9 Ways to Leverage the Data You Collect From Your Fans

Discover 9 ways to leverage the data you collect from your fans on social media, including email marketing campaigns and exclusive offers.

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・7 min read
Best Practices
Customer Data & Engagement
Email Marketing

Unless you’re a brand everyone has heard of, chances are you’re using social media to engage with and learn about your fans and potential customers.Contests and promotions remain a fun way for people to interact with their favorite businesses. After all, who doesn’t love winning a prize? Yes, I could go buy myself a new t-shirt but if I win one (even if it has a brand’s logo on it), it's much cooler!However, contests and promotions are the most powerful if you actually do something with the data you collect.We understand: Sometimes it can be hard to see the bigger picture and know exactly what your next move is going to be -- especially if you have a small-ish marketing team (like just you, perhaps?!).That’s why today we're going to provide you with 9 ways that you can leverage the data you collect from your fans.Ready?

#1. Run an Email Marketing Campaign

This is by far the most common and successful strategy we see. First off, our research has shown that 94.7% of brands use their promotion forms to collect an email address.

It's not hard to see why that number is so high: A study done by McKinsey & Company found that email is nearly 40 times better than Facebook and Twitter at acquiring customers.

People are on social media to be social (duh!), and most people don’t want to be overtly marketed to. However,most people are also more than willing to provide their email address for a chance to win something.The proof is in the pudding - according to a study done in 2019, for every dollar spent on email marketing, a $42 ROI can be expected on average. The takeaway — stop putting all of your eggs in the social media basket. Use your promotion or contest to collect an email address, and maybe even some additional information, like a birthday or a zip code -- whatever is the most valuable to you. From there, craft a strategic email marketing campaign that'll keep you in communication with your fans even when you’re not on social media.

#2: Keep the Conversation Going

One of the best examples we’ve seen of a company that kept the conversation going through the data they collected is Timbuktu Labs, Inc, an indie publisher of books and digital media with a mission to empower young girls.Timbuktu Labs used a personality quiz to help promote their new digital magazine, Rebel Girls Boundless. The quiz came with five questions and the outcome helped quiz participants to “discover what kind of rebel girl you are.”Timbuktu labs felt a personality quiz would be the perfect way to drive engagement for their new publication. According to its creator, “We wanted our customers and future customers to feel like they’re engaging in a fun activity instead of a promotional push.”Although the promotion did not offer a prize, Timbuktu Labs was confident that this promotion would be a success, because, well... everyone loves a quiz! And they were right - around 100 leads were collected each day, for a total of 3,047 leads. These leads were used to build up the company’s subscriber list. This list is sent updates on new articles, Rebel Girls Boundless announcements, and occasionally receives additional Rebel Girls content, including promotions, contests, product releases, and other Rebel Girls announcements.Getting creative with your promotions and contests can lead to invaluable conversations with your audience.

ShortStack's personality quiz is a powerful way to connect with your customers.

#3: Ask for Reviews/Feedback

Reviews and feedback can help draw more customers to your business, more eyes to your website and more money to your pocket. With the number of review sites out there, most people understand the importance of a review and are more than willing to share their opinion.If you’re one of the 94.7% of people who are collecting an email address from your followers, use one of your emails to ask your customers for some feedback or to review your brand/product. If you know you plan on eventually asking for reviews/feedback, like this software company recently did, it may be worth it to add some additional form fields such as whether they’re an existing or new customer, how long they’ve been a customer, etc. This will help better analyze the feedback you receive.If you’re asking for testimonials, make sure you ask for permission to feature the testimonial on your website/blog/social networks.

ShortStack's Testimonials template.

#4: Offer Something Exclusive

Even though email marketing is still a successful communication tactic, pretty much everyone gets more emails every day than they can answer. Marketers need to find a way to stand out in the crowd.Exclusivity is a great way to incentivize people to share information with you, and to get a little more out of your fans than you previously would have.Let’s say you’re a beauty salon and you run a promotion where you ask fans to provide their email address for a chance to win a beauty package. But then you include a link that suggests they subscribe to your email list, which one sounds better?

