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Thanking your virtual loyalty with real rewards

Paulaner Bräuhaus Singapore became the first microbrewery in Singapore to thank their fans on their Facebook Page by rewarding them with the availability to purchase SGD15 coupon for 0.5L of beer (normal price about SGD19, GST and service charge included) for Oktoberfest 2010.

When the promotional status was up, fans naturally got excited.

“You mean you can use your ezy link card to get discounts at the bar? That's great. Now I know why I'm a fan,” said Nick Cocks, a fan of Paulaner Bräuhaus Singapore.

“Now I know why I’m a fan” is a powerful statement. Why is it that Facebook users want to LIKE a Facebook Page?  Why is it that brands and retailers start Facebook Pages?

When I posed this question to a publication who started a Facebook Page why they started a Facebook Page, the answer I got was “monkey see monkey do”.

So if the race is all about get the highest number of LIKES through advertising or work done in creating content  in order to get more LIKES, the bosses will most likely ask the social media expert, “So what is the value of a Like?”

That’s a big hairy problem that I believe Facebook is trying to find out themselves as they pitch directly to the brands to make more creative use of Facebook Pages.

The recent meetings with retailers and discussions with them about why they have set up Facebook Pages provide interesting insights to why SMBs are going the Facebook path. Same choose to walk just that one path or could be part of the many lanes they walk to reach out to their customers.

Top of the list is communication. Facebook Pages allows them to communicate with their customers who are already on Facebook and to get the interaction they look for to improve the brand, products or customer services.

Usually, the first few who LIKE these SME retailers are customers who already have been to the shop and who make purchasers. Most loyalty experts will now draw a triangle and cut the top half to say that this is the 20% who will come back to your store repeatedly, the very loyal group.

But Facebook works in such a way that the friends of these 20% will eventually see the updates by the retailers on the Facebook pages and click on the LIKE button. The friends of the friends of the 20% will eventually notice the updates and click on the LIKE button. Henceforth, the viral effects begin.

Such updates could be in the form of photo updates, tagging, video updates, etc.

However, with more Facebook Pages appearing, the Facebook users, more than often not that 20%, will start to ask “Why should I join this Facebook Page” and “Who cares if I join this Facebook Page”.

It is the same “Fat Wallet Syndrome” that it is now affecting the traditional marketers where customers have that much loyalty card in their wallets or purse, that they can’t be bothered for another one. So much so, the brand has to bribe the customer to get their new card with more benefits.  The reason why you pay SGD15 for a card is so that you can offset the brand’s cost to produce the card and bride with you with the benefits.

The web is a virtual bottomless pits, you could add a billion LIKEs without worrying about the how bloated the profile of LIKES and interest is, but that user is unlikely to go back to any of these pages or may even start to unlike the Page.

These SMBs retailers are aware of this and are now want to add a reward element in their Facebook strategy. Unfortunately, there isn’t a easy way to identify fans.

Putting coupons on Facebook pages means the user have to print the coupon before going out to shop. Furthermore the coupon can be photocopied and use by a customer who is not even on Facebook.

You could cut and paste the customer’s email address on Facebook to find if he/she is a friend, but can you imagine the long queue it will create and more work done for the cashier.

As such in creating Taggo for Facebook, Aneace, CEO and founder for Taggo, has made it a point to bring down as many barriers to make it easy for the customer to sign up and for the store to implement.

One business owner with years of IT experience commented that the Taggo is so easy that it can be easily copied and replicated. We took that as a compliment that Taggo has achieved to make this reward system easy to use and implement. But trust us, there are many lines of codes, lots of trial and error, and hard work, that is hidden by the simplicity of it all.

Yvette Schreurs, of 3CC, provided the best summary of what Taggo represent in her blog.

Wrote Yvette (translated from Dutch to English using Google Translate),

I think the "loyalty reward ' system has many advantages for both consumers and producers. The consumer is rewarded for its virtual and real loyalty. For the producer: new customers, increase fan page, communicate with more customers comments and suggestions and even better management.

There are still many ways with can make Taggo better but it is through the discussions with the agencies and retailers now that will build a better Taggo for global consumption.

As one of the key goals is to help retailers and brands get more customers to be fans and fans to be more customers, we have a little surprise packed where we expect that 20% of loyal virtual real fans will play a part in recommending the retailer and the brand to achieve this goal above.

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