Implementing a viable marketing strategy is a key component to any successful business, regardless of how long your company has been in existence. One of the most effective and cost-effective ways to get your name out there is to take advantage of social networking sites, and luckily the best sites to use are completely free.
Social platforms such as Twitter and Facebook provide optimal space for businesses to market their products and services to the public. Why? Well, because once your information is out there, people start liking, commenting, retweeting, and sharing your content, which means that other people are essentially helping your marketing efforts without even knowing it.
Whenever a social media user shares or retweets your content, you can consider it a free marketing method. They share your post with all their friends, and then other people share the same post with their followers, and the momentum will follow.
This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s actually quite complicated because your main goal is to create content that people want to share on their own accord. No one is telling them to share it, or retweet it, and that’s what makes this strategy so effective.
So how do you create social media content that people will choose to share without you having to suggest they do so? Well, for all the complexity, the bottom line is pretty simple. You need to provide opportunities and incentives, and incentives are the most vital aspect because these are the components that will create a domino effect that can change the face of your business.
Contests and Promotions
Promoting your business on social media is very important, but you have to do it in a certain way so it doesn’t seem like you’re asking for business. If we learned anything from social media, it’s that begging is a huge turn off for other users, no matter how big your bid is. Begging can seem desperate, and no one likes desperation, especially from a company looking to gain visibility and profitability. Social media users around the world will look through your marketing campaign for the slightest indication that you are trying to buy customers.
Twitter is an ideal platform for holding contests, as those who use the site are constantly reading their feed and updating their own profile by tweeting the latest information. So, running a Twitter contest is perfect for companies that want or need publicity, but don’t want to go to great lengths to achieve it.
If you’re considering running your own Twitter contest, take a look at these five tips that will help your business grow in the Twittersphere.
1. Follow the Twitter Contest Regulations and Rules
First and foremost, you absolutely must follow Twitter’s rules and regulations in order to run a contest on their site. If not, then you’re in for a lot of trouble only to get caught by the Twitter police for breaking clear rules.
2. Create Your Own Hashtags
Hashtags are meant to categorize and track trending topics, so creating your own tags is essential for crafting your own promotions. More and more companies on Twitter are mastering this tactic by including their company name in their tags.
Since your first post, you must explain to users that contest entries are valid only with the use of certain tags. By implementing this method, you will gain visibility through custom hashtags, and you will make your life easier because you can easily track who has entered your contest without having to sift through millions of tweets.
3. Offer Something Interesting
If you’re going to run a contest in the hope that other users will enter and share your content, then obviously you need to offer something that people really want. Put yourself in your follower’s shoes and ask yourself if your contest is realistically a) a great deal that can’t be gotten any other way, and b) worth the time it takes to enter and tweet about your offer.
4. Update Daily
There’s nothing worse than a company that creates a contest, incentivizes users, and then suddenly falls off the face of the earth. If you are serious about your contest (which you should be) then you should enter it to keep your momentum going. Post new tweets daily, or even several times a day with contest information so your name stays up to date in your followers’ news feeds.
Also, make sure to mix it up a bit to avoid scaring people through the repetition. Posting copies of your original tweets will quickly delegitimize your content. Have fun and be creative! No need to copy and paste the same tweet over and over again, because nobody really likes Twitter robots.
5. Follow Up
Perhaps the most important aspect of running a Twitter contest is following up on your initial offer. If you own a restaurant and are offering a free meal to the person who tweets the best photo, make sure you keep the contestants updated, pick the winners, and follow up on them so they can claim the meal. It’s easy for companies to leave their own contests once they achieve the desired publicity, but you must maintain the integrity of your brand by entering your bidding.
When social media users see their friends and followers sharing information, they want to get involved because no one wants to miss something, especially if it’s something that could potentially benefit them personally. Follow these five rules, and your Twitter contest is sure to be a success!
Angelina Vergara is a blogger from Denver, CO. He specializes in writing about marketing and social media best practices.