It’s A Major Award!

Ralphie’s Old Man stood proudly in the street showing off his “Major Award” to all who would look at it. His pride swelled as the masses grew around him.

Swede: “Damn, hell, you say you won it?”

Mr. Parker: (with pride) “Yeah, mind power Swede, mind power.”

I don’t think I need to tell you, getting a prize is awesome, and in social media, there are some great ways to reward your audience. Have you ever “liked” a Facebook page just to be entered in a contest or checked in on Foursquare just to get a Mayorship or a special holiday badge?

A reward is a great way to encourage an initial engagement (Teaser: Just wait for the stuff Thill is bringing you in 2012 – awesomeness). It takes almost no effort for a person to participate (ugh… you mean I have to point my mouse and click?). There are many ways to get people excited about participating in your program. A prize for doing nothing, how cool is that?

There are also many ways companies are getting people to engage with their service or social media channel using reward based systems

Klout Perks –
While Klout’s benefits are a highly debated hot topic across the blogsosphere, their Klout Perks program is pretty cool. The Perks program is based on an individual influence (often in particular topics) where you can relieve products or services accordingly. You are not obligated to promote that you have earned a Perk, I have seen everything from free Mini Moo business cards to free coffee to the Holiday Tweet Drive which is helping underprivileged children.

Badges –

Sites like Foursquare and Get Glue reward users with a system of badges. This has no personal or financial gain for the user. It is a fun reward that people can collect and display in Facebook and Twitter feeds. On Foursquare , new special occasion badges are added all the time and businesses/brands can create personalized “Partner” ones for users for achievements or attending an event. You can collect badges for a variety of things. Check in amount of times at the airport or the office and you can receive a badge. Then there are some badges that are just plain comical and fun to ern.

Contests –

Facebook contests are a tricky thing. There is a very specific set of guidelines to follow. But once you are sure you are in compliance, there are a lot of fun ways to reward fans. You could have a Fan of the Week, give away your product as a prize, and give away an experience and so on. Just remember, once you gather all those “likes” from people entering your contest, keep them as fans by being entertaining and engaging with them. Don’t let them fall away once the prize is given away.

Whatever way you choose to do it, rewarding your audience will reward you back in loyalty and engagement.

What has been the best example you have seen?

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About Carrie Keenan

About The Author: Carrie Keenan is the Social Media Community Manager for Thill Logistics, Inc. out of Neenah, WI. (@CarrieJKeenan. @ThillLogistics) As a professional whose primary responsibility is working in digital media and audience building, Carrie has a lot of insight and information to share about how to professionally represent your organization across the web. Connect with Carrie via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn
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