The secret is out! Running promotions on social media can be an effective way to reward existing fans of your brand, further prove your brand’s promise, and attract new people to your brand.
To maximize the ROI of running a promotion, however, you’re going to want to promote your activity to boost awareness and attract a maximum number of relevant participants.
What are some methods that can be employed to promote your promotion?
Here are a few ideas that probably won’t break the bank:
Social Media Pre-Promotion
If you’re running a promotion on social media, it’s pretty obvious that you should be promoting it there. When creating content calendars during the time period that your social media promotion is running, be sure to create ample pre-promotion content to build excitement and anticipation amongst your existing community, and encourage organic sharing to broaden your promotion’s exposure.
Social Media Ads
In my experience, social media ads are a major component to the secret sauce for fan acquisition. Pair them with an enticing social media promotion and hold on tight.
Depending on what business you’re in, there may be opportunity to distribute and post promotional signage in retail locations where your product is sold. Also consider creating a sticker, tag, or other similar piece of communication that can be directly affixed to your product. This will create awareness of your promotion amongst each and every one of your consumers during the promotional window.
If you have an email database of current or prospective consumers, create and distribute compelling emails to drive traffic to your promotion. Use your judgment to ensure people in your database don’t feel like you’re spamming them, but consider sending a pre-promotion email, and if your promotion is running for some time, another email or two during the promotional window to encourage repeat participation.
Encourage influencers in your community and category to spread word of your social media promotion. Depending on their stature, it might be worthwhile providing them with an incentive to spread word amongst their social graphs. If they have a high profile on social media or in the blogosphere a great incentive might be to provide them with a pre-packaged mini promotion, similar to yours, that they can run with their communities in return for the exposure they provide.
Related Online Communities
As you know, people are talking about your business, brand, category and competition in a number of places around the web. You’ve probably already identified related online communities to the business you’re in, so think about how a post would be accepted to inform members of those communities about your promotion. Chances are good that because of the high correlation between your business and the community that people there will be appreciative of the heads-up.
How do you promote your social media promotions?
What has been an effective method of promotion?
It would be great to hear your ideas in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Most businesses that invest heavily in social media tend to forget one key component to maximizing their success in developing direct relationships with their audience;
They forget to be social.
Much effort and attention is given to creating valuable content, publishing at just the right time to maximize impressions, determining what triggers to use to incite sharing, figuring out how to encourage comments and ‘likes’, and more.
All of this is great, but there isn’t anything social about publishing content and hoping for virality metrics to shoot through the roof. Even replying to comments left on blog content, Facebook updates, tweets and Google+ posts isn’t truly being social.
Think about it in the context of your life. You don’t go to a party, see some guy standing in the corner all by his lonesome, and think, ‘man, that guy is really putting himself out there!’. He’d probably answer a question if you asked him, but he’s not doing anything to garner attention, attract people to him, or develop new connections or relationships.
Except for very rare circumstances, businesses and brands simply cannot expect to develop meaningful relationships with consumers on social media without behaving socially.
The beautiful thing about social media is that it gives businesses the opportunity to proactively speak with their audience, including current and prospective consumers. That’s powerful stuff.
Initiate a dialogue.
If you are hoping to develop real relationships with your consumers, attract them to participate in the discussions that are occurring on your social media properties, and encourage them to be social, I strongly encourage you to initiate a dialogue with them in the places that they are naturally spending their time online.
By initiating conversations, you are greatly enhancing the probability that you will not only receive a reply, but also achieve reciprocated dialogue. When you create a dialogue with your consumers, you’re going to be better able to understand them, know what they want, fully comprehend their needs, and figure out how to provide tremendous value with your products, services and content.
Develop direct relationships with your consumers.
You are also going to greatly increase the value of the interactions you have with your consumers if there is some give-take. Nobody wants to be involved in a relationship in which they are simply broadcast to. That’s not a relationship at all. People want want to be part of a discussion, and have influence over its course.
This can be unnerving to businesses and brands that are used to retaining control of their communications, but it is also extremely exciting if you can adapt, learn, and be nimble enough to take advantage of the tremendous value that the direct relationships you cultivate with your consumers will yield.
