This post is a guest post by Nan Gibbons
Social media is the hub for all things — well — social.
If you’ve seen the movie The Social Network, you might remember the segment where Zuckerberg first pitches the idea of The Facebook. He rants that he wants to take the entire social experience of college and put it online.
Who knows really why? The point is, it’s been done, and then some. There’s something about browsing the engagement photos of people you barely knew 10 years ago, or about sending a friend request to someone you met in passing at the condiment line at the ballpark that sparks excitement in people’s lives. We’ll just leave it at that.
How Companies Can Take Advantage of Social Media
Not long after people got used to sharing their every move with friends and semi-strangers, online, businesses realized that getting in on the action was key. Though it seemed weird at first to “Like” your favorite Macaroni and Cheese brand on Facebook, it soon became second nature.
One step further than just liking our favorite brands, we soon realized that consumers stood to gain from this enterprise, just as businesses did too.
For example, Blue Nile’s recent Facebook campaign, Are You Man Enough, challenged men to enter a short video or essay that tells why they are man enough to propose to their girlfriends in front of a large crowd, during the Nasdaq opening on Black Friday, to be precise.
Blue Nile, an online retailer of engagement rings and diamond rings is no stranger to dazzle and sparkle, but challenging guys on Facebook takes the show to a whole new level.
Social media campaigns are a smart move for companies of all sizes. In addition to driving traffic to the site or social media page, consumers are actually interacting with the brand in a positive way. Consumers are likely to promote the campaign to others, check back for more chances to win or stay in the loop for updates from the company.
Why It Works
People love social media, especially to interact with brands, and the statistics show it. Seventy-four percent of consumers look to social networks to help inform their purchasing decisions and 53% of Twitter users recommend companies or products in 140 characters or less. Even better, 48% of those who recommend a product end up buying it down the road.
All of those numbers essentially mean more engagement and ultimately more sales for your brand. Customers are using the Web now more than ever to research the products they want to buy, and this trend will only continue.
Using social media to promote your brand, and running special campaigns to drive interest and give away a few freebies could mean more bucks for you and your company down the road.
How To Get Involved
Depending on the size of your company, you might not be able to give away a prize as large as Blue Nile’s. If you’re a smaller business, try doing a small weekly giveaway instead of just one huge prize. People will be more likely to check back in and stay involved for the long term. You can also offer discounts or coupons if you can’t afford to give away freebies. Make sure the coupons are good, and relevant for the season. Avoid using spammy tactics, like having consumers post links on other pages. This will reflect poorly on your company. If your campaign is good on its own, people will share. That’s what social media’s all about, after all.