The short answer to whether social media is a must for any business is yes, absolutely. As a business owner, every opportunity you have to promote your product or service is valuable. Social media provides multiple avenues to increase your company’s visibility in the marketplace. Compared to other traditional marketing forms, such as print media and televised ads, social media sites offer the same benefits at a fraction of the cost – if any at all.
Opportunity is the first element of any action. Every post you make on a social media platform is an opportunity for customers to learn, share, and think. Every post, image, video, or comment you share is another door opening with potential customers walking in.
The following are some of the other advantages of using social media platforms to market your business:
- Increases website traffic by linking posts to your company website
- Improves Google ranking and search engine positioning
- It’s cost-effective, and an efficient use of your marketing budget
- Builds your authority as a content publisher
- Engages customers and improves communication
- Increases understanding of customers’ thoughts and opinions
- Increases brand awareness
Combining the use of these social media platforms along with some SEO techniques (for both your company website and your social media sites) is essential for today’s businesses and entrepreneurs.
But what does that mean for you, the business giving away the free products? Does it equate to lost revenue? Will it just add to your operating costs? Not necessarily.
One of the main goals of promotional contests and giveaways is to create that initial relationship with the user. That first step of engagement is key. Perhaps you have excess inventory that has been sitting on your shelves collecting dust. Giving this stuff away for free in contests and draws won’t make you any money at that particular moment. But more importantly, it will give you valuable data which will likely lead to more business.
Contact information, age, gender, geographical location, and other data can be absolutely vital for your business. In addition to that, you can now stay permanently connected to those potential customers using social media. Asking potential customers to “Like us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter for an additional contest entry” are examples of ways that you can do this.
Here are some of the different kinds of contest strategies that you can use:
Social Media Sweepstakes – Entrants can enter the contest through social media posts on Facebook or Twitter.
Purchase Required – Entrants are automatically entered into a draw upon purchase of a product.
User-generated Content – Entrants must submit their best photo, idea, or answer, to be eligible to win.
Simple Email Entry – Entrants must submit their email address to be eligible to win.
Once you have a healthy list from your contest entries, use that information to your full advantage. Promote your website, new products, company blog, social media and YouTube channel(s) to those who’ve entered the contest. Online giveaways are a great way to reward loyal customers, create more engagement from existing customers, increase brand awareness online, and gain new customers, as well.