It’s been really interesting to see how small and medium size businesses have come to use social media. Facebook Pages are the norm these days. Twitter profiles are not uncommon. Instagram feeds are popping up everywhere.
But 95% of what I see is still just broadcasting. It’s social media, but it’s being used as a one-way communication medium.
Where’s the socializing? Where’s the engagement?
Here are three campaign ideas you can use to put some social kick into your social media strategy.
Now, for all of these, the goal is to get people to put a little time into something and share the results online. You’ll need to motivate this behavior somehow. Prizes are the simplest option, but people can be motivated in other ways: exclusivity and social standing for instance.
If participating in your campaign can get them exclusive access to something that’s not available otherwise, that can be a good motivator.
By social standing, I just mean making people feel cool. Public recognition of a winner can motivate folks, especially if they’re winning because of something they created.
1. The Photo Contest
The photo contest is pretty straightforward. People submit photos, winners are selected, and prizes are awarded.
Make it super social by requiring entries to be submitted via Twitter and Instagram, with a specific hashtag. The hashtag helps you advertise the promotion, but also makes it easy for you to collate the entries by running a quick search.
Pick a theme that complements your business and set some criteria for how winners will be selected. Is it a contest for the best photo, or is it the content that makes a winner–like the coolest costume or best looking plate of food?
For a variation, make it a group endeavor. It’s not a contest with a discrete winner. Instead, if the criteria is met before the deadline, everyone gets something.
I recently saw this used to great effect in a Kickstarter campaign. They had the usual bonuses that would be added if certain levels of funding were achieved, but they also had a bonus that could only be unlocked if someone submitted a photo of 100 people all wearing cat ears.
Someone pulled it off, too, and there was a lot of buzz going on as a result.
2. The Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt can be really simple or really complex.
A simple example would be asking people to answer questions after watching a video containing the answers.
A complex version might require people to scan QR codes in your store and search for clues hidden on your website.
Make sure it’s social by leading people through a step where they need to post on your Facebook page, comment on a certain post, or tweet something to get the next clue in a private message.
3. The Trivia Contest
It’s trivia… the trick is to keep it interesting: new questions each week; winners entered into a drawing for a prize.
Make it social by giving people extra entries in the drawing for sharing the contest on social media. And, of course, use social media to announce when there are new questions, who the winners are, etc.
A variation would be something like NCAA brackets. Instead of answering trivia questions, have folks make predictions. Be sure to make a big show of the progress–announcing your final four, for instance–on social media.
If you’ve run a promotion like any of these before, you know as well as I do why small and midsize businesses don’t do them more often. They take a lot of work.
If you’d love to run an engaging social promotion, but just don’t think you have the resources to pull it off, send me a message about what you have in mind. You’ll be surprised at how affordable this can be when you work with someone who has the right tools and experience.