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How to increase your social media following

If you've taken the plunge and joined the throngs on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to name a few, you're probably thinking 'now what?' Or worse, you're sitting back, thinking 'well, that's that', waiting for the leads to arrive. They won't. You have joined a network of millions and initially your voice is lost in the crowd. So, now what indeed?

Social media competitions

If you’ve taken the plunge and joined the throngs on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, to name a few, you’re probably thinking ‘now what?’ Or worse, you’re sitting back, thinking ‘well, that’s that’, waiting for the leads to arrive. They won’t. You have joined a network of millions and initially your voice is lost in the crowd. So, now what indeed?

Simple. Engage. The more you engage the more successful your social media marketing is likely to be. The beauty of social media is that it is an active lead generator but, i importantly, without the hard sell. It’s about being sociable, which, as any good salesman
will tell you, is the key to initiating a sale.

Social media competitions or promotional offers are one of the most successful ways to encourage online interaction and build word of mouth for your brand. If you have devised an easy to enter competition with a prize people want, it’s hard to go wrong. It is also the perfect location to inject some fun into your marketing strategy, albeit carefully planned and executed fun (Monica Geller style).

Coffee giants Starbuck’s used social media to offer a free drink to its customers, resulting in one million customers to their stores in one day, proving the sales potential of social
media.

UK pizza retailer, Dominos, attributes social media initiatives for an increase in its pre-tax profit of nearly 29%, which equates to roughly $26 million. Dominos CEO Chris Moore
points to the rise in online orders as proof that their web and social media efforts are paying off and said: “All of these web-based activities offer a dual benefit of driving pizza sales online and building customer loyalty.”

The beauty of social media is that it can work on any scale too. The PRG team is accustomed to running social media marketing campaigns and social media competitions to generate online interest with great success. Here are some examples:

  • Facebook competition – Squeezy monkey – offered a squeezy stress monkey to the first 300 ‘likes’ on Facebook. It went viral and gave a very quick surge of interest, increasing following from 17 to more than 4,000 in just a couple of days.
  • Twitter competition – New Amazon Kindle Touch – required entrants to follow and retweet for a chance to win. The competition was simple and helped get the client’s name buzzing around Twitter as people retweeted the post. It bilt up following of more than 1,000.
  • Facebook and Twitter – Taekwondo Championship Tickets – The client had tickets to the Taekwondo championship which we gave away in a competition on both social media sites.

Rules for a successful social media competition:

  • Keep them simple and easy to enter. e.g. ‘Like’ facebook page, ‘follow’ and ‘retweet’ on Twitter.
  • Spread the word by going viral/trending – if you do your research first, the online community does it for you.
  • On Twitter, hashtags (#) flag up keywords for other users. So use #competition, #win, #free to help get the competition picked up.
  • Make competitions exclusive but regular enough to keep your audience engaged.
  • Ensure you have Terms & Conditions on your website and link to this from the social media competition.
  • Put a limit on how many giveaways there are – e.g. for the squeezy monkeys we stipulated only the first 300 ‘likes’ would receive one or we would have had more than 4,000 to send out!
  • If you’re aiming the competition at a particular audience include specific stipulations in the T&Cs. e.g. if you are a B2B company then require fans to include the name of the company they work for and a work email and postal address.

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