• william reed
  • Three ways to integrate your loyalty card with Facebook

    Garden Connect’s managing director Edwin Meijer explains the benefits of linking your loyalty card to Facebook.

    Two weeks ago I celebrated my birthday on a sunny beach. As expected, I received a few texts and calls from friends and family. And the Garden Connect team? They all forgot my birthday because I switched off the birthday notification on Facebook. Mmm.

    It’s a simple real-life example how people use Facebook and how dependent we are on social media. I do forget the birthdays of my team every once in a while myself, so It didn’t bother me at all, especially as I was enjoying the sunshine next to the pool and beach. But what can you do as a garden centre to get the most out of Facebook, other than posting messages? And how can you integrate Facebook with your loyalty card? Here are three innovative applications:

    Reward liking & sharing messages
    At Garden Connect, we recently built this feature for a major Dutch garden centre who wanted to reward customers automatically, the moment they like or share a Facebook post.

    Customers need to complete the connection between their loyalty card and Facebook account once and from that moment, every message they like or share will give them a small reward. Depending on the importance of the message this can be anything between ?0.01 and ?0.25. Compare this to the costs of advertising on Facebook!

    Liking & sharing can be done via their own app or just on Facebook as usual. All points are processed automatically via their epos system. Customers really like this new feature and it helps the garden centre to generate more, online response.

    Let them check-in at your garden centre
    Traditional loyalty schemes reward customers if they buy something which is obviously an understanding starting point. However, a visit to a store can be valuable as well even if people are not buying or are not able to find the right product. Sometimes coffee shops are excluded from loyalty schemes as well.

    By rewarding customers who are ?checking in? on Facebook you can reward people just for visiting your store: they might buy something next time!

    Ask for their opinion
    Online reviews are powerful: they can make or break your business. If you got 15 positive comments stating you’re selling beautiful roses, chances are dozens of people will buy roses from you this Spring. Customers who are not happy with a recent purchase will usually contact your garden centre first before complaining online, so don’t worry about that.

    You can invite customers who made a recent visit to your store to write a review on your Facebook page. That’s something you can reward them for with a few points credited onto their loyalty card as well. Did you know people tend to be more positive if they are receiving a reward?

    Last but not least you could send them a birthday mail based on their date of birth on Facebook. Since we’re able to automate this process you don’t have to worry ?about forgetting someone’s birthday!

    Edwin Meijer (1983) is one of the founders of Garden Connect in 2002. Working for over 250 garden centres in 5 countries Edwin has practical experience how to adept online marketing and innovations into the garden retail industry. He has helped many garden centres to integrate online marketing into their offline business successfully.?

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