10 Ingredients for a Successful Social Media Promotion

Creating a successful social game or contest is much like baking a cake. You need the right ingredients prepared in a way that leads to the best results. Baking – and creating a virally successful game promotion – are the results of carefully calculated chemistry. Change the proportions or miss an ingredient and you’re likely […]

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Creating a successful social game or contest is much like baking a cake. You need the right ingredients prepared in a way that leads to the best results. Baking – and creating a virally successful game promotion – are the results of carefully calculated chemistry. Change the proportions or miss an ingredient and you’re likely to end up with something unappetizing that won’t win you any fans. Consider the following 8 ingredients when planning social promotions:

1 – Target Audiences:  Most brands have 3-5 personas or types of customers. Different customer types respond in varying degrees. For example, a Baby Boomer group may be less likely to participate compared to a Millennial group. Often, niche audiences are the most responsive, because they have a very specific interest that is often under-recognized or under-served in the marketplace. Whatever your target audiences, they need to have a connection or potential connection to your brand and business.

2 – Theme:  The “fun and the unusual” makes a difference, especially when it comes to viral passing of your promotion along to others. People participate in promotions that capture their interest. People share what impresses them.

3 – Prizes :  Your promotion is in competition with other promotions and a sea of content on social media. The more valuable the prize, the more likely your promotion will grab attention and have more participants.

4 – Chance to Win:  People need to see the opportunity for them to win. Often, it best to have one big prize with additional, smaller prizes that are easier to win. For photo contests, be sure to have a “voter’s choice” winner if you are using a jury to determine the other winners. This ensures that entrants share and promote their entries, which furthers the reach of your contest and brand in the social graph!

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5 – Design:  Photography and graphics are key for showcasing your opportunity, which both includes grabbing attention and then “closing the deal” and winning participation. Keep your copy short, punchy, and easy-to-understand, which can be difficult to achieve with more complex contests!

6 – Timing and Seasonality: Your contest needs to run when people are online and paying attention. Try to avoid competing with the thick of the winter holiday season, late summer/Labor Day, and other times when fewer people are paying attention to social media. Besides the Christmas season, we’ve also noticed that results will vary around Jewish holidays, especially in the Northeast, South Florida, and regions of California. Test response and plan accordingly.

7 – Simplicity: The harder you make it to participate in your promotion, the fewer entrants you will have. Ideally, people should be able to immediately enter when they see your promotion. When they need to prepare a photo or accomplish another task offline, your response and participation will be much lower. The one way to overcome a more complicated entry effort is to increase the value and number of your prizes and make sure you creative is very compelling!

9 – Promotion: You might have an exciting promotion with lots of potential, but your results will be limited by who knows that your promotion is going on. Getting the word out to qualified prospects is an absolute must! You’ve created the destination; now send send people to participate. Strategic Facebook and other social media advertising is key, but please be aware that targeting is critical.

You can and should also promote the contest/game with a custom graphic post and link to your Timeline, by email, by print (if applicable), and on your website with a banner or similar message.

10 – Targeting: Choosing the best target audiences to send to your promotion to is the final key to a successful social media promotion. Anybody would like the chance to win, but you want people that will care about your brand and potentially become customers later!  Your promotions should target existing clients and prospects, as well as people who “look like them.” When these people participate in your promotion, they will like your Facebook page or follow you on another platform. Some promotion types also require and generate email registrations, which can be remarketed to later. (We’ll be covering how social media can grow email lists shortly in another blog.)

Target audiences, theme, prizes, chance to win, design, timing & seasonality, simplicity,  promotion, and targeting – all play a key role in cooking up a successful social media promotion. Optimizing all nine ingredients is the recipe of success!

By Charlie Conard, Senior Social Media Strategist, Social Go To.

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