Building a community of social media is tricky. You have to play to their tune. And if a big social media network changes the rules then your lead generation, traffic and sales can plummet. In fact they can shut you down… no questions asked.
So it’s okay to take advantage of social media, but be careful, and don’t rely on it. Placing all your eggs in one basket is risky.
Mike Stelzner recently interviewed DJ Waldow about the synergy between email and social. DJ explains well why marketers should use both channels. He uses social media, but he explains that if Facebook decided to change their terms of service, then the connection with your friends and followers could disappear.
Even Facebook uses email, they have over 100 email notifications.
Use social but don’t rely on it
- If your business model is about building a community, you should not rely on social networks solely, but you will want to own a platform, like a blog.
- If your business model is about selling goods to customers, you will want to find the shortest way to reach them. In business that is still with email.
Email addresses stick with you. You should work on having more and more potential customers on your email list who you can engage with and convert to paying customers.
Let’s look at how to integrate social media and email marketing.
#1. Turn fans to email subscribers with contests and sweepstakes
Contests, sweepstakes and giveaways are perfect to motivate people to sign up to your list, to turn fans to email subscribers. At these promotions the condition of entry is to give your name and email address.
This toy shop is running a sweepstakes every weekend, where kids and parents are on Facebook.
Let’s see which promotion type is good for what.
#2. Use sweepstakes for email capture and lead generation
Sweepstakes are chance based promotions when one or more lucky entrant(s) can win. As the barrier to entry is low, these kind of promotions are great for lead generation.
Based on how people enter here are the different types of sweepstakes.
- Draw – entrants enter the promotion with a single click. They just need to leave their contact details.
- Poll – entrants need to answer a question in order to enter. They need to give their opinion that help you to learn more about them.
- Quiz – entrants need to answer a question correctly to win. It encourages them to learn more about your company, so it increases engagement.
According to Antavo’s stats (a contest and sweepstakes platform for Facebook and mobile I am a co-founder of) 46% of those who are running sweepstakes choose a quiz.
This fashion company uses a poll to gather email addresses.
Some tips for sweepstakes
#1. Offer multiple grand prizes with lower value
We see a lot of promotions here at Antavo, and interestingly sweepstakes with multiple, but lower value prizes perform well. The logic behind this may be that if the grand prize is too high-value, entrants feel to have less chance to win, because they think such high-value gand prize would attract a lot of entrants.
#2. Choose the grand prize smart
The grand prize is one of the best filters when running a promotion. Give away something relevant to your business, the best is if you offer your own product or service. Never give away an iPhone, unless you are Apple.
#3. Always use incentives to share
Motivate people to spread the word about your promotion – if they invite friends, they can receive bonus entry points. If you don’t use such incentives, your promotion will not go viral. Why you ask? I would never want to lower my chances of winning by inviting my friends!
Let your subscribers be motivated – it’s essential for your sweepstakes to go viral.
Use contests for accelerating engagement
Contests are “skill-based” promotions – the fans and followers are invited to write an essay, upload a picture or a video. Entrants will ask friends to vote on their uploaded entry, so contests are a perfect way to reach the friends of fans.
There are different type of contests, here you are.
- Photo contest – entrants should upload a photo to enter, and ask friends to vote.
- Essay contest – entrants may share their story in a specific topic, and ask friends to vote.
- Video contest - (this is the most engaging as entrants need to work a lot with videos) entrants need to upload videos to enter, and ask friends to vote.
Sunsilk is running a photo contest. Entrants ask friends to vote.
Tips for contests
#1. The winner should never be the entry with the most votes
It’s quote unmotivating for entrants if someone gathers a lot of votes so they will loose motivation and stop promoting their own entry. You should include “luck” to the winner selection process, and pick winner(s) from the top 5 voted entries.
#2. Draw a winner among voters
If you want a big buzz around your promotion, consider drawing a prize among voters too. Just think about America’s Got Talent. If you vote on your favorite you can win something too.
#3. Should work on mobile!
This one is especially important at photo contests, as these days people use their mobile to take pictures. (I don’t even have a photo camera.) It’s 60 % chance that people will see your contest on mobile, and this number will just grow. So let fans enter right away with the accessibility to upload photos from their mobile, or take a picture immediately.
Mobile compatibility is key in social.
The inverse relationship between engagement and lead generation
Both sweepstakes and contests can be used for lead generation, but sweepstakes are better.
There is an inverse relationship between engagement and lead generation.
- You can generate a lot of email addresses if it’s easy to enter the promotion. If the entry is easy, the engagement is lower.
- If entering the promotion requires creating content (taking a picture, shooting a short video, sharing a story), then the barrier to entry is higher, so the engagement will be higher. Though, you will receive less email addresses.
What do you think?
Have you ever used contests and sweepstakes to gather email subscribers? Are you building an email list or are you relying on Facebook?
Look forward to hearing your stories, insights and feedback in the comments below
Guest author: Zsuzsa Szabo is the founder of Antavo.com
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