Exclusivity is not a new marketing strategy. It has always been a friend of both marketers and consumers. Whether it is a service or a product, exclusivity has the ability to make one feel special, appreciated and belonged. With the increasing importance of having an online social presence, marketers have been asking this question:
“How do I invoke that very same feeling online?”

5 Ideas for Creating Social Only Exclusives

Leneys Facebook Page

click for larger image

Idea #1: Facebook Fan Gates

This is perhaps one of the most popular ways business and brands are capitalizing on Facebook today and it’s a great way to grow your presence online – but it isn’t as simple as just placing a welcome message (where most do). Consider describing the benefits of “Liking” your page, what can followers expect and a call to action. Even better, place a Facebook widget to show friends that have already “Liked” the page (it gives them another reason to “Like” you). Source of example: Leneys    

Idea #2: FourSquare

While this location based app may not seem like a popular choice for businesses out there (especially in Malaysia), FourSquare do offer great promotional functions for both product or service related businesses. How about a free dessert for every new check-in? Or a free basket of fries for those who check-in with 5 friends? Or a complimentary cold drink on a hot day? A free hair cut on the 5th check-in?

Types of Foursquare Specials - source of example: Optify

There is really no limit to what you can offer so be creative! Consumers love getting rewarded so do that and earn yourselves in their good books and positive reviews. Note: FourSquare also allows users to leave tips and share their location with their friends so that’s free publicity!

Idea #3: Special Fan Features on Facebook

Oreo Fan Feature

No, this is not a new Facebook functionality but it is surely a great way to get your customers involved. Oreo allows its fans to submit pictures of themselves with Oreos to be randomly featured on Oreo’s Facebook page. This not only gets your customers involved but that feeling to be featured on a brand’s profile photo, it’s definitely something to shout about.

Idea #4: Digital Vouchers / Coupons

McDonalds Malaysia Mid Month Giveaway Vouchers are a great way to drive online visits into offline sales. On top of that, online vouchers saves you the cost of printing AND physical distribution with a higher potential reach and conversion rate. Think about it, excited customers may be sharing the digital voucher with their friends across platforms – that’s free publicity, something printed vouchers may not be able to achieve. McDonalds Malaysia did gave out a whole bunch of digital vouchers in 2011, giving away Double Cheeseburgers to Mc Chickens on a Buy 1 Free 1 campaign. The result?

Customers queuing up for the offer around this outlet

While at it, sometimes it is also good to consider having something in return for the vouchers – it may be a simple database collection system to create your own email list or even a forced sharing mechanism (see #5 below).

Pizza Hut - share with your friendsIdea #5: Facebook Sharing

One of the biggest advantages of social networks is that it allows you to tap into the networks of others – and that can be done through sharing. Not only this can bring about visibility, it also promotes greater interaction and participation as sharing is essentially word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing. Pizza Hut launched a campaign on Facebook allowing fans to share 5 other spots on their new product. When all spots are filled, all 6 takes home free cinnamon sticks upon a specified purchase. Use sharing with caution though – it may turn your customers off. You do not want to make it too complicated just so they can redeem a free drink or a 10% off at your outlet. On the other hand, you do not want to leave yourself without benefit too so find the balance between the procedures and the freebie.

Have you come across a unique marketing campaign on social media? We would love to hear them!