November 21, 2016 4columns

A New Spin on Social Media Marketing

If you missed Part 1 of this series, make sure to start here. For the rest of you—Let’s recap. In Part 1 we discussed that if statistics are true—social media contests increase engagement, build trust and brand loyalty with consumers, and create revenue opportunities that otherwise would not be created—then why not twist the concept of a social media contest into the entirety of your social media strategy?

We want to propel your discovery of how to create a social media strategy that carries the same methods of a social media contest. A strategy that produces exponential sustainability and ensures that your increased engagement does not fall to the wayside.

So how could this work and who does this well?
It’s all about utilizing user-generated content (UGC). This involves knowing your audience, connecting with them on a personal level, and letting your consumers drive your success.

One example is Coca Cola’s Share A Coke campaign.share-a-coke-with-1
They knew their audience. Why? People love hearing their own name more than anything else. Not only do people love their name, but many also love being able to express themselves and share an experience with others. The “Share a Coke” campaign harnesses one key to marketing—it connected with people on a personal level. Coke banked on the idea that people find personalization downright irresistible. Not only that, but the generosity factor and gift-giving dynamic that came with it was ingenious. This allowed consumers to feel connected to the brand, while also providing an avenue to connect with those they love. Consumers were then inclined to post on various social media platforms—Coke let consumers take the wheel and drive the campaign’s success. “Share A Coke” led to a 2.5 percent increase in sales and made #shareacoke become a No. 1 global trending topic on social media.

This member-owned co-op understands the beauty of user-generated content, and one could argue that REI is king of UGC. Their media market strategy revolves around users engaging with REI by posting photos in line with their current hashtag campaigns.

Almost every photo on REI’s Instagram feed is a photo posted by one their followers. Holding a poster of REI’s recent slogan “Will you go out with me?” while perched in a beautiful landscape, Instagram user @Grraceluna engaged with the company’s #OptOutside campaign and was recently featured on REI’s feed. This is REI’s go-to strategy for increasing engagement and developing their brand. And quite frankly, it’s brilliant.screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-12-58-16-pm

This ice cream shop in Fort Worth, Texas, has over 12K followers on Instagram, simply by owning the social media + UGC strategy.screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-12-59-10-pm

Melt’s bright yellow wall outside their store provides the perfect opportunity for a never-ending photo contest. The wall encourages customers to get “creative” with their photos, and Melt admits that they strategically create the above diamond pattern showcasing follower’s photos at their shop. Melt feeds our innate competitive nature by encouraging creativity in order to be featured on their feed.

And boy do customers get creative. It’s a BIG DEAL to get on Melt’s Instagram feed. People drive from all over to take a picture against the infamous yellow wall, increasing Melt’s revenue and reach by miles, literally. But not only that, if the customers do get chosen to be posted onto the feed, Melt then makes their photo into a cute little print and along with a thank you note, sends it to said user. Talk about increasing brand loyalty and trust. You could say these guys are doing social media marketing right.

What would it look like to take your company’s social media market to the next level?

Opting to integrate the concepts of a social media contest into your social strategy is a win-win for you, and your consumers. It’s a great way to both increase reach & revenue outside what you’ve previously imagined. Anyone would melt for that.

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