Earning Points and Miles Through Social Media Engagement

Find out how to earn miles, points and perks through social media.

Woman texting on cell phone
Reggie Casagrande / Getty Images

I’ve noticed recently that some of my favorite brands are turning to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and other social channels to spread the word about their rewards programs. For example, Starbucks recently used a Snapchat filter as one way to promote its revamped loyalty program and mobile app.

Aside from simply promoting their loyalty programs online, many popular loyalty programs are allowing members to earn points, perks and more by engaging with their social media pages. Loyalty programs that incorporate social rewards make it even more convenient for you to earn perks and points. As I scroll through my social channels each day, I can now be rewarded for actions I’d likely take anyway – like sharing a photo of my favorite Starbucks drink or hashtagging my favorite Hilton moment. You too can leverage brands’ social media loyalty offers to make the most of your rewards earnings.

Below are a few of the best ways to earn points and perks by engaging with your favorite brands on social media.

Expand Your Social Rewards Network

Earning points and rewards is easier than ever when you follow your favorite brands – like hotels, airlines, and restaurants – on each of their social media accounts. There’s little need to scour and research brands’ websites when you can easily take a glance at your Facebook or Twitter newsfeed to learn about new opportunities to earn points and rewards online. Yet surprisingly, 89 percent of people on social media are not fans of loyalty programs. The more loyalty programs and brands you follow online, the more opportunity it is for you to earn rewards and points.

Take Marriott Rewards, for example. In a recent social rewards promotion by the popular loyalty program, new followers of their Instagram page received 500 rewards bonus points for following. And Hilton HHonors conducted a similar promotion, offering their Facebook followers exclusive insight into their reoccurring music sweepstakes through their #‎MusicMonday‬ campaign.

Share Your Experiences Online

Since sharing photos and videos online is an everyday occurrence for most social media users, consider engaging with your favorite brands on their social media pages and earn rewards and prizes for doing for doing so. Lyft and Southwest Airlines recently gave their followers the opportunity to win big with their #BetterTogether contest during the 2016 Pride month. By posting a photo of “What Pride means to you” on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, and tagging #BetterTogether and @lyft, a few lucky winners received both Lyft and HotelTonight credit, as well as a Southwest Airlines gift card to build their ultimate getaway.

But Southwest Airlines and Lyft aren’t the only brands using social campaigns like this to reward their customers. Check out hotel brands like JW Marriott and Waldorf Astoria, which offer recurring contests rewarding travelers who are willing to share their travel experiences online. As loyalty programs continue to take notice of members’ social media habits, we’ll likely see more offers for engaging on social and sharing your experiences online.

Tap Into Mobile Loyalty

Smartphones – also known as the gatekeepers to mobile awards, points, and perks – give you the opportunity to earn on-the-go. As a loyalty member, not only can you connect with your favorite brands through websites and social media pages on mobile, but you can also interact with mobile apps that incorporate loyalty into their offerings. While Starbucks’ loyalty app may be one of the first to fully take advantage of linking a rewards program to an app, Taco Bell recently made a similar move through its mobile app, Live Más.

Through its recent partnership with mobile loyalty technology, Kiip, users can earn coupons and exclusives by playing Taco Bell Explore (a puzzle game powered by Kiip) and can even earn rewards from social moments that happen outside the app –  such as hashtagging a Taco Bell moment or sharing a photo on Instagram.

When possible, I recommend taking the time to check out loyalty programs that not only incorporate social media into their rewards offerings but also give you the opportunity to earn through their mobile apps.