Social media marketing involved everybody, even your customers. You think it might be outrageous? Think again: you can safely assume that your customers would readily take you up on your offer in making their own experience better. As this happens, they are more likely to recommend you. In other words, they will be willing in becoming a part of your marketing team. In fact, they’ll demand it.

The challenge for you is two-fold:

  1. You need to know what they want
  2. You need to deliver it in a way that they recognize their role in creating it.

Among the best ways to accomplish this is by combing peer-to-peer engagement with your other marketing efforts.

This engagement offers an advantage to your marketing campaigns in at least three key areas: gamification and the notion of building game-like experiences into self-directed support and ideation, innovation based on driving positive feedback from customers or clients, and the provision of detailed solutions towards specific customer issues. Each of these can measurably improve the overall customer experience and therefore, lift satisfaction, renewal rates, and of course, the likelihood of being recommended.

1. Gamification

When building your community, create an objective and gamify the experience: let your rank structure and the hierarchy of earned roles reflect the behaviors that your customers will find to be either engaging or challenging. By building game dynamics into your peer-based social media program you are actually encouraging your customers to a challenge – and be challenged by – each other. The end result for your business will be enhanced engagement in a social channel that you own and control.

2. Gathering Feedback

To be sure, generating ideas in a peer-to-peer community is a practice that is well-known. But there are some often-overlooked details that leads to a greater success. By encouraging community members to refine and vote on ideas, for example, is a great way to speed and scale innovation. Imagine that your customers suggested a hundred new features. What would you do? Now imagine that of those suggested features, your customers combined and refined these ideas for you and ultimately produced a prioritized list of the top three or top five ideas.

3. Redirection

How can you implement this? Easy. As your customers “press 3 for Internet issue” and then “press 2 for router not online,” you can be scanning your peer-generated solutions, looking for relevant articles around re-setting a router gone haywire. As your customer is holding for an agent, tell him or her about the community and about the articles you’ve found. Even a small percentage of customers choosing to hang-up and visit the community results in a favorable impact to ROI.

These techniques, all built around peer-to-peer support. As you plan your total social technology effort, be sure to include peer-to-peer and incorporate gamification, feedback, and redirection into your plan. Your customers will thank you, and you’ll have more to show in the form of ROI where it counts.