We were taught to share from a young age, from our crayons to our Oreos. We encourage our children to socialize with their peers. Now how do we teach our customers to not only share our brands with friends, but encourage them to socialize about them? Here are five tips from Crowd Factory’s CEO Sanjay Dholakia to get your customers talking and sharing through social media:
1. Make sharing worth their while
The more your customers share, the more they should all save. Creating group deals, like the Groupon model, have proven very effective recently in attracting consumers to products and services quickly and creating buzz. But don’t just stop there. Consider, for example, increasing the value of a coupon by fifty cents for every 5,000 people that share your product, like Oscar Mayer did with their Select hot dogs. People will work together when it benefits them.
2. Incent them with something unique
People need motivation to act, and what better way than by making them feel special? Giving your consumers access to products and content earlier than anyone else, letting them test a new product, or giving them free merchandise in return for sharing with their friends is a sure way to their heart…and mouth. You can bet they will talk about it.
3. Incorporate them in the formation of the deals
Let your customers decide which products they want at a discount. This kills two birds with one stone: you gain insight into what consumers really want and they are more likely to share it with friends (give them the option to post it on Facebook or Twitter).
4. Cater to their cause
Again, open mouths by tugging at hearts. The Pepsi Refresh Project is a perfect example. Consumers post causes on the website and viewers vote on the cause they believe in the most. The project with the most votes receives a donation from Pepsi. And now Pepsi is taking it a step further by offering “Power Votes” that can increase viewers voting power by purchasing Pepsi products. So not only has Pepsi’s brand positioning been improved, but sales are now directly tied to the campaign. People want to do good, so make it easy for them to do so.
5. Target and reward the “superfans”
Superfans: those brand loyalists who Tweet, post, and go above and beyond to share your product with the world. Not motivated by incentives alone, though very much appreciated, these fans want to be seen as the expert on the product, a hero to their friends for getting them free stuff, and an advocate for something they truly believe in. Superfans, especially those with a large online following, can work wonders in spreading your message. So seek out the superfans and reward them. See how Wheat Thins did it here.
Creating reasons for consumers to share and socialize about your message online is the key to a successful marketing campaign. Incorporating these tips will also keep you afloat on what is being said about your brand, the good and the ugly. Rewarding those who share the positive can overshadow any negative discussion, improving your brand perception.