By now, we’ve all heard about the value of social media marketing, but is merely posting the occasional status update enough? A new app says no. Perka aims to join loyalty programs with social media to give customers a reason to keep coming back.
Perka is a loyalty rewards program that seeks to make rewards programs easy and fun. When a Perka user patronizes a participating business, that user is issued a “punch” via a mobile app. These stamps can be saved up like a punch card. Collecting stamps gives customers a reason to visit your location repeatedly, and repeat business is great for your small business’s bottom line.
“Giving customers a reason to come back is important,” SmallBizTechnology’s Ramon Ray says. “Of course, great content is great, but engaging through incentives is important, as well.”
Now Perka has added an extra incentive. Recently, the service added social media to its loyalty programs, allowing its small business members to offer additional rewards for actions like ‘retweeting and ‘liking’.
Adding social media turbo-charges Perka’s ability to engage with customers, including:
- Increasing social media followings. By encouraging likes and retweets, small businesses can gain exposure to the friends and followers of those people.
- Sharable coupons. Perka creates web-linked coupons that businesses can share with friends. Coupons and special offers can even be sent directly to customers’ phones.
- One-click sharing. When a customer gets points through Perka, one click can post information about it to Facebook. This helps get the word out about your small business and your participation in the loyalty program.
- Rewarding loyalty. Your most loyal customers will feel appreciated. Additionally, unlike traditional reward programs, your customers won’t have to carry a card around. It can all be stored on a mobile phone.
When a customer visits your business and checks in via the Perka app, you’ll merely “punch” their Perka card via a mobile app. Just by checking in, the customer has already begun to spread word-of-mouth about your business.
Businesses can join Perka for $35 per month. Once you’ve registered, Perka will send you materials to help promote your participation in the program, including signs, table tents, cards, and window clings. The company recommends also providing a device at your cash register that can be used by all employees to reward customers when they enter your location, although you can use a personal mobile device to use the service. Perka can provide an iPod Touch for $100 a year. That device will either need to be able to connect to your wi-fi or have a data plan attached to it to participate.
“Small business owners rarely have enough time or expertise to cultivate a social media presence that benefits the bottom line,” said Alan Chung, CEO of Perka. “Our goal is to make it easy for local merchants to build an online presence that not only engages current customers, but drives new business as well.”
For a video demonstration of Perka, visit the company’s website.