Incentive in social media

With the growth of social media has come a rapid increase in the number of active businesses utilising channels such as Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter and the like. Consequently, it is common nowadays to see a group of social media icons thrown onto a piece of marketing collateral for the sake of showing an ‘active presence’ on social media.

However, that is no longer enough. It probably wasn’t ever enough. Consumers need incentive, and that has always been the case. To use a brick & mortar analogy: just because your door is open, does not mean people will walk in. For that reason, it is important to provide people with an incentive – a promotion, a sale or even a giveaway. And this hasn’t changed with the emergence of social media.

Businesses are now starting to realise that incentivising interaction proves far more effective for engagement numbers. Users are, on a daily basis, exposed to a multitude of business pages on certain social media outlets. Without incentive, it is unlikely they will interact & engage with a certain business. Generally, it all comes down to the strategy. The first step, and arguably the most challenging aspect of social media for businesses, is building an audience. This is where tangible incentive is important.

Once a solid audience is built, and engagement levels are satisfactory, businesses will see their social media outlets becoming one of their main customer service channels. This, then, becomes one of the largest incentives available for users to engage with a business on social media: effective and responsive community management.

The more competitive the market for businesses on social media becomes, the more important it is to focus on incentive. Whether this be tangible incentives in the form of giveaways or exclusive discounts, or prompt & effective enquiry management on a certain social media outlet.


George Pappas

July 9, 2013

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