Take a moment and think about the most successful moments in business, whether they involve your company or not. They aren’t the day-to-day coming and going of customers to a brick-and-mortar store or website. The most successful moments are heavily focused around large events; events that get customers excited about the holidays, a huge sale, or a new product launch.
At Moontoast we think these traditionally "real-world" events can, and should, be utilized in the digital world. When dealing with fast moving communities that have hundreds of different things vying for their attention, you have to create experiences that get people talking, engaging, transacting, and sharing.
Treat Your Social Properties As A Loyalty Channel
Most people follow a brand on social networks for the games, contests, promotions, and to learn about new products. With 3 out of every 5 of your fans following you to get special deals, this is a great opportunity for you to treat your social properties as a loyalty channel.
This means creating and finding out what offers resonate with your community. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of offers. Your goal for one campaign may be to gather email addresses while another may be to drive sales of your newest product.
As you continue creating unique offers for your community, you’ll find that your Return on Fan™ is not just a monetary return, but the quantitative and qualitative measurement of the impact a fan has on your brand. If a fan not only purchases but shares your offer to 284 friends...that's a huge Return on Fan™!
Get Creative And Reward Your Fans
Ok, so you’re excited about creating unique offers for your fans, but how do you turn a simple campaign into an event? The keys are to 1) get creative and 2) schedule your events well ahead of time.
Let’s say you want to give your Facebook fans first dibs on a new product before it’s available in stores, for 24 hours only. Awesome idea, but with only 24 hours available you need to do a lot of work beforehand to get your fans excited about the offer and ready to take part on the day of the event.
Remember the acronym DITE (Discovery, Interaction, Transaction, & Endorsement) when you’re creating the details of your event. How will people discover it? Create a Facebook event for your fans, inviting them to take part in the exclusive offer. Get them to interact by posting photos, videos, and other content to your profiles to let everyone know the event will be happening exclusively on Facebook. On the day of the event make it easy for your community to transact by posting numerous updates that let as many fans as possible take part. Finally, prompt them to share the offer with their friends. Or, better yet, give them a reason to share by making it something people want to talk about. You have to think of these digital social events as you would in the real world. What can you do to create enormous buzz around the campaign you are running?
Schedule Your Campaigns
Just like you wouldn’t start planning for the Black Friday rush to your store while eating Thanksgiving dinner, you shouldn’t start planning for your larger social events the day before. While you can, and should, create fun one-off campaigns for your fans every now and then, the majority should be viewed as something you should plan and get ready for ahead of time.
Scheduling doesn’t have to be super complicated. Just think about the key points you need to remember for your campaign to be successful. When should you create your Facebook event invite? When should you send out an email to your subscribers? What time will you launch your event on the day of? What is your sell-out strategy and how will you thank your fans when it’s over?
You should also be prepared to engage with your community during the event. If it’s a 24-hour offer, respond to comments or questions that pop up. Continue posting updates throughout the day with how many are available or how much time is left.
Give the people what they want and have fun yourself during the process. You’ll develop a deeper relationship with your fan base and be on your way to creating brand ambassadors. It’s all about seeing your campaigns as events that get people excited.