If you build it, they will not just come. Don't be taken by the Field of Dreams Fallacy (the idea that if you build it, people will come)!
A successful social media contest or major promotional campaign takes careful planning. We always tell our clients to plan, prepare, and prepare for the unplanned. One of the most important parts of planning that is often overlooked is communications. Having a solid communications plan to get the word out on your promotion is key for success!
Putting Together Your Communications Plan
To get started with your communications plan, map out your promotion's timeline. For example, if you're running a contest, when does it open and close and when do other rounds like voting and judging open and close? You'll want to line up your communications to match your key timeline events. And when you're ready to go, you'll want to use our messaging tool to automatically send of trigger-based posts to your Facebook and Twitter accounts like when your contest is open to votes.
Mari Smith did a great job of updating her Facebook Cover Photo to boost interest and activity throughout her contest.
Below is a list of 17 touch points you can include in your communications plan. You'll want to do some or all of these things depending on the scale of your promotion and the size of your budget.
A good goal is to have every person who takes the time to visit your website, find you on social media, or visit your store know about your live promotion. However you make that happen is up to you!
Online Communications (1-6)
- LIMITED $: Your website (landing page, banner ad or other advertisement)
- LIMITED $: Your blog (dedicated blog posts at key Timeline events like when voting opens)
- LIMITED $: Social media profiles (set up your Facebook Page, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. cover images and details to put the spotlight on your promotion, change at key Timeline events)
- LIMITED $: Company email blasts (send at key Timeline events)
- LIMITED $: Regular social media posts (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc)
- LIMITED $: Employee email signatures (have all employees update their signatures to include a call to action and link to the promotion)
PR Opportunities (7-9)
- LIMITED $: Blogger and influencer outreach
- LIMITED $: Partner communications (make sure that everyone involved is helping to spread the word. How are your promotion sponsors, judges and partners helping to promote the campaign?)
- BIGGER $: Press releases (publish at key Timeline events like at launch)
Paid Online Advertising (10-12)
- LIMITED $: Facebook ads and sponsored posts
- BIGGER $: Other social ads (Google, relevant blogs and websites)
- BIGGER $: Twitter promoted tweets
Printed Assets (13-14)
- LIMITED $: In-store advertising (if applicable, create displays and signage to direct people to the promotion, include a call to action and URL to the promotion to your receipts, etc.)
- BIGGER $: Hand-outs (stickers, post cards, handouts, etc.)
Other Tactics (15-17)
- LIMITED $: Events (your team should have hand-outs ready to promote your campaign whenever in the field)
- LIMITED $: Guerrilla marketing (if it suits your brand and promotion, get out in the streets with swag, posters, signage, etc.)
- BIGGER $: Traditional media ads (including billboards, newspaper, radio and television ads)
What other creative ways do you promote your social media marketing campaigns? Share what works best for you in a comment below or tweet at us @strutta.