Exclusivity is not a new marketing strategy. It has always been a friend of both marketers and consumers. Whether it is a service or a product, exclusivity has the ability to make one feel special, appreciated and belonged. With the increasing importance of having an online social presence, marketers have been asking this question:
“How do I invoke that very same feeling online?”
5 Ideas for Creating Social Only Exclusives
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Idea #1: Facebook Fan Gates
This is perhaps one of the most popular ways business and brands are capitalizing on Facebook today and it’s a great way to grow your presence online – but it isn’t as simple as just placing a welcome message (where most do).
Consider describing the benefits of “Liking” your page, what can followers expect and a call to action. Even better, place a Facebook widget to show friends that have already “Liked” the page (it gives them another reason to “Like” you).
Source of example: Leneys
Idea #2: FourSquare
While this location based app may not seem like a popular choice for businesses out there (especially in Malaysia), FourSquare do offer great promotional functions for both product or service related businesses. How about a free dessert for every new check-in? Or a free basket of fries for those who check-in with 5 friends? Or a complimentary cold drink on a hot day? A free hair cut on the 5th check-in?
There is really no limit to what you can offer so be creative! Consumers love getting rewarded so do that and earn yourselves in their good books and positive reviews. Note: FourSquare also allows users to leave tips and share their location with their friends so that’s free publicity!
Idea #3: Special Fan Features on Facebook
No, this is not a new Facebook functionality but it is surely a great way to get your customers involved. Oreo allows its fans to submit pictures of themselves with Oreos to be randomly featured on Oreo’s Facebook page. This not only gets your customers involved but that feeling to be featured on a brand’s profile photo, it’s definitely something to shout about.
Idea #4: Digital Vouchers / Coupons
Vouchers are a great way to drive online visits into offline sales. On top of that, online vouchers saves you the cost of printing AND physical distribution with a higher potential reach and conversion rate.
Think about it, excited customers may be sharing the digital voucher with their friends across platforms – that’s free publicity, something printed vouchers may not be able to achieve. McDonalds Malaysia did gave out a whole bunch of digital vouchers in 2011, giving away Double Cheeseburgers to Mc Chickens on a Buy 1 Free 1 campaign. The result?
Customers queuing up for the offer around this outlet
While at it, sometimes it is also good to consider having something in return for the vouchers – it may be a simple database collection system to create your own email list or even a forced sharing mechanism (see #5 below).
Idea #5: Facebook Sharing
One of the biggest advantages of social networks is that it allows you to tap into the networks of others – and that can be done through sharing. Not only this can bring about visibility, it also promotes greater interaction and participation as sharing is essentially word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing.
Pizza Hut launched a campaign on Facebook allowing fans to share 5 other spots on their new product. When all spots are filled, all 6 takes home free cinnamon sticks upon a specified purchase.
Use sharing with caution though – it may turn your customers off. You do not want to make it too complicated just so they can redeem a free drink or a 10% off at your outlet. On the other hand, you do not want to leave yourself without benefit too so find the balance between the procedures and the freebie.
Have you come across a unique marketing campaign on social media? We would love to hear them!
With the adoption and acceptance of social media among businesses and consumers continue to grow, it is likely that your business already has a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter handle, a YouTube channel or a Google+ page. That isn’t bad at all but let’s face the fact – it is getting a little crowded on social networking platforms, yes?
Your competitors are on it and perhaps your small business seems to be on the losing end when compared to your larger counterparts. Alternatively, maybe you’re raking in the “Likes” or the “Follows” and you’re thinking that you’ve succeeded in becoming social. Either way, you thought wrong and here’s why:
Social media is not just a game for the large in size.
Unlike certain sports such as American football where physique does matter, social media is a fair game. It also favors small businesses a lot. And by that I really mean, a LOT. Sure, your competitors may be a digit away in the number of ‘Likes’ compared to you but that doesn’t mean they’re doing it right simply because:
1. likes / followers can be bought (very affordable too!),
2. their fans aren’t responding to them (no conversations),
3. their page is deprived of updates (a ghost town), or worse,
4. their page is populated with updates that aren’t theirs (spam)
So, are they successful now? Probably not.
The thing is, you as a business owner or a marketer should be looking out for opportunities to integrate the power of social media into existing promotional avenues, or to create new ones.
Here are three (3) integration points of social media to get you thinking on your next marketing campaign:
Social Media Attribute #1: Networks
What value do social media networks have if you cannot build your own networks on them? Your marketing campaign should incorporate ways that can assist you in growing your networks whether it is on Facebook or Twitter, it is always good to have an established network BUT, don’t stop there.
Take it a step further to build your database by understanding your followers by collecting more information such as their email address to create an audience profile or just to keep in touch with them. Interestingly, research shows that consumers that follow your page / profile DO intend to hear more from you so use this privilege to your advantage. Don’t abuse (spam) them!
Integration ideas: current e-newsletters, in-store promotional standees, press advertisements, roadshows / exhibitions, opt-in registrations, seminars / talks / workshops, pre-releases, product launches and etc.
Social Media Attribute #2: Conversations
Building your own network on social media platforms organically can be tough, and it is an on-going process. One of the key drivers of social media is that it allows you (or your business) to be social, and that means be conversational. Many businesses out there think their job ends at amassing “Likes” but the question is: “What’s next?”.
Get conversations going with your followers. Ask questions, brainstorm for ideas, leave wishes on their profiles, share photos with them… and the list goes on. The trick is to be human and talk as a human, not a corporate figure.
Integration ideas: FAQ page, website / blog (via comments), festive greetings, follow-up content (from other advertising sources), polls for consumer feedback and etc.
Social Media Attribute #3: Sharing
Your next marketing campaign should be something that has the ability to tap into the existing networks of your fans (or personal friends if you just got started) to get them to reach into their own networks. It can be something that they can easily share or actively participate. It could be a simple contest, a video, fun facts or even some behind the scenes action behind your business.
However, before going into the idea of creating something viral – let me also say that you cannot create something viral. Because viral just happens. It cannot be created on purpose. Most creators of viral content (including videos and games) often say that they did not expect it to become viral.
Integration ideas: in-store promotions, website / blog, roadshows / exhibitions, mini games, videos, contests, seminars / talks / workshops, pre-releases, product launches and etc.
Are you ready to kick start your next marketing campaign with social media?
Keep the above in mind and you should be getting on right track in your marketing plans.
Activate your fans, don’t just collect them like baseball cards. – Jay Baer, Convince & Convert
OpenMinds consists of a young and dynamic team of strategists based in Malaysia, specialising in social media marketing and analytics for brands across diverse industries including retail, F&B, banking & finance, education and more. Find out more about us.