Social media presence for content creators is necessary for expanding reach to relevant target audiences across geographies. Simultaneously, active, enthusiastic, and meaningful engagement with users is vital for content creators to reap benefits of social media platforms and grow exponentially. Social media platforms grow when their users grow, and it is directly proportional to the amount of traffic they attract on their platforms in the form of dedicated users.
Over the last decade, social media platforms registered a tenfold growth and empowered versatile content creators with opportunities to market their product in less time without spending huge broadcast budgets. This has also helped content creators and advertising platforms that help creators to meet their goals. However, there is an emerging concern that the users that drive growth are not getting any benefits and are left without any rewards. Have social media participants earned some returns on the time they invest? It is a point that must be taken into serious consideration before the users lose interest.
Continuous support of old users and the ever-increasing new user base are the reasons behind the growth of social media. As per a report by DataReportal in January 2022, 58.4% of the global population uses social media for an average daily time of 2 hours 27 minutes. 424 million new users have joined social media in the last 12 months. These figures are encouraging. Yet, engaging with these users and creating a long-term relationship with them are real challenges for the platforms. And, it is time to think about ways to ensure users’ continuous engagement.
Rewards are a real motivation for anyone to take action. Social media users can be incentivised with rewards that will work as a major driving force for them to spend more time engaging with a specific creator. And, these content creators could be a brand, an individual, or a non-profit organization that can establish good relationships which will allow them to further tap into their target audience and achieve a better retention rate.
For content developers, it has been more difficult to retain existing users than to acquire new ones. Existing users are more likely to go for something new if they don’t feel motivated to stay loyal. Incentivising users can help in minimizing the churn rate while retaining the current. Incentives can foster an emotional connection that every creator wants for generating higher interest and increasing possibilities of successful call-to-actions.
With new-age platforms and their robust features, content creators can increase user engagement. They can identify the rewards that are more appealing to users, understand the gaps, and develop innovative strategies for improving retention. They can also identify specific rewards for a particular group of consumers and make strategies for interest-based behaviour.
So, the question arises, how can social media users get rewarded? There are a number of ways to incentivise users and win their loyalty. With the engage-to-earn model, content creators can acknowledge users for their valuable time and encourage them to participate even more with a platform. Let’s discuss some methods for achieving the goal of user engagement.
Points and Badges and Ranking Systems
With points and badges, healthy competition can be generated between users and they can feel motivated to win. Users can win points and badges, and receive other benefits provided by the content creator. This will create a sense of accomplishment among the winners and encourage greater participation. Ranking systems in the overall ecosystem is highly effective as it would be feasible to ‘showcase’ and ‘compare’ achievements within the peer groups. The success stories will be motivating to others, which will result in overall higher user engagement for the content curators.
Collaboration between multiple users from same interest groups
By grouping and re-grouping of the users from same interest groups, we could provide the most conducive environment for further deeper collaboration and engagements. Speaking with the same lingo will encourage more in-depth conversations and further enhance engagements while at the same time build different pockets of self-supporting and sustaining Communities within the platform.
Content creation competitions and rewards
Competitions are among the best ways to engage both existing as well as new users with a brand. Content creation competitions with rewards have become a trend to encourage the use of social media and gain publicity. User-created content can play a vital role in enhancing the reputation of a brand.
It is important to create a good strategy to make a campaign successful. As the majority of social media users are content consumers, the rewards need to be attractive enough to encourage these creators. With such competitions, users can identify their strengths and ability to create content and may turn into content creators.
Collecting ideas and suggestions
Sometimes, social media users can provide some great ideas and suggestions that can help in making necessary changes in features and services. They feel honored if their ideas get implemented. Creators can encourage users to share their thoughts and reward them on the merits of their ideas.
Most people are fans of discounts. It is a time-tested method to drive engagement and attract more consumers. By offering discounts, creators in the category of brands can make them feel rewarded for the time they spend and encourage them to continue staying to be a part of the online community.
Online courses and tutorials
Relevant online courses can help with enhancing user engagement. It is important to set a target about the learnings to be offered to users. The only necessity is that the course should be interesting, interactive, and with easy to moderate difficulty levels. Prior to making a decision about the course, the creators can test the knowledge of users and provide them with a performance score. It will encourage them to share their success story, which will be important to them in getting new users.
Users today are inclined to learn new things and online courses will help them enhance their knowledge. It is crystal clear that for continuous growth, content creators need to focus on retaining existing customers and attracting prospects. Social media is a vital tool to accomplish those goals. It can open new doors of opportunities for enhancing awareness, getting the required engagement, and reaching the right target audience. At the same time, the end-users will receive benefits for the time they invested and be rewarded with monetary value, popularity and better knowledge. As they say, ‘time is money,’ and social media users are all set to redeem it.
(The author Sakina Arsiwala is Co-founder, Taki)