are actively embracing social loyalty to do just this, creating a competitive advantage for themselves as they methodically increase metrics across the customer journey – from acquisition to engagement and ultimately sales. To find out how you can join their ranks and improve the success of your organization’s customer acquisition and lifetime value, please reach out today.