Our Guide to DATEing: Run a Successful Social Media Promotion

I’m a BIG believer in social media promotions. Why? One: they are fun. Two: they give your audience a chance to bond with you AND your brand. Depending on the type of contest, promotions help increase comments, shares, followers, retweets…the list goes on. They’re relatively easy to put together and, if done properly, you’ll not only see spikes in your engagement numbers, but build a loyal community of followers.

Let’s face it, with all the content being put out in the world, it’s really hard to get the organic engagement you’re looking for. Running a promotion gives a budget-friendly incentive to get your followers engaged with your platforms without being salesy. Plus, if you want to know who’s viewing your pages, promotions inspire your followers to make the first move and reach out. Run a couple promotions, and you’ll know for sure who your loyal followers are.

If you don’t know where to start, here’s my secret guideline: D-A-T-E and seal with it with a K-I-S-S.

First, let’s start with my 4 steps to having a quality D-A-T-E.

1. Do Your Research.

Before you start thought-bubbling the logistics, know your audience. Normally, I would say that defining your goal for a promotion is the first step, but social media and the nature of customers is constantly changing. Don’t get me wrong, having a solid goal is IMPORTANT, but just keep that on your to-do list for now.

Imagine you’re on a first date at Starbucks sipping on a Cinnamon Dolce Latte while getting to know someone: take things slow and spend some time figuring out the type of person you want to CONNECT with. Right now, Get Community is focused on how to market to millennials. Next it’ll be Gen Z, and then who knows? Gen XYZ? If you want to keep up with the times, you have to know your peeps.

I have a client who did extensive research on millennials purchasing homes in their community. They defined these millennials as “connected millennials.” This group of buyers holds a strong affinity towards social connections and cultural diversity, are driven by a desire for a harmonious life, and are motivated to make a positive difference. Understanding what makes your audience tick will bring you closer together and differentiate your brand from your competitors.

2. Assess Your Goals.

Now that you know what your audience will respond to, you can flush out your goal for your promotion. I suggest having one goal that is specific and measurable so that, at the end, you can easily gauge whether or not your promotion was a success.

Is your goal to get more Instagram followers? Host an Instagram promotion. Do you need more engagement on Facebook? Figure out your needs and then go from there.

3. Take Time to Plan.

As you should with almost everything in life, have a plan. Start with the basics like the entry requirements, time frame, rules and conditions, etc. These are the things that ABSOLUTELY need to be defined during the planning process. Check out our steps to creating a contest/giveaway by submitting your email below.

Let’s Connect

Once that part is taken care of, let your creativity run with the wind! Think outside the box! Go as BIG as you can, then present it to your team to find any potential flaws (this way, you’ll know you’re parameters for future promotions). Just like a first date, promotions don’t always go well the first time around. My advice? Try a variety of tactics to find what works!

Maybe you thought you had a great idea and you didn’t receive the participation you hoped for. Maybe one platform works better than the other. Maybe your audience wasn’t a fan of the Southwest Airlines gift card you set as the prize (cough, cough). It happens. Now, back to the drawing board.

Tweak it until you get it right, and, like finding the right person, you’ll just know.

4. Execute

Now that you have a solid plan, roll up your sleeves, go all in, and BELIEVE in your idea!

FINALLY, here’s where that kiss comes in, and by K-I-S-S, I mean: Keep it simple, stupid.

Gosh, I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent trying to draw up some extravagant promotion that required 1,000 steps to “enter for a chance to WIN a prize!” In theory, they would’ve been awesome ideas, BUT, no one but myself would’ve gone through all those steps for a $100 gift card. Thanks to my work fam for letting me know gently that my ideas are great, however, the likelihood of the average citizen completing my ridiculous task list is an extremely low percentage.

So what are my tips for keeping it simple?

  1. No more than 3 steps max to enter. Anything above that is asking for ZERO participation.
  2. Gift cards are a person’s best friend. Whoever said gift cards aren’t a thoughtful gift is WRONG! And in my opinion, an Amazon gift card is the way to go.
  3. Don’t overthink it. Like I said, promotions are supposed to be fun and a way for you to engage with your fans.
  4. Don’t overthink, overdrink. ($5 Starbucks gift card goes out to the first person to comment on which TV show this line is from!).
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