In this increasingly digital environment, you’ll be hard pressed to find a business that does not list social media growth as an annual goal year after year. Businesses have realized the necessity of cultivating a large and engaged social media following. However, realization is only half the battle. The hard work begins with developing and implementing an effective growth strategy. Thankfully, social media strategists have created several proven techniques for increasing followers. Hosting an online giveaway is one excellent method to showcase your products and services in a fun manner that generates followers quickly. Developing a strategy that outlines your outreach, research, launch, and finish schedule increases the success of the chance-to-win tool.
Scheduling the giveaway is vital and goes beyond selecting a launch date. It’s a timeline that considers your market research, outreach initiative, and development needs. If this is one of your first few giveaways, you may want to allocate time and research similar promotions to learn where others have found success. Search the hashtag giveaway and look further into posts that match what your ideal client is interested in. As you plan your timeline, set aside around two to three weeks to generate the outreach list, then follow with about two months for contacting the list on social media. Some social media platforms limit the number of direct messages that can be sent daily. Beginning your messaging about two months prior to the start of your giveaway provides ample time to hit your outreach goals. Finally, select your promotion launch and end date. It’s recommended to allow your contest to run for at least two to three weeks for maximum exposure.
One step that is often overlooked when hosting an online giveaway is outreach. It’s not recommended to rely on the Field of Dreams, “If we build it, they will come” theory. Even the most enthusiastic users may not see every post populated to their newsfeeds daily. This means before your launch date, plan to announce your upcoming giveaway by direct messaging 500 to 1,000 users not currently following the account. Building your user list will take time. As a local business, it’s important that you target users that can reasonably travel to obtain your services. Growing a following is important, but it’s even better if your following isn’t just along for the content and can purchase your products and services. Searching location tags on social media can help you identify local consumers. Another trick is searching local competing and non-competing businesses and targeting their followers. In addition to contacting non-followers, be sure to plan time to notify active followers and clients.
SELECTING A PRODUCT
Selecting the best product or service can be a challenge. It’s well known that higher value items have a greater likelihood for engagement. They also have a larger likelihood for disappointment, especially if you are committed to a high value give away that generated little participation. Luckily, your planned outreach will help you avoid low involvement. When you think about your offerings, what wows you and your clients? What can you give away that will make people need to stop their scrolling to like, comment, tag, and share? Once you pinpoint the perfect items or service, ask your best clients what they think. This feedback is invaluable and may just take your giveaway to the next level.
SETTING ENTRY RULES
The final piece of giveaway housekeeping before the launch is setting the entry rules. The key with establishing entry parameters is to find the sweet spot between asking for too much and getting a good value for your business. This is referred to as the prize-to-effort ratio. Consumers need a real (and possibly expensive) incentive for taking small actions on social media. Be sure that your rules help you reach your goal and don’t go beyond your needs. If the promotion’s goal is to increase followers on a specific platform, make following a requirement. Avoid asking viewers to follow you on another social platform or to follow more than one other user, as the extra work can deter them from entering. A few requests that entrants usually feel comfortable with are following a maximum of two other accounts, tagging three friends, and sharing the giveaway post in their feed or story.
Planning your giveaway from beginning to end increases participation and the chances of achieving your goal. Direct outreach efforts ensure that a minimum of 500 to 1,000 users are learning about your promotion before it launches. After the launch you have two to three weeks of applicants tagging friends and sharing your chance-to-win on their stories and feeds in combination with your awareness. Together, these activities spread awareness of your brand and chance-to-win quickly and effectively. Incorporating a giveaway into your social media growth adds real value and results for your business.
Kelly Conlan is the marketing and communications director for DermaMed Solutions, an administrator for the Esthetician Connection, and a freelance marketing and social media consultant. Conlan discovered her enthusiasm for skin care over 12 years ago and found a home in the aesthetics industry. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business, with a focus on marketing and management, from Penn State and has expertise in generating content and strategic marketing plans to increase brand awareness for aesthetic manufacturers, as well as spas, medical spas, and plastic surgery practices. In recent years, Conlan has found a new passion in the healing powers of CBD and hemp-based cannabinoids. Research and education are top priorities for Conlan as she continues her in-depth exploration of the developing uses and benefits for CBD.