Most brands and individuals neglect the importance of making an impression on their Facebook fans when they look to increase engagement and build a loyal fan base.
That is a mistake.
Great Facebook pages reward fans. They influence thousands and grow audiences.
They build successful businesses, and get the pick of engagement for their content.
See, rewarding your Facebook fans is an important part of building a dynamic, loyal and active fan following that can benefit your business.
Fans interacting with your content have signaled a level of connection with your brand, so rewarding that acknowledgment endears the brand to those fans. Rewards demonstrate that you care and you appreciate the crucial role your audiences play in your success.
Fortunately, doing all this isn’t out of your reach.
Here are ten creative ways to reward your Facebook fans so they feel engaged and appreciated:
1) Show their opinion counts
Fans love a brand that gives value to their opinion. When you’re launching a new product, coming up with ideas for a company event, or promoting a new cover you sung last week, ask for input from your audiences.
Whether it’s a survey about an upcoming product launch or a sentence asking their thoughts, offering customers their own ‘voice’ is sure to be just the reward for their efforts in engaging with your brand. And this particular gesture will really mean a lot to them.
Here are three most creative ways to ask fans for their input:
Opinions on shared content
Gather fan input on something other than what you’re trying to promote, or get their opinion on something new your business wants to try. For example, you can share a photo asking fans what they think about it: it could be an image of your product being used in a never-seen-before way.
Example: Thought Questions uses this strategy on its Facebook page to gather fan input. Here’s one:
A question/answer session
A Q/A session helps demonstrate your ability to actively collect fan input and respond to their requests in real time. A pro tip is to schedule your Q/A session with a tool like Post Planner – i.e. give fans time to gather their thoughts.
Example: Marie Forleo hosts a ‘Q&A Tuesday’ and answers fans questions in a video she posts on Facebook. Her fans are super grateful for it:
A call for help
Asking for help on anything is a great way to make your fans feel important, and it can be useful when you want to collect ideas directly from your audiences. It also creates collaboration between your fans and your brand.
Example: International Reviews conducts frequent interviews with app developers and take the help of their fans to pick the developer to interview next.
2) Offer promos and specials
Promos and specials are among the top ways to reward Facebook fans. Whether it’s a free mobile cover, a t-shirt, or alternatively, a coupon, offering something that adds value can be better for rewarding fans than a simple discount – a free ticket to the movie rather than 10% off the ticket retail price, for example.
Research revealed that people expect to receive tangible value in the form of coupons when interacting with brands on Facebook. You can get creative by organizing a sweepstake contest for your fans to participate in. Apps like AgoraPulse will let you run a sweepstake and schedule your draws date and time as you wish. You could also use such tools to limit access to your promotions by country and age:
Example: PlayStation France held a creative photo contest to celebrate its 500,000th fan and reward existing fans.
Note: Regardless of how you promote special offers or coupons (through third-party apps, custom tabs, etc.), read the Facebook Promotional Guidelines.
3) Help fans give back to the community
Reward fans by offering them an opportunity to give back to the world. You can do this by giving away donations to any non-profit organization or someone in need by asking fans to vote for the donation. You can either create a poll via Facebook’s app for the purpose or use a third-party app like offerpop to engage fans to vote.
Example: This was the creative strategy adopted by Department store Kohl’s; they gave away $10 million in donations to different schools selected by the votes of their Facebook fans. The 20 schools with the most votes each received $500 thousand, and the winning school each tailed over 100,000 votes. The Facebook page also went over a million fans following this strategy.
4) Host fan appreciation events
Fan appreciation events are a great way to show gratitude towards your loyal fans. A creative example would be to arrange some fun family games at a park along with some giveaway contests, but the type of event you host will depend on your brand’s budget. An event can be easily created with Facebook’s event app for business pages.
Click ‘Edit Page’ under your Facebook page name and click apps from the links on the left. Select ‘Go to App’ under ‘Events’ to load the ‘Create an Event’ page.
Tips for getting fans to notice the event invitation
Use evocative images and videos: Select an image for the cover that is large enough and has some detail. A poster, a promotional flier, or anything that prominently displays what will be on offer and your brand’s image would be suitable. You can even record a short video explaining what the event is about and upload it to the event page.
Create excitement: Post images, reviews and content written about the event. Tag your most loyal fans with the @ function. Highlight what’s in it for the fans to attend the event, and remind people about the selected venue.
Promote the event: A good idea to create a buzz for your event is to promote it via AdEspresso and other similar tools. Take advantage of precise targeting for a higher click-through rate and grant fans the ability to invite their close relatives and friends directly from the ad. Highlight your fan appreciation efforts with a wider reach.
5) Feature fans
The ‘featured fan’ promotion is one of the best ways to reward loyal fans, as this is a gesture they are certainly going to remember. Ask fans to upload an image of themselves and handpick a winner who can appear on your Facebook page.
Example: Domino’s Pizza UK posted an image of their fan of the week being attacked by a pink dinosaur.
You can use Facebook’s Fan of the Week app for the purpose. The app lets you pick the initial fan, after which fans can apply to become the next fan of the week.
6) Create fan points
Rewarding fans for spreading the word about your company based on ‘fan points’ is a creative way to encourage engagement on your Facebook page. Tools like Booshaka can help you reward fans by building up fan points.
In return for their achievements, fans will be awarded points to compete for a place on your league table. This table can be used to identify top fans, who can even be promoted to brand evangelists in the future.
Example: This approach was used by Motor Trend Magazine to identify top fans based on points, who were rewarded gifts, perks and new experiences.
7) Offer a live stream
Hosting a Livestream on your page will make fans feel special; they will get to see the face of the brand (which could also be a celebrity or a local television actor, if you could afford). Events can be recorded for later viewing, and a chat feature will make it more interactive and engaging for the audience.
To integrate a Livestream on your page, install Facebook’s Livestream app and click the ‘Get Started’ button in green.
Example: WGN-TV News offered a Livestream to their fans, as well as an opportunity to discuss.
8) Connect fans with your brand
Offer loyal fans a chance to become the face of your brand. Handpick 5 of your most-engaging fans and promote a campaign in which rest of the fans are able to vote to decide which of the 5 contestants will become the face of your brand. This will provide an opportunity for everyone interacting with your brand to help you reward the most loyal fan of your brand.
Example: Levi’s Facebook campaign followed the same strategy. Facebook fans were offered a chance to become the next Levi’s Girl, and the campaign received an excellent response, from the voting stages of the campaign till the announcement of the result.
9) Offer exclusive insight
What better way to reward interactive fans than with exclusive insights or sneak-peek of an upcoming product. Fans will feel appreciated and may also turn into insiders, as they will have the opportunity to share breaking news about the brand they love with their social circles. If your content makes your fans look like heroes in their social circles, they’ll make your brand look brand look like Justice League!
Example: JetBlue Pre-Game Social content is exclusive for the Facebook Page of Patriots. Facebook fans have access to trivia, polls, exclusive video footage and behind-the-scenes images.
10) Have casual conversations
It’s important to keep in mind that fans are people and not autonomous responding robots. They have their own schedules and Friday night dinner plans. Talk to them like normal people, have casual conversations, and have realistic expectations on what will be their response when you reward them.
Treat them with respect if they don’t engage with the brand after a reward. Just be casual and show frequent social love to different fans by talking as if you’re talking to a friend. Fans feel important when a brand takes out time to listen to their personal problems and their daily routines.
Fans hold a lot of value, so make sure to acknowledge them and enjoy a long lasting impact on brand loyalty.
What’s your take? What do you do to reward fans? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Graphic credit: Pelfusion