More and more consumers are turning to the internet when purchasing. In a study conducted by GroupM Search and comScore called “The Virtuous Circle: the Role of Search and Social Media in the Purchase Pathway” revealed that 58% of its respondents first turn to the search engines such as Google and Bing while 18% consults the social media. While during the purchase process 48% of shoppers used a combination of search and social media, the study found.
Consequently, many companies have developed various strategies to capture the interest and attention of their target markets through social media. In fact, Coca Cola cut its advertising budget by 6.6% in 2010 and invested more in social media.
With lots of companies trying to compete for its consumers attention through various social media platforms, those who actually getting the most success are those who could provide real world rewards to its members or users. Below is a list of sites that could actually reward you for your activities and the companies that have successfully utilized these platforms in their campaigns. In this game, loyalty wins.
If you tend to travel a lot then you might want to check in on Foursquare and turn your badges into real world rewards as becoming a mayor of a city could actually earn you discounts, coupons and freebies. Ranker.com has actually put together a list of companies that reward its customers the more often they check in to their stores through Foursquare. In a case study released by Econsultancy, McDonalds has actually increased its foot traffic by 33% on Foursquare Day as they gave 100 giftcards to Foursquare users who checked into McDonald’s establishments on 4/16. Other companies like Gap with its partnership with Facebook and Disney with its partneship with Gowalla are also examples of how brands realize the opportunity of rewarding its consumers for their loyalty. In addition, programs like these also provides opportunities for retailers and brands to learn more about their consumers.
The online influence measurement site has just recently implemented notable changes such as adding LinkedIn in the networks that they base the scores, the +K or the ability to vote for a user’s influence in a specific topic and perhaps the most exciting of it all is the Klout Perks. It gives real world perks to the most influential person on a specific topic.
It is an image recognition-based mobile marketing platform that allows its users to share their experiences via pictures of their favorite brands and get rewarded for it as they level up to various positions for the companies that they love. So that means if you love Mountain Dew a lot, you could share your creative photos along with the brand and post it on Pongr, other users could vote for your photo and work your way towards high ranks for the said company. Perhaps the most successful brand that uses the Pongr is Mountain Dew as it teamed up with the said site to give its enthuasiastic DEW® fans a chance to earn DEW coupons and DEW related prizes through Pongr’s mobile fan photo game. So you’re not just virtually having a position in your favorite brand as CEO, VP or CFO but you would also actually get rewarded in real world with freebies, discounts or coupons from your favorite brand.
4. Empire Avenue
The Social Media Exchange that allows you to buy and sell shares of people and websites. Based on a person’s social activities and influence, one could get promoted to specific positions in his specific index and level as his activities and interactions grow and get bragging rights as the platform allows its users to tweet and share their milestones through Facebook and Twitter.
While there may not be real world conversion of the badges and recognition from the said site yet, some of my friends shared their experiences about how their interaction and activities on Empire Avenue had them #winning in real world and how it has opened opportunities for them learn from and about others. Aside from the friendship that one develops through and outside the site, Empire Avenue is not just about buying and selling, it is an effective platform that surely has a lot of potential in helping businesses and individuals.
a. Carole Baker of OhSocial has just recently won a copy of Gary Vaynerchuck’s Thank You Economy from Lori Randall Stradtman, the owner of Social-Media-Design.com. Carole shared that through their connection from EAv, she learned that Lori was giving a copy of Gary Vaynerchuk’s new book “The Thank You Economy” and actually grabbed the amazing book. The good thing now is that she actually wants the book to be a #TravelingTYE (Traveling Thank You Economy) as she will pay it forward and currently giving it away as soon as she’s done reading it.
b. Sharon Hayes, CEO of Domainate, shared about how her understanding (not to mention expertise) in EAv and her activities was able to help her get the following opportunities:
I had 3 interesting contacts today:
1. Asked if I was interested in interviewing for an “evangelist” position at one of the top 5 Internet co’s
2. Contacted by a traditional NYC ad agency for an exec position for SM and
3. A boutique agency owner in LA asked if I’d be interested in discussing a partnership opportunity.
c. Chris Record actually gave out Best Buy Gift Cards to his 3 lucky Empire Avenue shareholders.
For those people who think joining social media sites is time waster, think again because a lot of people have been reaping rewards from their loyalty and brands flock and jump in the bandwagon to reach out to their target market. In today’s world, loyalty wins. If there are other social media sites that you know which are not listed here, feel free to let us know in the comments below.