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How to Create a Social Loyalty Loop

by Roger Katz  |  
June 25, 2012

In this article, you'll learn...

  • The definition of Social Loyalty Loop
  • Four ways to fuel a social loyalty loop
  • How to use social media to engage customers and keep them loyal

In a December 2010 Harvard Business Review article, David C. Edelman suggested that because today's consumers are connecting with brands in new ways—often via channels not controlled by the brand—traditional marketing strategies and structures need to be rethought, and some should even be considered obsolete.

Edelman's article, titled "Branding in the Digital Age. You're Spending Money in All the Wrong Places," referred to research written by David Court and others called the "Consumer Decision Journey," which appeared in the June 2009 issue of the McKinsey report.

According to the theory, consumers used to be systematic about selecting a product by narrowing down choices and making a final selection—a process known, more or less, as the traditional "marketing funnel." "The Consumer Decision Journey" proposed a much more iterative path to a purchase, with four stages—consider, evaluate, buy, and bond—followed by three stages: enjoy, advocate, and bond.

Graphic based on "The Consumer Decision Journey," David Court, McKinsey Quarterly.

These new touch points that open up along the Consumer Decision Journey become opportunities for a brand to influence its consumers before, during, and, very important, after purchase. Social is a perfect place for embracing those touch points.

Fast forward to 2012, and the Consumer Decision Journey has evolved into a Social Loyalty Loop with vast touch points. Brands are building social campaign experiences that spread from one brand loyalist to her friends and create a powerful social loyalty loop that, when done effectively, continues to cultivate brand loyalists.

Here are four ways marketers can fuel such a social loyalty loop.

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Roger Katz is CEO of Friend2Friend, which offers social media tools and software that enable brand marketers to engage consumers on Facebook and LinkedIn. Reach him via

LinkedIn: Roger Katz

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  • by Mon Jun 25, 2012 via web

    Hmmm....This post makes me think. Thanks for sharing these tips. One thing I'm wondering about... Facebook has business pages that are separate from friend/personal pages....but it sounds to me like businesses/brands are taking such a "personal" approach to reaching out that they are positioning themselves almost like their customers best friends and buddies. By becoming so personal/interpersonal it seems like the lines between what is social/personal and what is business are blurring. I wonder if there's a downside for businesses who work so hard at being social lose some of their cachet as professionals and as authorities in their respective fields? What do you think?

  • by Biztag Mon Jun 25, 2012 via mobile

    Great article. Gen 'Y' is a good example of providing a great social loop for your brand. Take your #marketing mobile with *biztag 'FastApp' generatore for social sync, engagement and retargeting. Biztag- Your World Mobile!

  • by Biztag Mon Jun 25, 2012 via mobile

    'Generator' above, sorry fat thumbs on mobile...

  • by Daniel Honigman Tue Jun 26, 2012 via web

    I agree completely. To create that loyalty loop, it's just as critical to entertain and engage as it is to educate. (My own "Three 'E's' that I use.) If the brand has fun being social, its followers + customers will too. If it's just checking the "social box," nobody will care.

    Nice article.

  • by Harsh Thu Jun 28, 2012 via web

    @Brendalinfors, indeed there is a huge advancement of informality... facebook is after all a shared space and the general vibe is that of fun and showing your buddies your holiday pics and other such stuff. As Merchants, brands and businesses intend to create and nurture customers on this forum, so have no choice but to play by the evolving rules. I do not think any professionality should be compromised if posts are made after thinking them through and avoiding any improper language or such dilutions. Possible to be casual yet 'proper' ? Consumer brands have always dreamed of customers communicating with them without inhibitions, so here's the opportunity...:-)

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