Why Facebook and Twitter? Because these are currently the two most popular social media sites for general “buying” demographics. Knowing this, though, does not make your brand an immediate success. Promoting a product on a social media site takes careful planning, solid strategies, and a lot of consistent posting of just the right types.
Once you have made the decision to use these two social media sites, there are specific activities that will serve you well. So, let’s take a look at these platforms and some actionable strategies that you can implement right now.
Despite the rise of many more social media sites, Facebook remains the most popular for all demographics. For this reason, every brand from diapers and toilet paper to car insurance will be found to have a major presence. Setting up a Facebook account is the beginning of a journey that never ends – regular posts, links back to your website and blog, establishing relationship with followers, and, in general entertaining, inspiring, and engaging your audience. Obviously, you don’t do that by just focusing on your product and promoting it. You do this by attracting followers because they love your “style” and enjoy your posts.
If anyone had not heard of Twitter before, they have now. It is Donald Trump’s favorite way of communicating with the world.
But long before this, Twitter was launched as a method for individuals to post short (140-characters) posts to their friends. When it became a popular medium of celebrities, Twitter began to explode. In fact, over 500 million tweets hit cyberspace every day. And in a recent survey of Twitter users, 69% say they have made a purchase because of something they saw on Twitter about a product. And now that this platform has expanded for photos and embedded videos, it has become a favorite place for brand promotion. The popularity of hashtags adds even more potential.
Leveraging Your Product Promotion
Here are 8 things you can do to promote your product on Facebook and Twitter without any direct selling (nobody wants to be sold something on social media).
Feature Your Fans/Customers
If you want a good example of this, check out ModCloth’s Facebook and Twitter pages. This millennial-focused female clothier openly solicits photographs of its customers wearing their purchases and then posts the photos, along with lots of comments from other customers. This continued activity keeps followers coming back, to view the “modeling” and to comment on the clothing items.
And each of these customers who have photos posted on your page will share that with their communities. These are what is known as “brand ambassadors.” They share the love for you and your brand.
Openly ask customers for their photos and videos – they will love being featured. And ask them to post those with a shout out to you on their pages too. You can even offer an incentive, like a discount for them to do this.
You can solicit these from current customers. If you want a great example of this tactic, check out WD-40’s social pages. This was a rather boring product when it was created and was promoted as a lubricant only. Customers have since found a huge number of other uses for this little “miracle’ product and love sharing those uses with everyone else. You can even start a video series of customers using your product in creative ways.
Provide Incentives for Referrals
You have current customers. As stated above, they can be turned into brand ambassadors with user-generated content. Beyond that, however, you can achieve much greater spread with types of “loyalty programs,” providing rewards for types of actions that they take. Nathan Chan, founder of the online magazine for business startups, Foundr, has mastered this. With every post, followers are given “instructions” for sharing and then receiving rewards – a free issue or a discounted price, for example.
And you can not only reward the “ambassador;” provide a discount to their friends too – even more of an incentive for them to share.
Sharing Buttons Everywhere
Never put a piece of content on your website or blog without sharing buttons. Use your blog especially for longer pieces that entertain, educate or inspire, that feature your team and customers, and that also show your social responsibility. People love stories and they love to share good stories; they also love humor and will share it. If you do not have the creativity and writing skills, then get some help from professional essay writers who do. There are writing services that have entire departments of creative copywriters to produce engaging articles that readers will want to share.
Get a Theme or a Mascot
If you want to keep people coming back to your pages, then incorporate a theme into your platform. You can post a joke or quote of the day with an amazing photo. Or you can become “famous” for contests and surveys that you run on a regular basis. These are some of the most shared items on social media.
Both Geico and Progressive insurance companies have turned a boring product into something engaging and fun with their “mascots” – the Geico gecko and spokesperson Flor from Progressive. They have their own Facebook and Twitter accounts, and a large following.
Cross Promote with Related Brands
If you can set up a reciprocal arrangement with a related brand to cross-promote, you enlarge your audience immediately. And because the brands are related, customers of one will generally be potential customers of the other. An online plant nursery business and an outdoor furniture brand would be prime candidates for cross-promotion. What related brands can you find?
Promote and Participate in a Cause
Consumers, especially millennial consumers, want to do business with companies that exhibit some social responsibility. That’s a major reason why Toms Shoes has become a huge money-maker. For every pair of shoes purchased, one is donated to a poor child somewhere in the world. It has now expanded into a number of other causes as well.
Even if you cannot adopt a one-for-one charitable program, what can you do to promote and support a worthy cause? Can your team participate in a charity event? Post photos of that all over your Facebook and Twitter pages. Are you committed to all natural ingredients in your product? Find ways to publicize your commitments.
Use Ads to Focus on Value
The days of the hard sell are over. Consumers want to understand the value that a product/brand bring to their lives. If you purchase ads on Facebook or Twitter, they must focus on value to the consumer, not just the product. Always think in terms of what your customer gets by purchasing your product and craft your ads accordingly.
Remember this: Social media is meant to be social. If you want your brand to be spread, you have to focus on the social aspect of these platforms. Show your audience who you are, be funny and inspirational, show your commitment to society, and bring value with your brand. It takes time to do these things, but the long-term relationships you build will ultimately impact your bottom line.