Author: James Scherer / Source: Business 2 Community Social media is still the arena where the largest number of prospective customers ar
Since 2012, I’ve been on the marketing team for a software company which creates contest templates and runs fully-managed campaigns for businesses looking to boost social media engagement, gain Fans, and drive sales.
There were a couple years there when I was jaded – frustrated by many business’ misguided desire to pour money into social media, knowing they weren’t getting anything back from it.
I kept writing the words “You need to have a complete strategy to actually turn Fans into customers!” but it felt like nobody was listening to me.
We were doing great, but I was frustrated by what I saw as our business delivering vanity metrics to companies who didn’t know any better.
With the fall in organic reach on Facebook, though, that all started changing. People began to recognize that their 10,000 Facebook Fans meant diddly squat if they weren’t reaching even 5% of them or turning any of them into customers.
So what did that fall in reach mean for a company whose social media contests apps are dedicated to increasing social engagement?
Luckily, there’s still value in a social media contest. Social media is still the arena where the largest number of prospective customers are hanging out. Instagram, for instance, has 600 million and counting. Your business can’t afford to ignore that. So how do you turn prospective customers into actual customers?
A contest can help. No, seriously. You just need to have a complete strategy to actually turn Fans into customers.
Oh look, an article on that!
Step 1. Create an Optimized Social Media Contest Page
There are a couple strategies I can recommend here…
1. A photo, referral or Instagram hashtag contest. These contests are characterized by using your entrants to spread the word. Because whichever entrant gets the most votes on their submission (or refers the most friends to enter with a unique URL) wins, it takes a lot of the workload off your hands.
Here’s an example of that:
2. A giveaway contest which uses a share incentive popup to give bonus entries to people who complete a social-media action (Following, Sharing, Liking, etc).
The contest page for New York women’s gym, Lucille Roberts, might look like this:
The “Share Incentive” popup would appear when someone submitted their details and clicked on “Enter Now.” It looks like this:
Which one should I choose?
It depends entirely on your business’ objectives. Both campaigns will yield new contacts that you can turn into customers.
If you have any questions about the pros and cons of each, just ask in the comment section and I can help you out.
What should I do to ensure the people who enter my contest are actually prospective customers:
- Use language which appeals specifically to your target market. If you’re in the fashion industry, use the headline “Fall Fashionistas! Submit your favorite selfie to enter to win!” Software companies could go with “Marketers (or Designers/Consultants/Agencies) Enter below for a chance to win a year’s subscription of AcmeSaas!”
- Choose prizes appealing exclusively to your target market. If you give away cash or a trip to Bermuda, people will enter your contest. Congratulations. Good luck getting any of those people to buy your app, handmade jewelry or marketing software. However, give away a prize related specifically to your business (a gift card or your actual product) and only people who are actually interested in what you sell will enter. I’d rather get 100 entrants I can convert to a sale at 20% than 500 I can convert at 1%.
Step 2: Create an Ad Campaign
Definitely, you should promote your contest with organic Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. Definitely, you should add a scroll-bar to your blog letting readers know about your promotion. Definitely, you should send a newsletter to your…