Whether a company is brand new or has gained maturity, there will still exist a methodical process of gaining social media followers.
The practices in this process differ, depending on the company business, industry, and target consumers.
We all know that content is king when it comes to making your social media sites valuable but how do you get users jump aboard your boat of followers? How do you get users to actually feel a need to like, share, follow, retweet, +1, or pin? Using the right content/offer and timing/location can serve as crucial steps to creating a bridge between a potential follower and an active follower, and depending on your mode of business, a paying customer.
Again, as businesses differ, so does implementing this psychological art of impulse. While impulse is often discussed in the context of drawing someone in (using rational or emotional tactics, or a mix of both) to make a monetary purchase, its rules also apply to that of social media-based decisions, such as liking a Facebook page or following a Twitter account. You want to catch the target consumer’s interest when impulse is the highest and in turn, create a unique social media interaction.
Don’t limit yourself with how and where you promote—think innovatively and strategically. Channels/sites for social media promotion could include your website, business card, email, merchandise, store/office area, a booth by walking traffic, and several more. Plotting location/timing properly could entail placing a convenient social media icon/phrase close to a time of received value, such as after a consumer makes a quality purchase, after learning about a discount offer, or after they read something highly interesting/relevant. Let’s take a look at diverse real world examples of companies’ tactics for when and where to gain social media followers/engagement via promotional placement:
Company Websites’ Landing Pages
The websites' companies above, from top to bottom, are Powell’s Books, The Chicago Sun-Times, Deschutes Brewery, and Intel.
Especially if your website gains considerable traffic, inserting hyperlinks to your social media sites on your website’s landing page is a good idea. Most websites insert the recognizable social media icons (sometimes accompanied with text) into an organized listing somewhere at the bottom, side, or top of the webpage. With social media use on the rise across several audience types, you’ll find companies of different industries implementing this technique into their web design in effort to keep users updated and engaged with their brands.
It is also worth noting that with mobile internet usage rising tremendously, it is important for companies to have their landing pages optimized for smartphones and tablets. This means incorporating your social media promo icons/text as such. A well-designed responsive website accomplishes this best, maximizing your potential social following and sharing.
Restaurant Food Menu
While browsing a mall’s food court, I came across a food cart business called Bo Kwon’s Koi Fusion. The Korean-Mexican fusion food business had a menu blown up and posted right next to the ordering counter. The top-right of the menu included the text “#getsumkoi” (get some koi) above the social media icons for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
This promo tactic serves to give customers the idea of using the #getsumkoi hashtag on social media while posting about the food and/or taking a picture of the food, food cart, employees, themselves, or whatever as it relates to their experience (ideally positive). It pushes people to make endorsing-type posts while using the catchy, concise, and fitting hashtag they just read. Promoting a specific hashtag also helps keep social media posts about a single subject better organized—this helps in case other users want to search for a listing of all posts that use the specified hashtag. To learn more about hashtags, refer to our previous post.
Car Maintenance Shop TV Monitor
While I was having my car’s oil changed at Oil Can Henry’s, an oil-change shop franchise, I caught myself staring at a television screen conveniently placed outside of the driver’s side window. It appeared to be a video put on repeat. The video explained the details of the services they offer, the value it brings, and had images and videos of people who seemed to be happy with their service. Eventually, the video reached a part which had live video of my car from different cameras along with an advertisement that asked me to like their Page on Facebook for “Money-saving offers, access to special contests, and tips to get the most out of your vehicle.”
This request addressed to customers to like Oil Can Henry’s Facebook Page used price savings, fun contests, and valuable vehicular tips as incentives to like and continually engage with the brand’s Facebook Page in order to reap the benefits as listed. As for timing/location, if a customer is already waiting in their immobile car, they may even already be browsing Facebook on their phone/tablet or would at least be more willing to take the time to sign in and like the Page.
The above email’s sender included links to her company’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts in her email signature.
Most email services offer you the ability to create a signature for all of your outgoing emails. Depending on the situation, including social media hyperlinks in your signature either to your personal accounts or your company’s accounts may be a good idea. If you are the manager of a company, you could instruct all of your employees to include the company’s social media sites as hyperlink icons in their signatures along with whatever else, such as their contact info and the company website & logo.
The signature is a great location for promotional placement since these links to your sites will natively appear in all email conversations related to the company/brand/individual. It's worth noting, however, that images sometimes can be blocked by email services; due to this possibility, having the hyperlink in text form beside the icons or just the text by itself may be a better option.
