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Hitting the Sweet Spot with Your Next Social Media Contest

Posted on Apr 23, 2013 by James Trumbly

Everybody loves a good contest, right? For the customer, the contest is all about the prize; for your business, it’s all about the new contacts you make and future marketing opportunities. Let’s take a look at five steps to hitting the sweet spot for both parties.

Determine Your Goal
When the contest is over, what will you have to show for it? Potential goals might include growing your fan or follower base, increasing click-throughs to your website, boosting conversion rates, creating awareness of a new product, getting customer testimonials, and encouraging likes and shares on your Facebook page. Social media makes it possible to accomplish goals far beyond the contact-gathering efforts of the business-card-in-a-fishbowl, so think outside the box (bowl).Start with something new and check .

Create a Plan
Best Instagram photos, video testimonials, creative pictures of a product in use, and content creation for your website all make great social media contest ideas. If you’re looking to grow your contact list, a simple click-and-share contest may help you accomplish your goal. Make sure your idea will actually help you reach the goal you determined in Step One.

Make the Prize Desirable
The quality of the prize should be relative to the amount of effort participants had to exert. A musician I know is currently running a Facebook contest in which participants send in recordings of themselves and compete for a chance to win a CD recording session. That’s a great incentive designed to reach out to serious musicians. If he wanted to merely increase the number of likes on his Facebook page, he could run a contest with one of his own CDs as the prize. Smaller effort, smaller incentive.

Spread the Word
Social media creates the opportunity for your contest to go viral if you package it right. Offer the right prize and the right level of engagement, and people will want to share the chance to win with their friends. You can also include an option to share your link as part of the entry process. Promote the contest on as many social channels as possible, targeting your existing fans first.

Announce the Winner
Don’t forget to showcase the winner at the end of the contest. It’s not only a feather in the winner’s cap, but also another chance for you to interact with all those new contacts.

Social media contests should be easy to enter and easy to share. In order for your contest to go viral, you need a solid plan, a desirable incentive, and a plan for getting the word out. Oh, and if you’re giving away an iPad, be sure and send me an invite.


Using Surveys to Dig Deep With Your Target Audience

Posted on Mar 21, 2013 by James Trumbly

We’ve all gotten those receipts from big box stores encouraging us to fill out an online survey for a chance to win a $5,000 gift card. But how many of us have actually taken the time to fill one out? I’m guessing not many. The chances of winning are too slim to have much motivational power. But the fault isn’t with the survey idea itself. You can use surveys to find out what makes your target audience tick and you don’t have to give away $5,000 to do it. Here’s how:

Re-Think Your Incentives
Nobody sits around looking for surveys to fill out; you’ve got to make it worth their while. And while a huge prize for one lucky winner sounds cool, the truth is that smaller incentives offered to every respondent can generate more survey completions. If you own a restaurant, give away a free milkshake for every survey turned in. If you own a retail store or online business, offer a 10% discount, a free consultation, or a coupon code.

Ask the Right Questions
It’s easy to gather information about demographics and shopping behavior. But getting a look inside the heads of your customers can be a little trickier. The key is in asking questions that require more than a yes or no answer. Some potentially revealing questions include:

  • Who would you shop with if our company didn’t exist?
    This is a great way to find out who your competitors are. You may be surprised at the answers you receive.
  • How did you hear about us first?
    Find out which marketing methods generate the most business—Facebook, email, print advertising, direct mail or something else. Then use that information to determine where additional efforts should be concentrated.
  • How have we made your life easier or better?
    Find out if you are accomplishing your business goals and if your UVP is actually impacting your target audience the way you intend it to.
  • Why did you decide to buy from us?
    This question can help you dig a little deeper into the factors that motivate your target audience, even more so than asking how they heard about you.

Promote Your Survey
Once you have designed a survey that asks the right questions and offers the right incentives, promote it everywhere you can. Use your Facebook page, blog, Twitter account, email subscriber list, website, and any other online marketing avenues like Circulo Marketing available to you. The more responses you receive, the better you’ll understand what motivates the majority of your customers.

Surveys provide an excellent avenue for looking into the minds of your best customers. By offering the right incentives, asking the right questions, and promoting your survey as much as possible, you’ll gain valuable information that can help you take your business to the next level.