Many companies are still under the impression that because they use facebook, twitter etc, to toss freebies out into the social sphere, they satisfy “social” on their marketing checklist. Obviously this couldn’t be further from the truth.
In order for brands to truly be viewed as “social”, and in touch with consumers, brands need to deliver long term and ongoing value.
Does this mean it’s bad to offer incentives? Absolutely not: incentives are great to encourage sampling and boost sales – but the key is to make sure those who act on an incentive don’t fall into cyber abyss. Understandably, there are those “coupon clippers” who just care about a deal, and are only loyal to saving money, but I believe if you provide a valuable, and quality experience you will gain a life long customer.
This simple concept of providing quality/value derives from the premise that if a consumer is willing to friend or follow a brand without incentive, they are more likely to have a deeper affiliation with a brand. These types of consumers are more likely to not only engage more with the brand, but also contribute their own thoughts thus making the experience for other fans/followers much more richer.
As all you marketers prepare to take on the Holiday Season, remember this – every brand, product, service company etc will be flooding the market to gain the attention of consumers. How will your brand break through the clutter and actually win over a life long customer vs. just making a quick sale?