We're now accepting entries for the 2014 Forrester Groundswell Awards – and our research associate Sarah Takvorian is here to share her thoughts about how you can with in the Social Relationship Marketing category:

Want to send Forrester a valentine this month? Submit your entry to our 2014 Forrester Groundswell Awards and show us your love for social marketing. The deadline for entries is February 28, and we’ll be presenting the winners at Forrester’s Marketing Leadership Forum in San Francisco this April.

For this eighth edition of our awards, we will continue to evaluate both B2C and B2B entries using Forrester’s RaDaR research for social marketing, selecting winners across three categories: Social Reach, Social Depth, and Social Relationship.

In 2013, we received nearly 150 entries from all over the world – but only a handful could win. Think you belong on the winner’s podium? Let’s take a look back at the two winners in last year’s Social Relationship group. This category recognizes social programs that engaged existing fans and customers in order to increase their lifetime value. (If your social program was designed to create loyalty and repeat business, it was probably an example of social relationship marketing.)

Our B2C winner was the Dr Pepper social media program, built in conjunction with Code and Theory. Although Dr Pepper’s Facebook fan base had grown significantly in 2010 and 2011, its 11 million fans weren’t very engaged. So Dr Pepper and Code and Theory reignited fan passion by creating content that championed the “Pepper lifestyle.” The new strategy recognized that Dr Pepper isn’t a brand for everyone — and celebrated the distinctive point of view and personality that makes its fans unique.

The program revived fan interaction: Facebook engagement rates grew 64% in 2012 and are up another 46% in 2013. But more importantly, it turned Dr Pepper’s fans into better customers. Studies show that after someone becomes a Facebook fan of the brand, they take 35% more shopping trips in which they purchase Dr Pepper.

On the B2B side, Analog Device’s EngineerZone community caught our eye for all the ways it extended beyond just a standard support program. The semiconductor manufacturer built an online community where engineers could get help using the products they’ve bought. And in addition to troubleshooting problems, those engineers now collaborate on new designs and find new ways to use Analog Devices’ products.

Today, thousands of engineers use EngineerZone, and 90% of them say the community is helpful to their design process. Crucially, the program also makes Analog Devices’ customers more loyal: 76% of community members say they’re more likely to buy from the company knowing EngineerZone is available as a resource.

If you’re doing something great with social relationship marketing, we want to hear from you! Check out our video explanation for details and be sure to submit your entry by February 28.