What is the role of Social Media in promotions?
Is your brand just jumping on the bandwagon and running social media promotions effectively? What is the best social network for your audience? And do you know the rules about running promotions on social media?
‘Social media is a great way for marketers to reach out to consumers in an informal and spontaneous way and with the development of different social media platforms there are more and more ways to host sales promotions.’
We all know that social media is a phenomenon that looks set to stay and it can provide a convenient route for running inventive and engaging promotions. Promotions on social media can:
- Raise brand awareness – Facebook alone has over 1 billion users
- Provide a rapid route to market. No need to wait for press day, or make expensive adverts
- Provide a means for loyal customers to share their passion for your brand or promotion with friends and their followers
- Deliver real engagement as consumers interact directly with the brand, in near real time. Posts can be viewed, liked, commented on or shared in seconds
- Either be just another media channel or the main route for running the promotion
- Be easy to remove – when the promotion closes, or the post is out of date
- Be supported by a range of advertising options e.g banners and keyword buying to bring more traffic to the promotion
- Attract those on the go. Although it works with all devices, mobile usage is outstripping all others
- Use hashtags to track competition entries for specific promotions
- Generate customer feedback fast
“If you have something new to promote, the first and best audience is social media.” Socialmediaexaminer.com
The 6 most common social media platforms used for promotions are:
Facebook: The biggest. Allows you add images, Like, comment and share to others but best to keep updates to just 40 characters as this gives a more effective engagement. You can run Facebook ads – paid posts / promotions and reach a particular audience, area or consumer type.
Instagram: Is a photo and video sharing platform for mobile that allows you to click on the heart to view likes, follows, comments and mentions. 60 sec video is a good way for a brand to promote a promotion. You can create a post with the image or video and use the hashtag to enable others to easily find it. Great for creative competitions and creating shareable content that is compelling.
LinkedIn: Allows you to connect with other businesses and ‘connections’ (people). This platform is mainly for job hunting. Limited use for promotions.
Snapchat: Is a fast growing social media platform amongst the young but it is not really suitable to use for promotions because all images disappear in seconds and so you would have to screen shot images quickly in order capture entries. But there are ways around this, read our blog for some tips.
Pinterest: Not great but again can be done. We have posted rules for this. Unusual but would create great opportunities for creative competitions. Pinterest has many rules and regulations around promotions so important to read these first.
You Tube: This platform is not often used for promotions as it is difficult to export the data.
Each social media platform has its own merits and offers a different service for a brand or agency running a promotion to use. Some are more visual than others and give more options to share to other platforms. The use of hashtags helps compers and consumers to access promotions quickly rather than scrolling through thousands of posts. But despite their popularity they are not without their issues.
Regardless of the platform, promoters still need to be compliant – with the laws of the land and the rules of the social media platform. In essence all communication of a promotion must include the closing date, any entry restrictions, how to enter the competition and either a summary of the terms and conditions or a link to the full terms via one click. There must be no intention to mislead the public. So stay safe and plan ahead and get good terms & conditions drafted.
Social Media is here to stay. Although is a world that is constantly evolving they offer brands a diverse and responsive way to connect and communicate with their customers. But promoters and their agencies need to be aware of the trends and take care in selecting the right platform for their promotion. They are full of millions of new messages every day, so to stand out, there must be both a good creative strategy, solid media investment and a bit of luck! And don’t forget about the back end – quality terms, and compliant winner selection are essential! Read more about how we help brands run social media promotions here.