If there is one thing to take away from this post, it is to find ways for your business to be more proactively social on social media. You don’t sit on your hands waiting for consumers to learn about your business or brand in the offline world. You market, advertise, write press releases, work to generate word of mouth, and develop and build relationships. All of this is proactive and action oriented.
On social media you should really be doing the same. Try to avoid turning social media into a broadcast channel for your content, and get involved with your consumers where they are interacting and engaging on the social web.
How do you proactively engage socially with your consumers online?
In future posts I’ll get into details about how you can initiate a dialogue with consumers on social media, as well as how you can overcome organizational barriers to being more social.
In the meantime, it would be great to chat with you about your thoughts on this in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Before you put time, effort and money into creating amazing content, you should develop a content promotion plan.
For most businesses and brands, attaining a critical number of hits on their content is of utmost importance. Goals, objectives and KPIs tend to be built around audience engagement and conversion, and I hate to break the news to you, but your content isn’t going to work toward converting people that don’t see it.
Failing to properly promote your content means you’re missing out on maximizing the ROI of your social media and content marketing efforts.
So, what to do?
The good news is that there are many channels through which you can promote your content to a highly relevant targeted audience.
Following are a few ideas for inclusion in your content promotion plan:
I know it’s obvious, but paid media is a great way to get a predictable number of hits on your perfectly crafted, and highly valuable content. There are many options at your disposal that allow for hyper-targeting your ads to guarantee that you’re paying for only the most relevant eyes to fall upon your content. By choosing ad products with great targeting capabilities, you can greatly increase the efficiency of conversions.
One thing I want to address here is that many people that I speak with feel like paying for an audience to view your content is somehow ‘cheating’ at social media. The reality is that every large-scale marketing organization that kills it on social media is paying to get as many eyes on their content as possible in one way or another. Paid media, in many cases, should be a strong consideration for content promotion.
There are many people that will tell you that publishing your content on every imaginable social media network is the path to successfully promoting your content. The assumption that is made by these people is that you have a significant social media following or fan base to begin with, which isn’t always the case.
Absolutely yes, you should cross promote your content on your business’ various social media platforms, but unless you’ve got a huge community, don’t expect this alone to be a highly effective method of content promotion.
How many people do you work with? How many personal connections do you have in your target demographic? How many personal connections do the people you work with have in your target demographic?
When you’re thinking about an approach to promoting your content, sometimes the beginning of a groundswell is sitting all around you at your workplace. Encourage your coworkers, employees, managers, and partners to share your business’ content with their social graphs, and you do the same. Sure you’re not likely to garner thousands of hits this way, but it’s easy, and even better, it’s free.
If you are conducting even the most basic social listening, you should know who your biggest advocates are, which consumers have demonstrated extreme interest in your business or brand, and which online and social communities exist that have a focus on your business, brand, category, competition, or other relevant themes.
When you’ve got amazing new content to publish, consider sending it to these people and communities and asking them to share it amongst their audiences. Depending on whom you ask to distribute your content, particularly if they are of significant status, you may need to sweeten the deal with a little cash, some free product, a pre-baked social media contest that they can execute with their community, or some other incentive.
There are times when the best place to maximize exposure of your content isn’t within your own social media communities. The basic principle with guest posting is to go where your audience is, and provide value with your content through those channels. Guest posting blog content is a prime example of this, and many high-profile blogs will consider publishing guest contributions if they meet their audiences’ expectations for quality and subject matter, is of value, and is topical.
Not only will this gain that particular piece of content tremendous viewership, but it will work toward establishing you, your business and brand, as being an authority within your category, and ultimately draw traffic back to your official social media networks.
The recommendations I’ve made here are fairly general and should be applicable to most businesses and brands. However, feel free to get creative with where you promote your content, and be sure to choose channels based on where your specific target audience can be reached.
What tactics do you employ to promote your content?
Which tactics do you find to be most effective?
Is content promotion part of your ongoing social media and content strategy?
It would be great to hear from you in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
There are amazing businesses and brands producing amazing content every day. This post will give props to BMW and specifically a concept vehicle rendering they recently created for Eli, a 4-year-old fan of the brand.
What they did
This was an amazing case of BMW listening, identifying an opportunity, and responding accordingly.
