6 Ways to Use Social Media for Small Business Loyalty Marketing

Tony Robbins once said: If you want to be successful, find someone who has achieved the results you want and copy what they do and you’ll achieve the same results. Are you looking for the latest social media marketing tactics? Perhaps you want to know what the social media marketing pros are doing today. It is not terribly hard to answer those questions. We’ll share with you how we believe you can grow using small business loyalty marketing.
loyalty marketing
Loyalty marketing is very effective.
Related: Adapting to Major Changes in the Social Media Climate
Keeping up with the latest in social media tactics is not always easy, but always a worthy thing to do for your small business.
How well have you done with the technique?
Social media has provided marketers with some powerful new tools. They are global, potentially viral, and free.
Businesses will often have entire teams dedicated to communicating with followers, and will spend a significant chunk of their budget acquiring new leads from the Internet.
But not all of us can afford this approach, can we?
From blogging to pay-per-click advertising, there are plenty of other ways to establish a social media presence. Most businesses will use multiple techniques in order to maximize results; however, as the years go by a new form of marketing has emerged; viral marketing.
Marketing for small to mid-sized businesses is a different animal than it is for big brands.
For the former, cost is always a factor, they insist on measurable results (even if their metric is as vague as “Do we think it worked?”), and creativity usually takes a second place to cost-effective, day-to-day manageability.
And yet, whether you are Millifiore Skin Care, Black Tulip Restaurant, or Coca-Cola, the challenges are much the same: To grab prospects’ attention; re-explain quickly and memorably how you make life better; and give them good reasons to buy now.
No matter how many zeroes appear on your marketing invoices, there is never enough money to reach the market the way you’d really like to, so all businesses need to experiment with new ways to reach their target markets.
Here are some novel ways to grow small business brand loyalty:
Loyalty marketing … how social media is impacting marketing
social word of mouth
Put social word of mouth to work.
Social word-of-mouth
 Social media enables consumers to generate and tap into the opinions of an exponentially larger universe.
While word-of-mouth has always been important, its scope was previously limited to the people you knew and interacted with on a daily basis.
Social media has removed that limitation and given new power to consumers.
Hyper-informed consumers
Social media is transforming the way that consumers across the globe make purchase decisions.
Consumers around the world are using social media to learn about other consumers’ experiences, find more information about brands, products and services, and to find deals and purchase incentives.
Opportunity for engagement
Consumer attitudes toward advertising on social media are still evolving.
Though roughly one-third of social media users find ads on social networking sites more annoying than other types of Internet advertisements, research suggest that there are opportunities for marketers to engage with consumers via social media.
More than a quarter of social media users say they are more likely to pay attention to an ad shared by one of their social connections.
Additionally, more than a quarter of consumers are ok with seeing ads on social networking sites tailored to them based on their profile information.
Nielsen and NM Incite’s Social Media Report provides some insight into what is driving our collective, global obsession with social media. In the following paragraphs, you’ll get a more detailed snapshot of what is helping to power the continued growth of social networking around the world.
How consumers’ social media behavior is evolving, and how these changes impact the way brands and consumers engage through social networks.
Don’t stand by while your competitors beat you to new customers. Grow a loyal fan base outside the store.
Small business brand loyalty … here’s how to do it:
Capture customer hearts in the first 30 seconds
 What are you doing to make their first 30 seconds on your platform extraordinary? If you can’t answer this question, you need to start here.
First impressions are everything, aren’t they?
Small business brand loyalty … strike an emotional chord
 Make them feel something. If you want to grab my attention on social media, make me laugh. Make me cry. Make me feel something, anything.
When I have a super busy day and I am engaging customers, I have no choice due to the amount of them and time constraints but to choose where and when I am going to respond.
It is an easy choice for me. I respond to the people who grab my attention.
The people who are nice, who make me feel good. The people who are genuine. The people who make me laugh. Pull an emotional chord.
Don’t send snarky tweets trying to get attention. Most people can see right thru the snark and won’t respond. I ignore the trolls and the folks looking only for attention.
Be genuine and offer something of emotional value.
Partner with complementary brands
Contests and giveaways are standard tactics on social media for retail brands. You can overcome this challenge through some creative thinking.  Find complementary brands that fit with your objectives … say for contests.
You can also retweet content on Twitter and likes Instagram photos of complementary brands that promote something related to your products and services.

loyal advocates
Customer loyalty is the goal.
Reward loyal advocates
Do not run contests on social media to get new followers … run them to reward existing customers.
You’ll find that rather use contests to collect email addresses of current fans for an existing database than inflate follower numbers with people who aren’t true fans of your brand.
Focus on genuine fans. Don’t try to pile up fans. It isn’t about hundreds of thousands of fans; it’s more about the quality, the conversation, and building relationships.
Also reward fans informally by liking their photos on Instagram and giving shout-outs on Facebook and Twitter.
In return, fans will naturally share your content.
Loyalty marketing … educate and tell great stories
Consumers always enjoy good stories and helpful information that educates.
Use social media primarily to educate fans about your products and services.
Watch the engagement you receive to see what their followers want. The results can be amazing, yes?
When you publish something that’s educational, you should expect an average of three to seven responses. .
Listen to customers on all online channels
If you’re not using social media to listen to your customers, to what is going on in your industry or niche, you’re missing the point of social media.
The most important thing you can do to better delight everyone who comes in contact with your brand is to listen to them.
Listen with a goal to understand, not just think about the next thing you can shout back at them.
The most successful brands use social media to listen to what their customers are saying about them and to what their customers think about their competitors.  They listen so they can learn more about their consumers’ aspirations, challenges and concerns.
JetBlue is a great example of a big brand that uses social media to listen to their customers.
They monitor Twitter, for example, and have people who respond to travelers who are tweeting them about issues they’re encountering.
For instance, a passenger arrived in Denver for a connecting flight only to find that there were no gate agents anywhere in site.  Frustrated, he tweeted this to JetBlue and they responded within minutes apologizing and explaining why there was no one at the gate.
This showed the man that JetBlue cared and was listening.
Bottom line, listen more than you talk. You’ll be amazed how much you can learn about your audience when you shut up and listen. Try it!
More learning: An Update to Starbucks Creative Ideas and Innovation
An example
Taco Bell, the well-known fast food chain is leading the way in how to build up a solid social media presence. The company uses its Twitter account to interact with customers, celebrities and general tweeters alike. Whilst, over on its Vine page, the Mexican food giant regularly uploads amusing videos to keep its 138,000 followers entertained.
Taco Bell’s social media presence is light-hearted, with references to Mean Girls, a Snapchat account and a heavy sprinkling of humor, and taps into who their customers are (primarily young people) and successfully manages to raise brand awareness.
The bottom line
Bottom line, listen more than you talk. You’ll be amazed how much you can learn about your audience when you shut up and listen.
Try it and you will be amazed by the results.
creative_social media
 Do you have a lesson about making your customer experience better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?
Need some help in capturing more customers from your social media marketing or advertising? Creative ideas to help the differentiation with your customers?
Call today for a FREE consultation or a FREE quote. Learn about some options to scope your job.
Call Mike at 607-725-8240.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas.
When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.
Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
Are you devoting enough energy innovating your social media strategy?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of business. Find him on G+Twitter, and LinkedIn.  
 Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change.  We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
More reading on social media marketing and advertising from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library:
10 Essential Components of a Top Notch Website Design
Adapting to Major Changes in the Social Media Climate
How Steve Jobs Would Change Your Social Media Engagement 
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6 Ways to Use Social Media for Small Business Loyalty Marketing

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