Author: Issa Asad.
As a business owner, you want people to follow you on Instagram and through other social media platforms. The main reason that you want this is for them to make purchases from you, and to potentially give your company referral business by telling their family and friends about the great products that you offer for sale.
What exactly are you giving your customers in return when they follow you? Since you want something from them, it is important that you show your gratitude as a business owner when they do follow you through social media sites, tell people about your great business and make purchases from your company.
There are a number of ways you can reward your customers and followers, not only for following you, but for referral business and for their loyalty. With so many competitors that they could turn to in nearly any market or industry that your business is in, they decided to follow your company.
One company that is most well-known for these special promos is American Express. They have been known to give away first class tickets, backstage concert tickets or even tickets to sporting events which are impossible to find (such as the US Open).
American Express Instagram Profile, @americanexpress, September, 2014, by American Express
More often than not, the company gets these deals for free or a very low cost as the promos they offer are through their partners. Simply offering these promotions or special items to their online followers is a great way to thank them for their loyalty and to ask them to continue using their products, as opposed to turning to the competition.
These are a few ways to keep your customers coming back, keep them following you on social media and to keep them from turning to competitors in the same industry.
Offer Followers Promo Codes or Sales
One simple way to give back to your followers is through promo codes or other special sales. You can offer your Instagram followers a special promo code which can only be seen by those who are following the company through the social media platform. Or, you can inform your followers online, about sales that are going to take place before the general public learns about the offers.
Doing these simple but personal things for your loyal followers is a great way to thank them for their business. You were going to host the sale anyway, why not inform the online followers a few hours or even days before, so they can take advantage of the items they want to buy?
Or, why not give them certain online promo codes, which can only be used by those who follow them through certain social media platforms? When you do this, you give people an incentive to continue to follow you and to check in on social media platforms regularly.
Offer Incentives for Comments
Another simple way to grow in the number of likes, comments and followers is to offer incentives for these simple tasks. You can promote a contest where if new customers follow you through the social media site, they are automatically entered to win tickets to a big event.
Or, if a follower on Instagram likes or comments on a photo, they are entered to win a ticket or a product that has not been released for sale by the company yet.
Although these are extremely simple tasks for people to do, a number of people do not do them simply because they have no incentive to do so. When you receive likes on a photo, or when there are hundreds of comments on a photo, it has more of a chance of going viral which is exactly what you want as a business owner.
A great way to get customers and potential customers to help you in taking your site and social media pages viral, is to offer them something in return for helping you. Not only will more people share your site and your content, but the incentive does not even have to be that large for a majority of the people to take part in the contest, or to share a photo that your business posts on their Instagram account page.
Offer Rewards for Following
If you are an airline company, offer customers reward points for travel if they share your photo on Instagram. Or, if your company sells clothing, offer a customer a coupon for $15 if they share something that you posted on your page. These are simple ways to reward your followers, to keep them happy and to avoid losing them to other competitors out there.
Most companies offer their followers at least some form of a reward; even if it is something small, it is a form of gratitude that you are thankful they are your customer and that they are following you on social media platforms.
If your business does not offer any form of an incentive, or if you do not offer any reward to your followers, it is going to result in them turning to the competition. Again, you want these people to keep following you, and you want them to remain loyal to your company. But, why would they do so if you do not give them anything in return, and if you do not show your appreciation for them being a loyal customer?
As a business owner, you have to offer your customers who are following you on social media some form of reward. Whether it is quarterly, once a year, twice a year or even in the form of a contest, it is a small way to show them you are thankful that they are following your site, and that you want them to continue following you on as many social media platforms as possible.
The more rewards that are offered, and the more opportunities your followers have to earn rewards, the greater the chances are they will continue to follow you through social media platforms.
Give Followers Free Perks
You can offer things such as free trips, gift cards or credit card gift rewards, movie tickets, backstage concert tickets or tickets to their favorite sporting event of the year. These are a handful of perks that companies have offered in the past, and continue to offer to their followers in order to keep them on board.
As a customer, you want to be shown some form of gratification. Not only are you following the company on social media, you are taking the time to like and comment on their videos and images. Furthermore, you are spending money when you shop through their online store, or when you shop with one of their local retailers. You are doing so much for the business, so you naturally want something in return for your loyalty and for the spending habits that you have formed over the years with the company.
The companies that offer these perks and give their customers something in return, are not only the ones who have the most followers on their social media platforms, but are also the businesses which are most well-known around the world. These are the businesses that tend to earn the highest profit margins, and will sell nearly any product to their customers. The customers will purchase these products because they rely on the company.
In order for your business to survive, it is essential for you to give back to your customers. Like any other relationship, you can’t expect one side to do all of the work. If your customers are continually doing things for you, and to help your business grow, it is important that you do something in return for them.
So, offer them perks a few times a year, or give them the opportunity to win a cool prize. Even if they do not win, it is going to show them you care about them, it is going to show your customers you are thankful for their loyalty and it will show them you want to retain them as a customer and keep doing business with them in the future.
If you have social media platforms for your business, you will want them to grow. Even if you choose not to give away from concert tickets, or give away money for people following you, you can offer contests and other forms of incentives for them to offer to you.
Not every business has as much money to spare as American Express; this means not all businesses are going to be able to give away trips and expensive prizes to their followers. But, you have to show some effort, and you have to show your followers you are willing to give them something in return if they follow you on social media platforms.
It can be as simple as giving them a few points towards a future purchase when they comment on a photo you post. Or, you can offer them a 10% discount at checkout when they shop online (or free shipping) if they like a post you have made on your social media pages.
It does not have to be a grand gesture, but there has to be some kind of gesture. If you want people to follow you and to take the time to comment on your social media platforms, you have to give them a reason to want to and some form of incentive for them to do so.
No matter what line of business you are in or what social media pages you have, the more followers you have online, the greater your chances are of growing online and growing at local retail shops you operate. If you are a brand new company, or even a well-developed company and are just getting in to the social media scene, make sure you understand how it works. It is important to learn from the companies that have millions of followers. Look at what they do, and how they are thankful to the followers they have on the social media pages which they operate.
By showing your followers some form of gratitude and offering them an incentive to follow you, it is not only going to make them want to keep following you, but to actually engage (by commenting, liking or even taking part in contest) on your social media pages. So remember to give them returns, to reward your followers and to continually thank them for remaining loyal to your business, even though they have other choice competitors to turn to.[/fusion_text]
Issa Asad is an entrepreneur and marketing strategist from Miami, Florida. Issa Asad has over 15 years of experience
in the marketing, technology and telecommunications industries. Mr. Asad has been the Co-Founder, Founder, Managing
Member, President, Vice President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of multiple technology, telecom and online-based companies.
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