An important part of a successful social media campaign is keeping regular engagement and interest among followers, fans and friends. While some users may tweet photos or post praises out of brand loyalty and love, many need encouragement to keep the shares and re-tweets rolling. Incentives are an excellent way to do this.
The word “incentive” probably brings to mind images of free stuff, brand swag and samples. Perhaps you imagined creating a social media-exclusive coupon for your loyal followers. And if you’re a big dreamer, maybe you went so far as to imagine big giveaways such as travel promotions or charitable donations.
In this case, though, “incentive” translates to “spend money giving away free stuff.” While this is a valuable step in rewarding brand loyalty and boosting interest, you may not have the budget for this kind of campaign.
You could make stardom your incentive: choose a comment of the week and highlight a positive review, tweet or post about your product. A fan of the day/week/month works the same way: invite followers to submit photos or videos of your product and publish the best. Not only are you rewarding your fans for their dopamine-driven comments about your brand, but you’re getting user-generated content in the same boat.
Or you could try a collaborative effort, such as East Coast Train’s partnership with @drawnyourtweet to pictorialize tweets using #FeelAtHome. This creative incentive encourages fans to tweet their favorite part of a train ride, and random tweets were turned into endearing cartoons. I applaud the creativity behind this method: it gets people talking about the brand experience, humanizes the train company, provides the marketing team with current comments and images and promotes creative arts through collaboration.
This incentive method could easily translate to other social media platforms, especially visually driven Instagram or Pinterest. Or you could expand to other creative solutions, such as creating a brief jingle or video for your fans.
While it’s important to give back to the loyal fans who make your business possible, you don’t always have to dig deep into your pockets to say “thank you.” What creative incentives have you tried?
Harvin Bedenbaugh – Content Writer & Editor