Facebook’s Testing a New Option Which Would Connect Brand Loyalty Programs to In-App Activity

Amid the chaos of the COVID-19 changes, some smaller Facebook marketing updates have been lost in the shuffle, but they will likely become more significant considerations for brands moving forward. And this one, in particular, could see a lot of interest as more consumers in isolation turn to online shopping.

Last week, Facebook launched a new pilot program with make-up brand Sephora which effectively connects a person’s existing brand loyalty membership with their Facebook identity. 

As you can see in these screenshots, the process enables brands to use Facebook ads to connect with their loyalty program members on the platform, using Custom Audiences to target those who’ve previously created a profile with the business. These ads will have a new ‘Link Account’ CTA in the bottom of the post, which, when tapped, will then allow the user to link their brand and Facebook accounts.

Once connected, members will be able to track the status of their brand loyalty account via Facebook, while they’ll also be able to earn points for their on-platform activity, get member discounts on purchases, and have any points for online shopping linked back to their customer ID.

The option, which, according to Marketing Land, is only being tested with “a handful of businesses” in the US at present, will no doubt appeal to a lot of brands. The system would effectively enable marketers to better incentivize repeat purchases among its most loyal customer base, while also enabling improved ad targeting (based on past on and offline purchase behavior) and specialized, member-exclusive events.

And in the current age of social distancing, it may become even more relevant. Of course, we have no definitive time frame on how long our current social isolation efforts will be in place, but as long as they are, more users will be spending more time online, and on Facebook specifically, and more people will also be looking to shop online, given concerns with – and restrictions on – venturing out.

Facebook, as noted, is not making this widely available as yet, but as we all work to adjust to this new normal, options like this will no doubt be well received.

Facebook’s been looking to facilitate brand loyalty-type programs for some time. 

Back in 2017, Facebook tested out a ‘Rewards’ optionwhich provided users with a personalized QR code that could be scanned in at participating stores in order to obtain discounts or rewards linked back to your Facebook profile.

Facebook Rewards

That was a bit more generalized than this new option, but the impetus was the same, providing a better link between on and offline activity in order to improve marketing efforts.

Facebook scrapped ‘Rewards’ after a short test period, and this new update looks to a significant advance on the same concept, combining more data sources and individual targeting capacity. 

Given the more recent staffing changes at The Social Network, the rollout of such tools will likely be delayed, but it’s worth keeping tabs on new features like this with respect to your own strategic approach. 

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