The modern loyalty rewards program improves on punch cards — although they’re still nice in an analog kind of way — by linking brand loyalty with social media. In fact, in some cases, social media is part of the reward.
For example, if your business is retail, invite consumers to connect their scan rewards card with their Twitter account. Every time they earn points, their social media status will be updated with a message like “Bob Jones is 10 points away from a free T-shirt at XYZ Clothing.” Just for having his card connected to Twitter, Bob will earn extra points with every purchase, and all of Bob Jones’ followers will know he likes your store.
FourSquare allows consumers to carry their loyalty on their mobile phone. For example, those who “check-in” at XYZ Clothing frequently get rewards they can instantly display to the cashier on their phone, no physical card required. And, once again, their Facebook or Twitter status is instantly updated that they’ve check-in at your business.
These tactics leverage users’ social graphs to showcase their loyalty. By the way, they’ll be indirectly recommending your business to their friends, family and followers — recruiting more potential loyal customers for you. That’s social currency you can bank on.