Food Display at Grocery Store
I found this food display of Nabisco food products in a Safeway grocery store. The display stand had various images of custom recipe foods using these products along with the Pinterest logo and a URL to Nabisco's Pinterest site.
Pinterest is known to be a great hub for foodies and food enthusiasts alike so promoting Nabisco’s Pinterest account’s value at this stand is a great idea. The consumer incentive is created through the appealing pictures of custom recipes to be found on their Pinterest account paired with actual ingredients (Nabisco cracker brands) organized on the stand for purchase.
Clothing Store’s Clearance Display
I came across this clearance rack at Zumiez, a clothing store chain retailer that markets to skateboard/snowboard/surf lifestyles. The display included a Snapcode (refer to the bottom of our previous post) for users to Snap on their smartphone’s Snapchat app to add Zumiez as a Snapchat friend.
Without any explicit explanation as to what content they’d post on the Zumiez Snapchat account, curiosity is allegedly sparked in Zumiez’ consumers. Perhaps they’d post about the upcoming clothing lines they’re adding? Or post discount coupons that you could screenshot and bring into the store? Or maybe even cool videos of skateboarding tricks/tutorials? Who knows...guess you’ve got to add Zumiez to find out!
Although not entirely certain if done purposely, placing the Snapcode next to the large “buy one, get one 50% off” clearance display could be a marketing tactic to elicit associated value in the consumer’s eye.
Shisha Tobacco Packaging
This Shisha Tobacco product I came across carried its social media promotional visuals on the packaging itself. The product’s manufacturing company, Cloud 9 Tobacco, had its Facebook Page URL, a VR code to the URL, and a Facebook icon on the side of the box packaging.
This case of promoting one’s Facebook Page is accomplished through employing multiple options to attract consumers. If a person was enjoying this tobacco product and had his/her smartphone in hand, he/she could take a picture of the VR code for a quick and easy trip to the Cloud 9 Tobacco Facebook Page to learn more about other flavors and hookah-related products. If the person didn’t have the VR code scanning software or was on their laptop/tablet instead, they are also given the option of manually entering the Facebook Page’s URL for the same result.
Fitness Gym Poster
Found this poster inside Snap Fitness, a 24-hour gym and fitness center with multiple locations. This poster included its Twitter and Facebook account names while giving these accounts value by listing benefits to their online followers.
The benefits listed were “workouts, recipes, motivation, and more.” These points align with the brand value that a good gym would want to be known for. This promotional wording aims to keep Snap Fitness members tied to the brand, continually motivated to work out, and ideally redeeming their memberships as time progresses.
The large “Make it Facebook Official” tagline is also worth noting as it gestures towards the popular, sometimes satirically used, “Facebook official” phrase in Facebook culture which refers namely to making relationships public/legit on Facebook. This subtle humor makes the proposition all the more easy for users to take up to.
Twitter Account Icon
This tactic is making use of the Snapcode (again, refer to the bottom of our previous post) for online users to come across. The Huffington Post, a liberal-oriented American online news aggregator/blog, changed its ordinary logo for its Twitter account to its own Snapcode for people to download and add as a Snapchat friend for news and behind-the-scenes footage. In likely realizing its Twitter followers being active Snapchatters, it made this move to get people to become more engaged with the brand via Snapchat. A simple move, but effectual.
Huffington Post also pinned its tweet with the Snapcode and text that read “Add us on Snapchat for a behind-the-scenes look at all things HuffPost! Username: "HuffPost"” for users to notice and for those who’d rather enter the username rather than use the Snapcode to add.
A Final Note
These are just a handful of examples of various businesses marketing their social media sites by promoting user interactions.
Your promotional design should contain the targeted offerings while being placed in the most convenient location to the customer at the best time. With a myriad of channels/sites to promote through online and physical means, you could be looking at a variety of promising routes.
Make an educated decision as to which route you’ll want to take and use the proper metrics to track your tactic(s)’s effectiveness. If desired, try a different path, track those results, and compare to your previous tactic(s). Research and experiment to discover which offer, location, and time cohesively work together to best impulse the most engaging users from your target audience.
Knowing when and where to garner social media followers is one method to build an audience. Want to see how else we can help you build an audience? Contact us today!
Read more from our Blog:
Users Promoting Your Brand: Companies Doing It Right
How to Make the Best Facebook Event
Snapchat: A New Era of Advertising
11 Facebook Page Marketing Tips to Increase Engagement & Followers