Jalopnik, a popular automotive and automotive lifestyle blog, recently posted an article about Eli, a 4-year-old nephew of a dedicated reader, and the incredibly imaginative details about his dream car. The car was to be a BMW, have 42 wheels and be 42 wheel drive, be powered by 19 Porsche engines, and have 3 steering wheels, to list a few of the features… oh, and the trunk was to be filled with toys so you can play in it. The article can be found here.
BMW, recognizing this as an amazing opportunity to make the vision and dream of a 4-year-old fan come to life, created an awesome rendering of what this car might look like. The rendering was posted to Facebook with a special note to Eli. Check it out here.
Why it’s killer
BMW listened and identified an opportunity to reach one fan, a fan that is a 4-year-old boy. By doing this, not only have they made a lifelong fan of Eli, but they’ve likely increased affinity amongst all who were witness to this story, humanized their brand, and successfully generated meaningful conversations in the Jalopnik community.
Also, talk about crazy levels of engagement; 3,250 shares, 668 comments, and 7,666 likes. Looking back at average engagement with BMW’s previous 10 Facebook updates, this represents 1,806 percent higher than average shares, 1,268 percent higher than average comments, and 369 percent higher than average likes. Wow.
What can be applied to your business?
Keep your ear to the ground
Listen to the chatter that is happening about your business or brand. What you hear might surprise you, and opportunities will present themselves to engage your audience.
Be open and flexible about those whom you engage
Sometimes the best way to engage your audience might be to engage people who typically fall outside of your target demographic. Finding engagement opportunities that are atypical can turn everyday content into a story that a broader audience can identify with.
Try something new
Even if your content strategy performs exceptionally well for your business or brand, occasionally try new things. Becoming complacent is a great way to lose the attention of your audience, so give them new conversation starters to rally behind, new content to engage with, a new perspective to ponder, and on.
Have you seen any killer content recently? If so, please share, I’d love to check it out.
It would be great to chat with you more about this amazing content in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial
Killer Content is a new theme I’ve been thinking about adding to my content mix, this being my first effort. It would be awesome to know what you think in one of the regular places; the comments, on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn
All right, here’s the no-brainer statement of the day; businesses and brands, particularly small businesses, tend to focus their efforts on social media by building and cultivating their own communities.
For whatever reason, they don’t acknowledge, recognize, or think about the fact that there are highly relevant conversations happening about their brand, category, and consumers in other places around the social web – blogs, forums, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and on. Further to this, they don’t think to inject themselves in these conversations.
The people who are engaging in these communities are exactly the type of people that businesses should want engaging in their communities. These are their customers, clients, and business prospects.
There is great opportunity in getting involved in these conversations, and the best part is that it isn’t difficult.
Here’s an easy way to get involved – COMMENT.
Chances are that you spend a fair bit of time absorbing content that is relevant to your business or brand, and leaving insightful or interesting comments can actually work toward your social media and business objectives. Leaving high-quality comments can demonstrate your expert knowledge, earn you increased exposure, and encourage reciprocation of contributions in your community.
Demonstrate your expert knowledge
Find content that sets you up to build on the points being made, contribute your own perspective, provide additional support, or otherwise add value. Highly interested community members are more likely than others to read comments and discover the value in the knowledge you are imparting, which means you’ll be engaging the exact people you should be hoping to engage.
Increase exposure amongst your target demographic
By leaving high-value comments, you’ll become known for your contributions and be looked upon as a source of relevant knowledge and expertise. With your reputation on the rise, people will seek out the source of the information you are leaving in comments, which will ultimately work toward converting these individuals to becoming followers, fans and advocates of your brand on social media.
Encourage the reciprocation of comments in your own communities
If you give a little, you can expect to receive a little in return. Sustained engagement by way of comments will earn you the attention of the people who manage those communities and can result in reciprocated commenting on your content. In the end, you’ll be helping each other with your contributions. It’s win-win all around.
Adding commenting to the list of tactics you employ to support your social media strategy can be incredibly beneficial to expand the scope of your influence on social media. You’ll be able to reach a broader audience that is also highly relevant, add value in new ways, and potentially begin to establish strategic partnerships with the managers of the communities you target with your comments.
What role does commenting play in your social media strategy?
What benefits have you experienced by commenting in other communities?
It would be great to hear your thoughts and discuss this further in the comments, or on Twitter @RGBSocial