Do you know your social consumer? You may think you do, but recent research has found that most social media marketing plans does not fulfil one simple question: What does your social consumer want? Or better yet, your social follower? It may surprise you to learn that they might not nessiarily want what you are giving them, or what you might “want” them to want. This doesn’t mean that they don’t want to follow you, or share in the information you provide, just that you need to provide it to your followers in a different way. Although roughly 76 percent of companies think they know their social consumers well, only 35 percent have asked them what they want and how they want it. At the end of the day, this is what will drive interaction; indirectly driving response and sales.

What Consumers Want From Social Brands

  • Deals and promotions (83%)
  • Loyalty or rewards programs based on engagement (70%)
  • Access to exclusive content (58%)
  • Ability to offer feedback on products (55%)
  • Customer service (37%)   What Social Marketers Think Their Social Consumers Want
  • Customer service (59%)
  • Insight to help make decisions (58%)
  • Deals and promotions (53%)
  • Loyalty/rewards for engagement (45%)
  • Exclusive content (43%)

So what can we absorb from this information? We can see clearly that the majority of social users all want some type of deal or promotion. So, it’s safe to say that social sharing; and also promoting through paid ads and pay-per-click; coupons and discounts weekly for your product or service will greatly increase traffic to your social outlets. Sure, they are coming to your page and starting an interaction because of a sale or promotion, but it doesn’t stop there. They could see something they feel is worth sharing, they could explore further and find information they find valuable, adding your company as a “goto” spot for information, or complete some type of sale, or call to action.

The next most popular is Loyalty or rewards programs based on engagement. This says a lot about the true roll of social media in business and advertising. This is saying, in the most basic terms: “If you reward us, we will engage with you and your content”. This is really what social media for marketing is in totality. We share things in the hopes that people will engage with them, they are telling us they will engage with us if we reward them. It really is as simple as that.

Below are 5 ways that you can reward your followers while offering deals and keeping them engaged in your content.

1. Ask your followers questions, and follow up on their response – Ask your customers what they want from your company or the product / service that you offer. What do they like? Dislike? Run surveys on your social sites to get very valuable feedback and entice them to complete by giving them a promotion or discount. A good example would be completing a 10 question survey through Survey Monkey to get a $5 Starbucks gift card. It might seem that $5 is a lot for 10 questions being answered, but knowing what your customer wants is invaluable and the best tools you can use to close a call to action.

2. Follow up on what your customers want with deals and promotions – Engage your social followers with exclusive deals, promotions or giveaways. Make sure that what you offer is either not available anywhere else, or the better deal of any other source. You may spend more than your competitors, but you’ll gain customer loyalty from the followers you already have while drawing in more followers by providing what consumers say they want most from Social Media Marketing.

3. Reward your followers for engagement – Facebook’s new model is the best example of why engagement is key to social success. Here are the stats: on any given post you make on Facebook, it’s estimated that only 10% of your followers will actually see it. This increases by about 5% frequent repeat posting. To increase this, and to increase it exponentially, people need to like your post, and share it! For every follower that shares your post, it’s estimated that an additional 7% will see your post. That’s huge given the initial percentage. So, 5 shares could make or break a good social media post. To make sure that people are sharing what you say, give rewards. Offer them something small, like a coupon or discount code for sharing a certain post. Or, you can run a social contest that involves sharing select post. Whichever way, make sure that your followers know, if you post something and they share it, they will get something in return.

4. Provide valuable and exclusive content – This rings true for both products and services / information. Let’s say that you sell widgets. There are hundreds of companies out there that sell widgets, why should they follow and engage with you? Well, you sell personalized widgets. You post the latest news about widgets or what widgets are evolving in to. You have a specialized widget that no other company has. Anything to make your content or your product stand out in a way that makes it more valuable to your followers is what you want and will help keep people loyal to your brand.

5. Engage your followers and they engage you – Not following up with your followers is worse than them not responding at all. Make sure you are always on top of questions and comments from your followers, public or private. Don’t try to hide any negative feedback. If they really want to, they will make their feedback known and it will double back and affect you twice as bad. Respond and show real concern and ways to make whatever the issue better. Make sure all questions are answered, all comments are replied to, and all good feedback liked and thanked.

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