THE CLARUS Blog

New Data Shows Social Media Can Spark Customer Engagement and Build Brand Loyalty 

Every brand wants to increase customer engagement to earn greater long-term loyalty.  

But where do the opportunities lie?  

This is one of the areas discussed in our 2022 Premium Loyalty Data Study.  

In addition to examining year-over-year trends in premium loyalty, the study covers consumer insights on brand engagement — the exchange of consumer action in return for an incentive (e.g., discount code, gift card, free item, chance to win sweepstakes).    

While social media seems like an area where brands typically elevate customer engagement, that’s not always the case, according to our recent statistics.   

And there remains an abundance of opportunity in social media where your brand can leverage promotions and other incentives to heighten customer loyalty.  

 

Social Media Gives Brands a Huge Opportunity to Elevate Customer Engagement   

Social media is one area brands could leverage their engagement efforts. Two contrasting statistics from our study show the ripe opportunity for brands.   

Forty-two percent of respondents said they’ve followed a brand on their social media page in exchange for an incentive — the most common incentivized action consumers took.   

Yet nearly 40% said they have never engaged with a brand on social media in exchange for incentives, unveiling an opportunity for brands to improve their customer engagement levels.   

Few consumers have taken other actions in exchange for incentives, such as commenting on brands’ social media posts (26%), resharing brands’ posts (23%) and tagging friends in comments on brands’ posts (22%).   

These numbers illustrate a key point for brands: Consumers will engage with your brand on social media in exchange for an incentive. And while a solid percentage of consumers already engage with their favorite brands on social media, just as many don’t.   

This is where your opportunity lies.   

Talk to your customers on social media and find out what they like about your brand. Then incorporate those insights into promotions that can be offered on your social media pages in exchange for consumers interacting with and advocating for your brand.   

Some of the promotions you can use are: Chance-to-Win, Offers & Rebates, Brand Advocacy, and Gamification.   

Test different types of incentives with your customers on social media and see which ones work best and formulate a plan. By doing this, you’ll make your best customers exponentially better and more valuable. 

 

To Achieve Greater Customer Engagement on Social Media, You Need One Thing  

Brands often wonder why their customers aren’t engaging with them at higher levels.   

When brand officials ask this question, the answer boils down to one, undisputable element: An incentive.   

It all comes down to an incentive that contains value. Many consumers clearly have either never seen the value in engaging with a brand on social media or have felt disinclined to go beyond following a brand on its social pages.    

This means that if brands want to use social media to build customer loyalty, they have to be willing to exchange more than what they’re currently offering. Engagement must be worth it in consumers’ eyes.   

This chart below from our study shows how consumers engage with a brand on social media in exchange for an incentive.  

Chart Titled "How consumers have engaged with a brand on social media in exchange for an incentive"

 

Maybe consumers don’t have a reason to post something on your social media sites?   

Give them a reason, motivate them, and they will interact with your brand. Show them an attractive value proposition and they will engage with you.   

Consumers like to feel part of something exclusive, like an online social media community. Sharing on social media is a great way for your best customers to engage with your brand and with other customers.    

Create an enticing promotion for your customers that they can enter via your social media pages. This will spark interest and keep your best customer engaging with your brand.   

The more customer engagement via social media, the better your brand messaging shines through.  

 

Your Loyalty Program Can Be a Great Place to Engage Customers Via Social Media  

Consider 81% of consumers say they’re more likely to engage with a brand if it offers an incentive.  

Now consider that 74% of consumers are somewhat likely or very likely to join a loyalty program if joining enters them in a sweepstakes to win a prize.   

Our 2022 Customer Loyalty Data Study shows that less than one-third (32%) of loyal customers are members of loyalty programs, which creates a massive opportunity for your brand to use social media promotions to acquire loyalty program members and increase engagement.  

For example, we did a promotion with Red Lobster to raise social awareness for one day called #RockARedLobster. Its goal was to drive top-of-mind awareness of Red Lobster by inspiring seafood-loving fans to promote the brand on social media in celebration of National Lobster Day.  

It was an invitation-only program that encouraged Red Lobster fans to share photos with #RockARedLobster showing their love of all things lobster on Instagram and Twitter in exchange for a chance to win prizes instantly.  

We worked on a promotion called, IHG Rewards Club – Priceless Experiences Await, to generate authentic consumer endorsements of the brand via its social media channels.     

In partnership with Mastercard, IHG Rewards Club Members shared their respective stories through their eyes and posted photos of their favorite travel memories for a chance to win one of four curated Priceless Experience vacation packages.     

This promotion served to organically promote IHG travel destinations on behalf of the brand.  

 

Cell phone and tablet images of IHG Rewards Club – Priceless Experiences Await promotion

Look to Social Media to Increase Customer Engagement and Build Brand Loyalty  

As our study numbers show, social media is where you want to be to ramp up your customer engagement and build brand loyalty and advocacy.   

If you offer promotions and other incentives via social media, filled with value, your best customers will engage with you there.   

Positive customer engagement on your social media pages helps increase traffic to your site and creates buzz about your brand.   

Remember to offer promotions that are valuable to your customers. If you do this on your social media pages, they will engage with your brand and advocate for you in the long run. When consumers interact with brands on social media it creates a halo effect because other people in the person’s network see it.  

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