April 30, 2021 Amy Chung
Just in the past year, we’re looking at approximately 200,000 small businesses being shut down due to COVID. It’s hard as a small business owner/entrepreneur enduring the crisis, but many have turned to social media eCommerce to help boost sales. There’s no question about it – it’s a game changer for 2021.
Everyone is on social media now-a-days. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Triller… wait what’s Triller? It’s not too difficult to get your brand awareness out there, engage with your customers, and considerably more. There are so many start-up companies that run a contest and sweepstake on their launch day because who doesn’t like free stuff? It’s also a brilliant strategy as it creates more leads, promotes your brand, and increment sales. Not to mention it will help you grow your business as there will be people who will gain interest in your brand. Here are some ways to create some sweepstakes and contests with these social media platforms according to shortstack.
You want to make your posts fun! If your page is just full of “Buy now”, most likely your customers will scroll past it. You want to engage your followers with comment-to-enter contests. You also want to publish your campaign as a landing page and embed it on your website or blog. Get people involved from all over! With every contest, you’d need to have some voting and entry restrictions (i.e. comment only once a day on photo or share once a day). More importantly, Facebook’s ongoing changes to their newsfeed algorithm means that it’s only getting harder to pick up organic traffic. Meaning that if you aren’t spending money on Facebook ads or promoted posts, even your existing followers are going to have a hard time seeing your posts. Currently Facebook posts from pages only reach around 2% of their followers. Promoted posts might do the trick, but do you really know who is engaging with your posts? You’re always better off using actual Facebook ads and targeting your consumers. Then there’s the new privacy updates to Apple’s iOS where they’re blocking information from being shared with any apps including Facebook unless permission has been granted. This means ad targeting is only going to get harder here as well. Still, with the size of Facebook’s audience, it’s still likely a surebet to focus at least some of your efforts here depending on your target.
If you’re aiming at the younger generation… Okay, let’s be clear, while TikTok clearly skews younger, there’s an overwhelming amount of 30-40 year olds invading this space as well.. TikTok is a great platform to be up-to-date with trends happening around the world. You can create a contest with a famous dance that happened within the past year (or create a new one), sing a duet with your bestie, post your best DIY how-tos, or fashion tips from the red carpet in your bathroom and submit it as an entry. Have people use a certain hashtag that relates to your brand.Gordon Ramsay most recently challenged people to show off their skills in a collaboration with Walkers Crisps (owned by the same company as Lays in North America) he’d roast his favourites in a duet. (link) Influencers are a big deal online, and especially in highly engaged users like those found on TikTok. Not only will all of this create more exposure, but much like on other networks, the more engagement with your posts, the more they will show up on other people’s newsfeed #algorithms.
Instagram is one of the most popular free social media platforms – a great way to promote your business when you’re starting off small. It allows fans to submit to your contest without ever leaving Instagram. You just simply ask entrants to post a photo or video to Instagram that meets your criteria and of course tag your brand (ie. photo of their favourite Italian recipe to make to win free pasta for 6 months) and to include your unique contest hashtag. Every post with the unique hashtag that your brand has created will increase brand exposure. Some brands will also use other methods such as “comment to win”, your brand makes a post and asks fans to comment and tag a couple friends and then in turn their friends do the same and so on. Another method is having fans share your post to their Story and tag your brand as well. Now all of this is great but it requires a lot of manual management to collect those entries, especially for brands with larger followings. To automate the collection of entries there are plenty of tools online or custom services are available by yours truly. One more thing, don’t neglect influencers here either, use them to your advantage, especially those who are already interested in your brand. More on this in another blog to come…
Twitter is always up to the latest trends around the world. From politics to celebrities, you name it. You can actually collect submissions with forms by having users upload their content via customizable forms. Refer-a-friend and encouraging retweets of their tweets with your unique hashtag would be an easy way to get your name out there. While Twitter can use many similar functions as Instagram for contests such as collecting entries via Tweets using specific hashtags, having users retweet specific posts and tagging their friends, you have to keep in mind your target market when planning to use this network. In 2021, 28.4% of global users were 35-49 (source). Is it the right fit for you?
This is one of the great social media platforms that you can team up with influencers to do giveaways (But if you’re just starting a business, I would not recommend this just yet). You can get individuals eager to try your products or service by allowing them to win something from your business. To get your customers an incentive to purchase your product or service, you can send a discounted code after entry. You can also get more subscriber engagement with an easy-to-share voting contest. All you have to do is ask your consumers to submit photos, videos, or stories, then use voting to determine the winner. YouTube birthed many of the influencers we know today, so while your brand might not be ready to engage with one just yet, keep in mind it’s part of the regular marketing mix for many different industries. Many influencers who might not have quite a large following just yet need to start somewhere too. If your in the business of making something tangible that you can send to them for review, many will simply review it in exchange for your free product. Bartering is still alive!
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Amy Chung, Oakville ON, April 2021