I am a firm proponent of leveraging social media to spread your message. Why? Because I believe that crowdsourcing is the easiest and most inexpensive way to spread your message or campaign. There are many ways to do this, but this post will focus on using a promotional giveaway. As I touched on in a previous post, we just recently finished up running a Facebook Timeline contest, and used both Facebook ads and participants’ sharing (to crowdsource social media reach) to promote it. Both methods were effective in promoting our message, but had strikingly different results.
The first step of promoting our contest was to dedicate a small fortune towards Facebook ads. These ads had some clever pictures and an eye-catching message that enticed users to click on the ad that linked to our Timeline contest. Through those ads we reached a few thousand people, added 150 new likes on our Facebook page, and had about 200 new contest entries. The new likes that we received were pretty steady throughout the campaign, meaning our message was shown steadily until the campaign ended. Not bad for a couple weeks of work.
However, when we crowdsourced our contest sharing, the results were substantially different.
The second step of advertising our contest was by promoting, or “boosting” individual Facebook posts. Rather than only advertising our contest through Facebook or Twitter ads (the ones on the side and top of the page), we promoted individual status update posts. The posts would simply remind fans of the contest, and the time left before the contest closed. After promoting the posts, they would appear in fans’ newsfeeds, as well as in the newsfeeds of their friends. This was a more personal approach to advertising, and appealed to the fans that were already following our page.
When these posts appeared in fans’ newsfeeds, they were encouraged to share the contest for a better chance to win. Whenever we run a social media sweepstakes contest, we heavily incentivise participants to share the contest for a chance to gain more entries. This is usually done by giving them 10 extra entries in the contest if one of their friends enters through the link they share. The results of this crowdsourced sharing was incredible. Our contest reached our fans’ friends, then their friends, then their friends etc.. It turned into a snowball effect, reaching tons of people, essentially for free, from just one promoted post. How did this work? Well…
Two examples of our promoted posts :
The outcome of boosting these posts resulted in a large surge in interaction, sharing, and reach
Conclusion – Crowdsourcing Your Social Media Advertising
In conclusion, an easy and cost effective way to spread your message like wildfire is to give your audience an incentive to spread your ad, and let them do the work for you. Give it a try, you’ll be surprised how well it works!