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What types of promotions work best on social media?

Wednesday, 5 December 2012 | By Scott Robinson

This week’s Secret Soloist is answered by Scott Robinson, director of WA-based digital marketing agency Jack in the Box.

 

Social media is really all about your reach. Just like any other form of media, you need to analyse how many people you're going to reach, who they are and what turns them on.

 

You know the number of people that are watching a TV program and you know how many newspapers are distributed. Likewise with social media, you know how many fans or followers you have, so your reach is very easy to identify.

 

Facebook in particular also has fantastic statistics on the reach of every post, so you can also gain some post-analysis as well.

 

Your reach is important because you need to balance the time and energy you're putting into the offer or competition against the effect it's likely to have. There is no use spending 10 hours developing something that reaches 50 fans.

 

In Australia, I would hazard a guess that most small enterprises would struggle to have enough Twitter followers to warrant the media being the main source of any kind of offer. It may trail onto your other marketing but the penetration is quite small and it appears most users follow larger organisations and interests rather than small businesses.

 

Facebook has recently introduced “Offers” as a part of their infrastructure. While not available to all users, it will be soon, and this is possibly the most ideal solution for providing offers to your fans. In-depth information about this can be found here.

 

Also be aware of Facebook’s competition rules. I've witnessed many users conduct “Like” style competitions where people will like a photo to win a competition. Facebook has specific outlines on this type of activity and more information can be found here under "Part E".

 

Crucial to all of this is your actual offer.

 

As a marketer, I'm not a fan of the concept of discounting.

 

Price is the lowest common denominator and, as such, your marketing should always be looking to attract buyers to your differentials and the features that are unique to your business.

 

The offer needs to be engaging and it needs to lead to a key objective. What do you actually want from the activity? More fans? Online orders? Awareness? Physical traffic?

 

Ultimately, you need to have a measurable objective of running any competition – online or offline.

 

As an example, we recently had a client approach us about getting people to certain areas within a large store. Our solution was to run a voucher giveaway (supported by suppliers) where customers had to find keywords within the store and SMS them in for their chance to win. This not only drove them to areas of the store that we wanted but we also built a database.

 

Any offer should never be just about simply “putting something out there”. Think strategically and ask yourself: “Does the medium I'm going to use reach enough people, what are my objectives and how will I measure the effectiveness of the activity?”