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 are paying customers and become 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 that, 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 percent off would help your customers out, and you can always limit it to one per customer.
Worthwhile 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 emailing 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 personal thank-you to them 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 percent off online orders" special in June to celebrate reaching $1 billion in online sales in a year, and Target ran an Olympics trivia contest on Twitter in which followers could win a gift card.
Kraft's 2011 Twitter campaign simultaneously "@ mentioned" two people who had used the phrase "mac & cheese"; 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.
Peter Nevis wrote this article on behalf of OrangeLine SEO. Peter contributes to various marketing blogs, is a marketing expert, and enjoys writing articles about SEO and online marketing strategies. A version of this article first appeared on SmartBlog on Social Media.