  • Subscribe to our email list!
  • Subscribe to our email list and receive a free gift!

Obviously, a free gift is much more enticing than simply subscribing. Exclusivity instills excitement for your product, and excitement for your product builds brand loyalty.Loyal fans means loyal customers!

#5: Offer a Discount

About 92% of shoppers use coupons. This means that those price-conscious shoppers are more likely to hit up your business if they’re offered a little discount of some sort.Offering a coupon is pretty simple. It can be done as a campaignor it can be another email marketing strategy (are you seeing a trend here?!)If you’re wondering what types of coupons make online shoppers swoon, research has shownhow deals offering a specific dollar amount off of a purchase rank most favorably. On the other hand, free shipping is not appealing to all consumers, sotry to come up with something a little more valuable if you sense your customers don't care so much about shipping costs.

#6: Educate

As marketers, it’s hard to not think about the sale.Ultimately, every business’s goal is to get a sale! However, the path taken to get to a sale hasvastly changed.As I’ve previously mentioned, people on social don’t want to be sold to, and marketers are fighting to stand out in the social, email, and online crowds.Sometimes, the most successful path you can take to the sale is an educational one. For example, offering guides with "how to" tips or similar information that helps people use your product better. You can also educate using infographics or even blog posts you send via email on a scheduled basis.Depending on your business, there’sa chance that your customers don’t need your product on a daily basis. This means that when it is time for them to need you, you want to be top of mind. This is where educational marketing really steps in. Positioning yourself as an expert in your field and continuing to educate your fans and followers without selling to them will mean once it’s time for them to need your product, they’ll think of you first.You can use any additional data you collect from your fans to fine-tune your educational materials.

#7: Start a New Project

Crowdsourcing isanother top way we see businesses using That’s because social media provides you with access to a widespread audience, so why not take advantage of that?If you’ve been wanting to add some new products to your lineup, a social marketing campaign can be the perfect place to start. Ask your fans what they’d like to see you offer next. If you've already narrowed down what you plan to add to your lineup, ask them to vote on their favorite(s).Don’t have plans or hopes of adding a new project? That’s okay, you should still be closely listening to your fans when you run promotions. Their answers could even spark an idea for a new product.

Here are some templates to help you crowdsource valuable information from your customers.

#8: Run Advertising

Data-driven advertising is perhaps the most personal and successful form of advertising available to marketers. Your customers expect a tailored message delivered to them that piques their interest and doesn’t waste their time.As a matter of fact, there’s a lot of pressure on marketers to deliver a seamless and relevant experience to their customers.Fortunately,social networks and online advertising outlets have made it convenient to target advertising as long as businesses are collecting the right data.One way to target people is by using Facebook ads. Facebook ads are cost-effective, and the targeting options are very sophisticated. By using a marketing campaign and Facebook ads combined, you can target via email address, interests, hobbies, job function, actions taken, website retargeting, and pretty much anything else you can think of. So the next time you build your marketing campaign, consider which data you can collect to help you run some valuable ads.

#9: Analyze and Learn

Perhaps one of the most valuable ways to use your data is for analyzing and learning purposes. Look at your lead data through an analytical lens. These are the direct results of your campaign. The number and the quality of the responses is a good indicator of success. This information can also help drive the decisions and goals for your next campaign. Didn’t get the responses you wanted? Try changing the language on your form, or asking questions in a different way (such as using checkboxes instead of a dropdown menu).

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About the author

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・7 min read

Jessica Miller-McNatt has been with ShortStack for over a decade and has served in every role from Marketing Team Lead to Customer Success. Her journey in martech continues to fuel her fascination for what drives growth. Jessica's favorite weekends are spent in the North Georgia mountains, chasing waterfalls and exploring with her family.

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