New media has completely changed the marketing landscape from what it was 20 years ago, but one thing has stayed consistent: customer loyalty is the key to a successful business. Whether you’re just starting out or have been running your company for years, here are nine tactics you can use to build a strong customer loyalty base.

#1 Offer a Points Reward System

Entice your customers to keep coming back by offering a points system. The incentive for them to save money in the long run will keep them coming back time and time again.

My Starbucks Rewards, for instance, is a huge contributor to the company’s success and growth. In 2013’s second quarter fiscal results, the corporation’s major customer-retention rewards program played a key role in its 26 percent profit rise and 11 percent jump in total revenue.

#2 Stay Active on Social Media

Today’s marketing landscape is built around social media and digital interaction with customers. Be sure to keep the lines of digital communication open. Social media platforms generate tremendous exposure for your business, brand and services.

Not only does it give you an unparalleled channel through which you can hear what your customers are saying, it also allots you listening access to client prospects, peers as well as competitors.

#3 Listen, Listen and Respond

Offer quick replies to customer complaints and prove your loyalty to them by fixing any issues and taking their suggestions seriously. “Social listening” is a term used to describe the process of finding meaningful interactions, conversations and insights on social media.

According to a study by Lithium Technologies, 53 percent of twitter users who tweet at a brand expect a response within the hour. That number jumps to 72 percent when that mention involves some sort of complaint. So do some active social listening and be sure to remain responsive and keep the client-company lines of communication open.

#4 Create a Unique Online Culture

Create a sense of community through the use of hashtags on social media. Choose something unique, easy to remember and catchy. Make sure you search ahead of time to ensure no one else is already using it, and use your hashtag across multiple social media platforms.

#5 There’s an App for That

Create a mobile app for your business. Apps are business-boosting tools that provide additional sales opportunities, geo-targeted advertising, data gathering and a comprehensive scope of competition.

#6 Educate and Inform

Build strong relationships by creating education and informative content. In today’s world, content is king. So make sure you provide your customers with information they not only care about but they are also able to use.

#7 Offer Innovative Programs

Go beyond discounts and points by offering non-monetary based programs. Consumers are now making a shift toward developing loyalty for brands beyond simply the monetary reward relationship. For customers who view a company’s loyalty program as a component to their relationship with that brand, research shows non-monetary benefits become twice as important to those customers the longer they take part in the program.

#8 Build Beneficial Partnerships

Pair up with a like-minded company to offer customers a package deal on complementary items. Positive collaboration between businesses can not only help the consumers receive previously unavailable services or products, but can also benefit the companies by offering extra helping hands.

#9 Determine Your Core Values

Don’t change your company’s ideals based on what’s trending. Figure out your company’s core values and stick to them.

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