All too often marketing strategies fail to utilise the full potential of social media for lead generation. But why should you worry about social media? Does it even work to improve leads? According to the 2016 Social Media Marketing Report by Social Media Examiner, 66%+ of marketers see lead generation benefits with social media by spending as little as 6 hours per week.
Improving your social media conversion rate doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, there’s one way that has proven to be successful, when done the right way.
Competitions are a great way to see a boost in social media conversions. Competitions are about participation. So is social media. Competitions can be entertaining and creative. So is social media. Competitions can nurture interest in your company and products if done well. Same with social media.
As with any social media conversion campaign, there are a number of things to think through:
- What is your aim? Is it to increase your number of followers or to generate leads for sales? What do you hope to achieve?
- Decide on a prize.
- How will people enter the competition? This will depend on the platform you choose which in turn will depend on your audience. Will your entries be tweeted or snapped or shared?
- When will you launch your competition? Is there a community or sporting event or product release that would further build interest and participation in your competition?
- How will you record the winner’s moment? Social media is all about sharing our experiences and reactions and the moment a person is revealed as a winner, is priceless.
Let’s take those points one by one.
The competition’s aim
Any of the following could be the focus for your competition. It could be about increasing the size of your following - where liking or sharing will count for one entry. Or it could be about encouraging people to opt-in to your blogs, or advanced product updates by providing their email address. Perhaps your objective is to encourage user-generated content, or simply to build a database. Work out what you want to achieve and this will inform choices about the competition prize, which platform to use and how you collect entries.
The prize and entry method
Keep the prize consistent with the interests and desires of your buyer persona. A database full of email addresses will not provide you with valuable leads unless you attract the right people to your competition by offering the right incentive.
If your prize or prizes are truly awesome, you can ask more from the entries but always remember, people struggle to engage if you require them to provide more than just a name and email address.
That does not rule video or photographic entries, fantastic for younger age groups and men who tend to be viewed as less active on social. Not the case where YouTube is concerned where men represent 54% of the user base and spend an hour per week watching videos whereas women tune in for 35 minutes.
Competitions can be launched on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. If the aim is to increase your overall following, choose the favourite platform among your followers where most customer engagement occurs. If your aim is build your presence on a particular platform such as LinkedIn because of B2B opportunities; or Twitter because of engagement around events and culture: then the decision is easy.
The social media competitions we remember are those timed with big events in the social, political and sporting zeitgeist. Big movie releases, The Oscars, Super Bowls, Australia Day and Grand Finals. These moments can help your strategy because people are highly engaged with social media during these events. Anzac Day is not one of those days, as Woolworths learned when it sought to blend emotion with brand.
But there may be other events: the launch of a new product line or much vaunted product update, a showcase, or an appearance by a key influencer that you can leverage as part of your competition. So, look to moments during which you can share anticipation, enjoyment and reactions with your audience - the great stuff of social media.
The Winner’s Moment
That moment a prize winner gets to taste, test-drive or touch their prize is gold. Sharing the excitement and good-will is an opportunity to further drive engagement with your brand while sending the message of how much customers are valued.
Finally, never forget social media is a two-way street. Your followers have the power and you must be prepared to provide customer service on and through your social channel during the competition. Holden, for example, has insight about the highs and lows of social media conversion marketing:
Picking up on comments and problems in a positive and polite tone, directing people to private message customer support with their details and being generous in offering follow up and solutions will trouble shoot negative chatter.
Generating social media leads doesn’t need to be convoluted, nor does it need to be replicated across multiple accounts. You can easily boost social media leads with something as easy as a competition – which might be just the thing to kick start your marketing strategy in the new year. For more ideas on how to build a lead generating marketing strategy, download the Insider’s Guide to Lead Generation today.