Maintaining regularly updated and informative social networking sites is essential to the success of your business. These sites are some of the easiest and most efficient ways to reach consumers – both current and potential. Networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have proven to be some of the most useful resources for small business owners, as they allow executives to interact with fans and followers.
While your brand may maintain an active presence on these platforms, it may not be leveraging individual features to the best of its ability. Businesses across the U.S. have found ways to not only take advantage of the resources provided by social networks, but also convert sales leads from innovative and unique strategies.
If your brand is searching for ways to spice up its social strategy, consider the four following ways other companies have seen success in the past.
1. Rewards for retweets
Marriott Hotels, one of the largest hotel chains in the country, recently unveiled a rewards program for its loyal customers. The PlusPoints initiative provides perks to social media users who regularly interact with the brand on these sites. USA Today reported that participants who enroll in PlusPoints receive rewards for retweets on Twitter, checking in on Facebook or posting pictures on Instagram. Rich Toohey, the vice president of Marriott Rewards, explained the new initiative has been successful in reaching younger buyers, such as those in the Millennial generation.
“As we started to think about new ways to allow the next generation of traveler to connect with … and participate in rewards, we thought this was an interesting idea,” Toohey told USA Today. “It was a cool opportunity for them to take advantage of and participate by doing what they’re already doing.”
2. Unique rewards for loyal fans
Creative giveaways have always played an influential role in converting new consumers. One brand that saw considerable success in its promotional efforts is Maes Beer, one of the most popular brands in Belgium. In 2013, the company announced on its Facebook that it would be handing out a barrel of free beer to any person whose last name was Maes – the third most common last name – and who liked the brand on the site. However, before distributing the free beer, consumers were required to set up an event where they could share the drink with at least 20 of their friends, Creative Guerrilla Marketing reported. In just one day, the brand saw more than 75,000 new likes – more than tripling the number of preexisting fans.
3. Charitable causes inspire consumers
One social media trend that has seen a great deal of traction recently is the Ice Bucket Challenge. As part of this activity, people are required to dump a bucket of ice water on their heads to help raise awareness for ALS. Those who do not post a video must donate to the charity of their choosing. Since the trend came to be at the end of July, it has exploded in popularity, with famous celebrities and respected business professionals jumping on the bandwagon. Showing your consumers that your brand is willing to donate to a charitable cause is key for connecting to new followers, as they can see that your company has a genuine interest in their well-being.
4. Giveaways are fodder for followers
An effective and easy way to both reach more followers and convert consumers is by adopting promotional giveaways that provide people with a tangible product in return for their virtual interactions. There are two simple ways your brand can adopt this promotional method: It can distribute promotional products to all or some online followers, or it can undertake a larger giveaway to provide just one or two followers with a larger gift.