As professionals sift through blockchain’s buzzwords, many are asking how it can be useful to their businesses. One answer: For executives who target everyday consumers through incentivized referral marketing efforts on social media, blockchain can bring new data-backed awareness of who and where significant engagement comes from.
Today, almost all brands have a presence on social media, where they dedicate sizeable portions for marketing. Social media is a great place for brands to engage with customers, reach new audiences, and share exclusive content, offers, and digital rewards.
The challenge with social media marketing is twofold. First, platforms are shifting the emphasis from brand content to consumer content, which means brands are increasingly counting on consumers to share their messages through referrals. Second, it’s almost impossible to identify which everyday consumers might have the biggest impact on social referral campaigns.
Enter blockchain, which, when implemented in a social referral marketing campaign, can track engagement.
As we know, the “share this to get this” social referral model taps into consumers’ natural tendency to trust the recommendations of friends and family while incentivizing customers to spread the word about their products or services. Until recently, brands could gather data on where a message was shared and how many users shared the brand message to unlock the reward. Where they fell short was in identifying who exactly had the biggest impact, aside from celebrities or other major influencers who participated in the campaign.
This is where blockchain can change the game. Adding the technology to a social referral platform creates another layer of analytics to help brands assess their campaigns. Through a distributed and encrypted ledger, marketers can view a more complete record of social sharing. The blockchain ledger creates a clear map of where a post originated from and where it was shared, so marketers can pinpoint key events in the sharing process, such as when a post reaches a new social site through organic sharing. These events are preserved as time-stamped “blocks” in the chain. By studying the ledger of transactions, it’s possible to gain a more complete picture of the reach of a single user’s post.
Blockchain technology also allows marketers to determine not only what platforms yield the greatest traction, but which individual social media users are generating the most shares across these platforms. With this expansive data in hand, they can upgrade their strategies for future campaigns.
In addition, by targeting social media “power users,” who have the potential to initiate a viral sharing response, marketers can reach more customers quickly and easily. These power users have the potential to drive engagement beyond just likes and shares. Many will add a customized message when sharing branded content, making their followers and friends more likely to click through to the brand’s website, subscribe to its content, or even make a purchase.
While blockchain for marketing is still in its infancy, now is the time for executives to learn more about the technology to determine which applications could bring value to their campaigns and create the viral sharing and ROI boost they’re looking for.