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.
“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.
“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.