Social Media promotions are a great way to get attention for a brand and for new or existing products. A good promotion can generate a huge spike in awareness and social media adoption. But it’s not always a straight and narrow road to success.
A successful social media promotion needs to be a part of a larger integrated social media campaign strategy, but what does that strategy look like in the context of social media campaigns? Here are three basic concepts that underlie, to some degree, almost all major successful social media campaigns.
Don’t pay for likes
It’s tempting to use a freebie or deep discount to drive likes on Facebook, but such simple exchange based promotions don’t drive long term relationships and often don’t build value for the brand. A better tactic is to turn the promotion into somtthing that builds excitement for the brand that drives likes.
- Example: Alpine Meadows
- Likes: 7,669
After an amazing snow year, most Tahoe ski resorts have the coverage to stay open well into the summer. Alpine Meadows Ski Resort wanted to boost interest in their plan to re-open the mountain for 4th of July. They also wanted to use excitement generated by the ability to ski on snow or water, shred bike trails and watch fireworks all on the same day to build likes on their social media profiles, particularly the Facebook Page.
While it might be tempting to peg a discounted ticket price for liking the page, or only open if a certain like trheashold was met, they chose to announce the 4th of July opening and $40 ticket price and the Alpine Meadows 4th of July Fan Quest. Skiers can put a deposit on their ticket of $25 and for every 3,000 fans acquired by Indipendence Day Weekend, they’ll nock $3 off the remainder. If they reach their goal of 12,500 likes, skiers can glide right onto the mountain without paying another cent.
Why it works
The value of skiing on 4th of July is clear to almost everyone, and a $40 ticket is a pretty good deal. But it’s always good to get a better deal. By focusing on the interest that skiing on 4th of July carries on social channels, and pegging the size of the deal to the number of accrued likes, they can prove the brand value while getting their fan base excited to share.
Think about your promotion idea as a social object
Is there something to talk about? Is it note worthy? Is it remarkable? Chance are it is, or can be when phrased the right way. If you go to Facebook or twitter with something to talk about your customers will respond and interact which will get the attention of their friends which will generate more likes to your page, more affinity for your brand or product on a continuing basis as well as spikes in response to your promotion or event.
- Example: KLM USA: Just be. In Holland
- Likes: 12,873
Why it works
This promotion was built around the social object of the cycling culture of Holland. For those of us here in the USA who are bike geeks, and urban cyclists, this is a really strong social object. The only thing we want more than to visualize going to and actually riding bikes in Dutch cities, is to have that cycling ethos and infrastructure here at home. It gets us thinking about a dream and that dream makes us feel good and that good feeling makes us want to share.
Don’t Start with Promotions
Promotions are a great way to spike activity via social media, but if you don’t have an underlying content base, you’ll generate a spike, get a lot more likes, but fail to generate the necessary interaction and afinity that will get you into news feeds on a regular basis.
- Example: Jeep
- Likes: 1,140,469
Why it works
This strategy works because it gives people what they want in small manageable doses and keeps them clicking and viewing content which ensures that your page stays relevant. I follow the Jeep page even though I’m a die hard Subaru man because my first car was a Jeep. I was a motorhead, and i love watching the video of the new Wrangler Rubicons crawling the slick rock. The content connects with me, and hundreds of thousands of others, on a nostalgic emotional level, but the deliberate, daily reminders keep me interested and make sure Facebook’s algorithms know it’s relevant to me.
Go All In
Don’t just throw up a blog post, a tweet and an email and expect the world to bang down your door. Take the time and devote the budget to get everyone involved and coordinated. Send out PR, back it up with a digital media campaign, promote it on Facebook through ads, and/or promoted stories, set up a microsite and a mobile site. Single tweets and status updates will motivate the early adopters, but beating the dead horse will get the attention of the late adopters and the majority and break the 10% to 15% tipping point you need to make an impact..
- Example: Old Spice
- Likes: 1,395,629
Why it works
Old Spice’s amazing video content campaign wasn’t just on the YouTube, or Facebook or Twitter, or Television. It was on everything. It was in print, in the news, in peoples eyeballs and ears in a huge way. It was funny and it was compelling and it was everywhere. It would certainly have been successful if it had just been in one or a few of those places, but because it was everywhere it was epic.
eMarketer | Optimizing Social Media Pages for Search
“Successful social media marketers do a lot more than set up a profile. They invest real effort in creating and distributing content to their followers, facilitating conversations, developing contests or games, and persuading interested consumers to connect with them.”
“Campaigns used a variety of methods to engage fans and grow their Facebook Pages. PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay combined a world record bid with free food, Snickers made a play on the popular Like button to promote its new candy bar, American Express Canada is asking fans to dream big about travel and there’s more this week on our roundup of featured Facebook campaigns.”