Brands send 23 promotional messages on social media for every one response they give to their audience. Yet, consumers often want to have a dialog on social; and when that doesn't happen, customer spending and loyalty decline.

Clearly, spray-and-pray messaging is a failing strategy for customer satisfaction and retention. There is a superior approach that brings the best of traditional loyalty programs to social media, and vice versa.

Read on to learn how to apply loyalty best-practices to your social media marketing to grow customer retention and long-term loyalty.

1. Know your customers

Airlines and hoteliers do an exceptional job of knowing their customers and recognizing them. If you've ever been given a complimentary room upgrade due to your status level, or if you've been on a flight when a million-mile traveler was recognized, or if you've been simply thanked at check-in for being a loyal rewards member, you know what I'm talking about.

The digital equivalent is not as big of a stretch as you might think, and it can have just as lasting an impact.

The first step is to recognize your loyal customers online. Do so by capturing their social IDs alongside self-identifying information, like an email address, and connect the two in your CRM or another database. A best-practice is to encourage participation in a social campaign that requires a conversion activity where participants opt in and provide their information.

"Socializing" an existing email list is a good way to do that. In the following example, The Clymb sent an email promoting a contest with entry options on Twitter and Facebook. When recipients entered, The Clymb was able to link email with their social ID, and as a bonus was also able to determine the social channel of choice for their customers.

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image of Chris Teso

Chris Teso is founder and CEO of engagement and loyalty solutions provider Chirpify, where he invented "in-stream transactions," enabling brands to create a currency exchange between social media and loyalty programs to drive member acquisition, engagement, and spend.

Twitter: @christeso

LinkedIn: Chris Teso