The contest was super simple. Every time someone retweeted us, they’d be entered to win a $10 Starbucks gift card. I planned ahead and made sure I could just email the gift card, since I didn’t want to deal with actually purchasing and mailing one. The contest lasted one hour, from 12-1pm. I used #RTtoWin
During that hour, I was on Twitter the entire time. I was retweeting others, posting lots of original tweets, liking tweets. No real strategy here, just spent an hour being engaged in the community.
I only had 1 person retweet within the allotted hour. I did, however, get 15 new followers. This took our overall following up to 500 which was exciting for me. Many of those followers were other marketing companies, which is good for networking, not so good for making money. But two were potential clients. I made sure to follow those two back and add them to lists to make it easier to stay engaged with them.
Our impressions also increased significantly. The day before, our tweets were getting about 465 impressions. During the contest, they were getting 1,359 impressions. That’s an almost 300% increase. Not too shabby.
I think simply engaging in the community for an hour straight was more effective than the contest itself. While I don’t think it would be worth it to do this every day, I definitely see value in doing it once or twice a week.
I’ve gotten pretty good at using effective hashtags that get the attention of our target audience. I will continue to use those AND increase the use of photos. Readers, I didn’t use a single photo until 45 minutes into the contest. HUGE FAIL! I should have been tweeting photos from the beginning.
What I’ll do better next time
I think I need to give the contest a little more time. Perhaps a 12-5pm time frame. If that doesn’t work, I’ll try the morning. But I definitely don’t think an hour was enough. I also think I need to promote the contest ahead of time and create a unique hashtag to pique the interest of our followers.
I’m about to read an article from my favorite social media marketing gurus, Social Media Examiner, about how to effectively run a Twitter contest. I’m sure they will give me some more ideas of ways to improve next time. I plan on holding another contest next week so stay tuned!
We’ve got some pretty brilliant clients here at One Step. As I was browsing Twitter the other day there were several tweets that caught my eye. I’m sharing them with you to give you some inspiration for your 140 character marketing messages. Not on Twitter? Keep reading anyways. These tips can be used across a variety of communication channels and under every tweet, I give you an adaption and show you how you can communicate the same information through different venues.
Remind people who you are
Every once in a while, it’s a good idea to remind your sphere of influence who you are and what you do! This simple reminder will often generate a referral or repeat business. Edie Israel and her team do this by tweeting a simple video that explains the basics of their business. Its about 30 seconds long and just discusses the highlights. It’s not meant to be a listing presentation, its simply meant to remind their followers what they do, where they do it and how they can help. Videos like this can be shared across all social media networks, in blogs, on websites and through email.
Adaptation: Call some of your past clients and remind them that your still in the business and would love to help them or one of their friends or family members. You can also send a personalized letter on branded stationery.
Share Local News
If you have a local business, such as a real estate business, it’s a good idea to keep your audience informed about local happenings. Twitter’s fast paced communication style makes it perfect for sharing the most up to date news. Renee West does an excellent job of making her clients aware of breaking local news, and she does this by sharing articles form local news sources.
Adaptation: You could send text alerts to people when breaking news is happening in the community. Just make sure you have permission from them to text them, and make sure you are texting people who actually live in the community where news is happening.
Give a shoutout
Social media is meant to connect people, and what better way to connect with someone than by complimenting them in front of your social media audience? You can congratulate a client, give a review of product or service received from a vendor, or show your support for a coworker. Ashlie DuCros kills two birds with one stone by giving a shout out on Facebook and then sharing it through Twitter. Use hashtags and twitter handles to grab the attention of whoever you are giving a shout out to, and maybe they’ll return the favor.
Adaptation: People love to see their name in print! If you have a printed newsletter that you send out, make a regular habit of saying positive things to people in your sphere, especially if they receive your newsletter. You can also use variable data to create an entire direct mail campaign based on shoutouts.
Share pertinent information about your industry
One of the best ways to build trust with potential clients is to establish yourself as an expert in the industry. Make a regular habit of sharing accurate industry information that you know your clients will find useful and interesting. Sharing from reliable sources is great, but you also need to be sharing information that comes directly from you! Share your thoughts on articles, original articles written by you, podcasts and videos.
Adaptation: Find speaking engagements and events where you can share your expertise. If you can’t find one, create one. Rent a banquet room, offer some free snacks and invite people to come hear you speak on a relevant topic.
Promote a product or event
Sometimes in our attempts to be super creative and different, we forget the basics of marketing. We market to sell things! Don’t be afraid to do what the Geronsins did in this tweet and share your product!
Adaptation: New products, services and events usually need to be marketed across multiple channels. In addition to posting to social media, send an eblast to your clients and a direct mail piece to your target audience.
Share a personal story
When it comes to mixing business and personal communication, I like to follow the 80/20 rule. On your business communication channels, your messaging should be 80% business and 20% personal. This tweet by Aaron Zapata is a great example of effectively sharing a personal story over a business communication channel. He kept it simple, people like to know what’s going on in your life but don’t need your whole life story. He kept it modest and appropriate, no topless drinking photos. And he included a photo, which is always popular with audiences.
Adaptation: Instagram, Facebook and Google+ are great channels to share personal stories and photos. But, if you feel posts like this are still too personal, you can simply communicate personal things as they relate directly to your business. Photos of you and your coworkers at a conference, sharing an anecdote about something that happened at the office, and your personal feelings and opinions about current events are all great ways to connect with your audience on a more personal level.
Gather around, friends, and let me tell you a little Twitter story.
I use a program called NeedTagger that notifies me when people tweet using certain key words. Last week I got an email notifying me that someone had tweeted about business cards. The tweet read:
“I actually won one of those “drop your business cards into the bowl for a free lunch” things. Who would have thought!?”
Normally, I wouldn’t respond to this sort of tweet. I’m looking for tweets from people who want to buy business cards, that way I can tweet them back and promote our business. However, I was super curious as to where this guy won a free lunch. So I tweeted back:
“Sweet. Where did you win lunch from?”
To which he replied:
“Teddy’s Deli, located in Laguna Hills. I see you are close by, definitely should give them a shot!”
Now, I’ve always been a sucker for a good deli. And being 3 months pregnant has made the sandwich cravings even crazier. I’m like Joey from Friends. Just give me a sandwich and I’m happy. So of course I looked up Teddy’s Deli online and WOW! Their food looks delicious. I will be making a trip to that deli shortly.
So what’s the moral of the story? To show you that social media networking and marketing often work in unexpected ways. Neither I nor the guy I was tweeting gained any sort of professional benefit our twitter exchange, but Teddy’s Deli sure did. Although the deli made no effort to reach out to me via Twitter, the excellent service they provided to one customer was communicated via Twitter to a potential customer. That exchange will get me through the door, and if their products are as good as their pictures claim, I too will become a loyal customer.
While a lot of our social impact is a direct result of what we do on social media, there are times when social media helps us out in ways we don’t even know. It’s simply another avenue for people connect, exchange ideas and make recommendations. You’ll be talked about on social media whether you prompt it or not. Make sure you’re providing excellent products and services so those conversations are positive ones.