How Mobile and Social Media Can Help You Build Customer Loyalty

February 2, 2016         By: Erika Napoletano

There’s something lovely about being recognized.

When you walk into a store or business and you’re greeted by name—at that moment, you’re more than just a sale—you’re a person. And recognition like that can build more loyalty than any sale or ad.

From social media strategy to third-party apps and platforms, it can be easy for your business to earn the loyalty you crave, while meeting your customers online and on-the-go.

Social Media Retargeting

When someone visits your business online, wouldn’t you like the opportunity to reconnect with that person? Social media retargeting can help you do just that. Social Media Examiner has a powerful how-to article for businesses that want to target customers who have visited specific pages of their website. Maybe it’s a subscription page or perhaps a page in your online store. Whatever the page, retargeting can help you reconnect with people who have already met you through ads on Facebook and Twitter. Get the how-to scoop on retargeting here.

Rewarding Social Media Loyalty

While retargeting can help you connect with new fans, social media loyalty efforts can help you stay connected with them. Social loyalty programs offer everything from virtual “punch cards” that reward brick-and-mortar visits, to coupons exclusively for those who follow you on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Chirpify and Social Rewards are just two examples of platforms that offer social media loyalty capabilities.

Chirpify converts an online fan’s social actions on Twitter into rewards. For example, brands using Chirpify can respond to Tweets about their brand with rewards, such as a free drink coupon. Brands can also let customers earn rewards points for specific social actions such as using a particular hashtag in a tweet.

Social Rewards is a service that allows brands to award their fans points on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. By taking simple actions such as sharing a photo, using a hashtag, or making a brand mention, customers can earn points redeemable at a wide variety of locations. Customers just have to download the app and enroll in the program.

When fans and customers are rewarded for tweeting, posting and sharing about your brand on social media, they’re more likely to keep doing it to increase their rewards. It’s a no-brainer if you’re a brand with a growing social media fan base.

Building Mobile Loyalty

When you’re on the go, where do you look for the information you need? Most likely, you’re tapping into your smartphone. So why not make your business smartphone-savvy and be ready to meet and reward customers who love the convenience of mobile? Some strategies include integrating a digital punch card, which allows a merchant to reward repeat customers and therefore build loyalty, or leveraging new beacon technology to welcome customers who walk through your doors via their smartphone. Or, merchants can loop themselves into a larger, trusted rewards program that includes an array of merchants, so that customers do not need to download additional apps but can still be rewarded for engaging with your store. Two examples are Flok and Shopkick, which can help businesses create these mobile loyalty plays.

Flok is an affordable way for a business to create a mobile loyalty program, and offers digital punch cards, mobile push messages (messages sent via text message to members of your loyalty program), and a feature that welcomes customers as they walk through your door via beacon technology and alerts them to custom deals for their profile.

Shopkick is also worth a gander for any brick-and-mortar store looking to boost its mobile relationship with customers. By downloading the app, your customers can see the best deals you have to offer before they even step foot in your store. From there, customers can earn “kicks” for such activities as walking in the door, scanning an item or making a purchase, which can then be redeemed for gift cards useable at their favorite stores. This is an ideal option for smaller, growing businesses looking to connect with a network of fans of larger stores by making their store a Shopkick location that awards “kicks.”

In the end, there are plenty of tools available to small- to medium-sized merchants looking to grow their customer loyalty through the power of social media and mobile phones. All it takes is evaluating your customers’ wants and needs, and determining what the right communication approach is for your business to both foster brand loyalty and create a rich customer shopping experience across payment channels.