How To: Engage Fans and Followers as both Consumers and Potential Marketers of Your Business
“Consumers trust recommendations from friends” was one of the more interesting findings in a Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey from a couple of years ago. At the time a whopping ninety percent of consumers surveyed noted that they trust recommendations from people they know, and 70 percent trusted consumer opinions posted online.
Several months ago, ForeSee Results, reported that recommendations from friends are among the top influences of purchases.
Nowadays with the continued growth of Twitter and Facebook businesses are looking for ways to capitalize on a fan’s follow and like. Many businesses are looking to have you take next steps and help refer their products and services to your friends.
Jennifer Alsever had an interesting piece in the July/August issue of Inc. magazine entitled “Turning Customers Into Salespeople.” She describes three campaigns, one where Roku launched a refer-a-friend marketing campaign through Extole by rewarding customers with a one free month Netflix subscription for recommending the company’s video players to people they know. Abe’s Market, a Chicago-based online retailer of food, clothing and other products added a Share It feature to its website offering shoppers 10 percent off their orders if they agree to tell three friends about the products in their online shopping carts. The Step 2 Company, a maker of children’s playhouses and furniture added a software from power-reviews which makes it possible for shoppers to use their Facebook accounts to log in to Step2’s website. Friends can see which products their friends liked and reviewed and reviewers receive 10 percent off their next purchase.
Leyl Master Black suggests that one of the best ways to engage your fan base is by rewarding your Facebook audience for becoming and staying fans and offers four ways to do this:
1. Offer exclusive discounts, coupons and content with low-cost applications such as Fan Tabz to create a custom “Fan Wall”
2. Help fans give back by tying charitable donations to the growth of your fan base
3. Show you’re listening by responding to each and every comment on your Facebook Page
4. Recognize individual fans and reward them for being a part of the community
Some companies are being fairly creative and resourceful with their Facebook pages by creating well integrated campaigns with platforms easily at their disposable e.g. email, Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s a recent example from Overdrive Interactive which I came across which is low-cost and effective:
1. Send an email to your mailing list with a free offer
In this case it was an infographic of a social media map. Make the offer available by downloading it from your Facebook page. You can see too that in the email message that there were several ways to share the offer with your friends, on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
2. Request a Like on Facebook
After I clicked on the link to download the Social Media Map from the Facebook page, I was brought to the page where I needed to “like” them. A great way to get fans! There were also other offers that I might have been interested in. A good way to engage an interested user.
3. Create multiple ways to share the link
There were ways for me to share the map with friends on the Facebook tab.
Then I could download the map, the reason why I went to the page in the first place!
4. Make the Link Tweet-Ready
If I liked what I received, I could easily share the link on Twitter with my followers
5. Tap into the notion that recommendations from friends are influential
Perhaps one of the most effective parts of the campaign was because the download was only available by liking the company, the “like” appeared on my Facebook newsfeed.
There are a number of ways to engage your fans and have them help promote your services and products. Begin with the end in mind and map out the process that you’d like to see happen. You can proceed with customizable tabs or go the route of having companies conduct the campaign for you. In either case, an integrated social media campaign can help you engage with your fans and followers and have them help you to market your products and services.