Looking To Grow Your Social Presence? Give It Away Now
"I realize I don't want to be a miser ..." - Give It Away, Red Hot Chili Peppers
Looking to expand your Facebook fan base, increase engagement and drive traffic to your website? Give it away.
Contests and giveaways have been a staple in marketing, online and offline, since the beginning of time — increasing engagement, traffic and general brand awareness. Everyone likes free stuff and many are willing to take a look at a brand or product they otherwise wouldn't for a chance at those freebies.
Midgett Realty, a client of ours that specializes in Hatteras vacation rentals, recently gave away free condominium lodging on the island with a goal of increasing their Facebook page "Likes". It was a simple promotion, filling out an entry form was all that was required from the user — no photo uploads, video uploads or other actions needed (although these can be effective, particularly when targeting a specific niche). Get your name in the hat and you're entered to win.
The contest period ran for 40 days, from December 7 through January 15, and the number of "likes" on their Facebook page went from 1,087 to 4,099 on January 19 when the official winner announcement was made. Yes, that's an increase of better the 277%, with a total of a total of 3,106 giveaway entries from their Facebook page!
Don't Forget Your Original "Fans"
Even if they haven't "liked" your Facebook page, aren't following you on Twitter, or engaged through some other form of social media, your fans are out there. The lowest hanging fruit are your email subscribers. These are your original fans, having opted-in to hear from your company on a regular basis. However, they might not yet be active in the social sphere. The idea is to reach out and let them know about the contest, and then have them promote your Facebook contest for you, ultimately leading to increased brand awareness and a larger social network.
In the case of Midgett Realty, the contest was announced as part of their December eNewsletter as well as through their social media channels. In the next three days the likes on their Facebook increased roughly 22% and got the ball rolling as the reach of the promotion was pushed out by each new fan.
The Reminder Message (Time Is Running Out!)
With 4 days remaining in the Midgett Realty contest, the total number of "likes" was up 35% since the vacation giveaway launch … not bad.
Then came the "Reminder Message" explosion. Midgett Realty sent an ePostcard to its email subscribers reminding them of the contest deadline: "Only 4 Days Left!" The result was more than 2,000 new likes in less than 24 hours, and 2,629 new likes in the last 4 days of the contest!
Again, the "Limited time offer" is not a new concept. It's been around for a long time for a reason — it works. And it works not only for garnering more "likes" on Facebook, but Midgett Realty also saw a big jump in referral traffic to their main site from Facebook, particularly on the day of the "4 days left" email campaign. Overall, Facebook referral traffic increased 141% during the 45 day contest period (including 5 days after) compared to the 45 days prior. In addition, Google Analytics reveals that there was a huge spike in Facebook referral traffic on the day of the Reminder ePostcard on January 11th:
- Email is key: Your email list is full of people who already consider you as a trusted partner. Expand their engagement and make it easy for them to share your message with their network.
- Be ready and active: Did we expect the number of likes to more than double overnight. No, but it did. With this kind of response there will be questions and entrants expect answers. Make sure someone is monitoring the various social media platforms and able to answer questions throughout the promotion (and, really, when it comes to social media, all the time).
- Gentle reminders: It doesn't need to dominate your social channel message, but let your fans know when the deadlines are coming up and give some promotional updates — "We've already received 1,000 entries … enter now for your chance."
- Follow up: Be sure to post the congratulatory message to the winner, and encourage them to do the same. And, for those who didn't win this time, keep them around. Tell them if you're planning another promotion in the future so they check back frequently.
– Sean Kelly
Director of Managed Services