Social media marketing has become one of the most prominent ways for companies to interact with customers. But how can you interact with thousands of Facebook fans while maintaining a high level of value and compelling them to engage?
When you give fans something they really like and want to share, fan activation can translate to revenue. To that end, social coupons can be a powerful tool, but requiring customers to download software or navigate to another site to claim offers can curtail their effectiveness.
We're glad to have Blake Shipley, founder of social coupon innovator and Silverpop partner CoupSmart, offer his expert insights regarding best practices for leveraging your fans to grow your fan base and monetize your Facebook presence:
For those of us marketers who spend time managing social media, two of our objectives are to increase our following and to create content that both spurs conversation and rewards our customers. If we lived in a perfect world, we could get information about who is using our special offers — and better yet, who’s considering our offers, who printed off our offer, and who took it to the store and redeemed it.
Traditionally, that type of tracking has only been possible through a retailer's rewards card. But today, smart technology can help marketers produce customized coupons, at scale, with 1:1 tracking from preview to redemption – and then remarket to these same customers. So, can your business benefit from social coupons?
Why It Matters: Facebook Brand Fans Are Super Consumers
A good place to start is to understand the fundamental behavior of fans of brands on Facebook. Not surprisingly, fans are extremely active in social media, with two-thirds of brand fans also being a fan of more than 10 brand pages at any given time. On average, three quarters of fans are likely to share promotions and discounts with their Facebook friends. When you reach out to your customers on Facebook, you’re fueling advocacy.
How Do Social Referrals Drive Customer Acquisition on Facebook?
One of the most efficient means of expanding your customer base is through the network you already have. As marketers, we know that 92 percent of consumers say they trust recommendations from friends above all other forms of advertising.
Two options for encouraging this via your Facebook coupons include requiring the customer to become a fan with a “Likegate,” and either giving them the option or requiring them to post the special offer to their own timeline.
When fans share a coupon, it should appear in the newsfeed of friends along with a link to your promotions page. Shares generate word of mouth, more customers see your brand offering, and more participate based on referral – reducing the costs of fan acquisition. Be sure to choose an app that has these options and doesn’t require software downloads or direct your customers off of Facebook, as these can result in up to 90 percent of fans abandoning the process.
How Do I Create A Highly Sought-After and Shareable Coupon?
Let's cut to the chase – you have to offer a compelling deal that people actually WANT to share with their friends. For example, if your objective is to drive product trials, then running a high-value offer — ideally a free offer — exponentially increases shares, which in turn leads to new fans and new customers.
When Lindt Chocolate ran its “One Million Bag of Chocolate Truffles” giveaway, for example, we not only served up a million coupons in less than a week, but Lindt made No. 2 on the Food & Beverage PTAT (People Talking About This).
While offering a free deal may not work for every brand, it worked for Lindt, which experienced its highest sales increase in five years with a minimal advertising budget. When you reward your customers for being fans, they'll be compelled to share the wealth with their friends and tell you what they think. Consider:
- Coupons that offer a free product have the highest claim-to-preview rate — 77.3%
- Coupons that offer a BOGO (Buy One Get One Free) or a discount between 25% and 50% off average a claim-to-preview rate of 15% to 38%, with spikes in fan growth and PTAT
How Do Social Coupons Differ from Coupon Sites?
Hosting a coupon campaign directly on your Facebook page instead of a coupon site or FSI means you’re driving traffic to your own branded experience instead of another business (where you may be competing with others). Plus, using the right social application enables you to obtain personal data from your fans who claim a coupon, including their email, demographic and psychographic data. You can also track the individuals who did (or didn’t) redeem your coupon. This data can be used to run 1:1 email marketing campaigns to your growing email list to increase conversions and loyalty.
Converting Social Share to Market Share
Coupon campaigns are usually part of an economic strategy to increase market share. According to Syncapse, 42 percent of people said they became a brand fan on Facebook to get a coupon. So, it makes sense to look at a social coupon campaign as a powerful way to acquire customers through online engagement and referrals, and be able to track and remarket to those advocates.
CoupSmart is a leading innovator in social and digital marketing solutions through their Smart Social Coupon and Facebook app platform. CoupSmart's direct integration with Silverpop allows you to generate more segments based on Facebook user actions and demographics such as a preview of your special offer, claim of your coupon or ecommerce code, and redemption. For more information, visit www.coupsmart.com.
1) Blog: “Using Email to Promote Social Channels: A Real-World Example”
2) Video: “Using Social Media to Build Trust”
3) Blog: “Personalizing Content on Every Channel”