Tapping the power of social media promotions

Some of the most effective social media content campaigns are promotions. They can extend your reach and further engage consumers. But running promotions is not as easy as it sounds. Content marketing is not about hard-sell advertising, or saturating feeds with too much self-promotion. And regardless of what country you live in, if you choose contests and/or sweepstakes, there is a complex nest of rules to navigate to ensure your promotions are legal. If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up to FAIL

And we’ve seen too many articles on social media promotion FAILS—and from some pretty big players too—like Ring Pop not knowing the laws surrounding their audience, and the infamous McDonalds #bashtag incident of 2012.

Before launching any social media promotion, make sure you know ALL the rules—and then follow them. This includes the laws in your country and the individual social media platform promotion rules. These can vary from site to site and often offer unique compliance and language criteria. (For information on Canadian contest law, check here.)

Aside from the legalities, the strategy of your promotion should touch on the following key points to ensure success:

Goals—s’up? What is your promotion aiming to achieve?

Durationforever and ever, amen? How long will this promotion be available and what’s your end game?

Disclosure—no secrets, please. If there are terms and conditions involved, provide them or a link to them. Let them be known.

Uniqueness—everyone wants to play with a unicorn. Nobody wants to be sold to, and you need to be careful that your promotion doesn’t smell like every other desperate sell out there. Fun should be the name of the game.

Integration—make sharing easy. Collaborate offline and online efforts and go for cross-promotion. Use brand ambassadors, suppliers and vendors to your advantage. (Be careful of the law here when it comes to any paid endorsements and/or testimonial.)

Contingency—for those ‘oops’ moments. It happens; sometimes conversations and promotions don’t go as planned. The ability to change midstream can mean the difference between an uncomfortable blip and a raging PR nightmare.

Promote—let the people know. Share promotion milestones, post samples, along with encouragement for your audience to get involved. Take advantage of paid advertising to drive traffic to your promotion.

Resources—don’t light a fire you can’t control. Promotions can gain a lot of ground quickly. Make sure you have the resources to support the promotion (and handle a growing community) in place prior to launch.

During the reign of the promotion, remember to continue to engage your audiences with non-promotional content. If you are too focused on the promotion you will unwittingly drive engagement and interest away from your brand. Your promotion will be more credible if you continue to be a thought leader that engages their audiences with a variety of engaging content.

To ensure your social media promotion is thoroughly thought through, get additional expert counsel from our team of experts.


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