New Study: Hispanics are Actively Engaged on Social Media after Acquiring Loyalty Cards

Hispanics Loyalty Programs Nearly two-thirds of Hispanic shoppers' social posts about loyalty programs occur after a purchase has been made, and as much as 20% of the conversation around loyalty programs comes from non-members, according to a new study released by omni-channel loyalty and engagement platform PunchTab.

What’s more, the study reveals that more than one third of all the social conversation around loyalty programs is sparked by a brand's marketing campaigns and content. The study focused on 500 Hispanic loyalty program members to gain new insights into how this high-value audience segment engages in social environments with reward programs such as Sears Shop Your Way and Walgreens Balance Rewards.

“Nearly half of Hispanic shoppers use social media during the purchasing process, and our research shows that many of these posts relate to loyalty programs,” PunchTab CMO Angela Sanfilippo said in a press release. “By understanding which loyalty program topics are most prevalent and how shoppers are engaging, marketers can implement pinpointed programs to increase engagement and amplify positive word-of-mouth at every stage of the purchase process.”

Here are some key study findings:

1. The majority of Hispanic shopper posts about loyalty programs occur post-purchase. The data shows that nearly 63% of Hispanic shoppers’ posts around loyalty programs occur after a purchase has been made.

While only 18% of posts happen as people are making purchases or receiving rewards, the study reveals that this is high-value conversation, as the majority of posts involve promoting the saving members received, the free gifts and bonuses they earn, or their overall purchasing experience while using the loyalty card.

According to the study, 19% of posts happen pre-purchase; the majority of the pre-purchase conversations revolve around wanting to join a loyalty program or waiting for approval.

The study also reveals that Hispanic shoppers who are not yet members of a loyalty program are nonetheless promoting it within their social networks. The most discussed loyalty program by Hispanic shoppers who were not yet members was the Target REDcard, driving 40% of total pre-purchase conversation.

2. Hispanic shopper loyalty posts frequently tout the brand, the promotion or the rewards.

According to the study, at least 30% of the social conversation about loyalty programs among Hispanic shoppers involves some sort of positive word-of-mouth. 12% of posts were related to sharing promotions; 11.4% revolved around the points or rewards awards; and 7.5% were posts advocating for the loyalty program itself.

3. Brands can spark considerable conversation around loyalty programs through engagement campaigns.

PunchTab’s study shows that brand marketing campaigns -- such as dedicated hash tags or special contests -- drive 37.5% of all the social conversation around loyalty programs amongst Hispanic shoppers. This presents an enormous opportunity for brands to continue to raise awareness within the Hispanic market by way of timely social initiatives, such as holiday or back-to-school campaigns, that leverage social, email and SMS campaigns and encourage social sharing.

4. Big box retailers are engaged with Hispanic shoppers.

Shop Your Way rewards from Kmart and Sears, and Walgreen’s Balance Rewards generated the most loyalty conversations among Hispanic shoppers – 33% of the segment observed discussed Walgreens Balance Rewards, while Shop Your Way rewards generated 20% of total loyalty conversations.

PunchTab listened to Twitter conversations surrounding specific loyalty programs. After searching through thousands of posts and tweets, PunchTab identified 500 loyalty program members who self-identified as Hispanic or Latino American and consolidated the social discussions they had throughout their loyalty program journey.

PunchTab reviewed over 611 tweets between 1/1/2012 and 6/30/2013, centered on the following brand loyalty programs: Target, JC Penney, Kohl’s, Walmart, Best Buy, Walgreens, Bed, Bath and Beyond, Panera, Sears and Kmart.

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