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Five Secrets to Successful Social Media Promotions

You’ve got your social media accounts lined up, broadcast some updates, and now you’re ready to put together a promotional campaign. Before you get started, take a minute to learn five secrets to social media promos that successful brands already know.

1. Keep the flagrant sales pitch to a minimum. You can’t completely hide the fact that you’re running a promotion -- and there’s no reason to do so -- however yelling into your timeline, “Buy this now! But wait, there’s more!” isn’t going to work in your favor. Instead, craft your message in a way that respects the readers time while gently calling attention to your campaign. Remember, your followers turn to social media for fun and relaxation, not a sales pitch.

2. Always respond to followers and fans. It’s easy to get caught up in keeping all the plates spinning during a busy promotional campaign, but don’t neglect your fans and followers when they try to engage you on a social channel. Customers who have questions about a current promo will naturally ask them on the site where it’s running, so be sure to answer. Ever seen a Facebook fan page’s call to action with 15 unanswered questions in the comments? Don’t be that company.

3. Get as excited as your customers. You’re using a promo to generate buzz and excitement for your brand so make sure you’re as enthusiastic as they are. Respond in kind to followers who take the time to tell you how excited they are about your contest or how much they’re looking forward to the event you’re promoting. Nobody wants to feel ignored when they’re fired up and want to share their joy.

4. Limit the need to reshare content as an entry requirement. It’s tempting to ask your followers to retweet or share your content as a requirement for entering your contest or giveaway but think twice before you insist. Some customers feel like they’re being asked to spam their friends and, as a result, will opt out of your promos. Others may comply, potentially irritating their followers who now have a negative association with your brand. It’s best to err on the side of caution with reshare requirements because some people really hate promos.

5. Continue to engage your fans when the promotion ends. If you only update your social channels during sales campaigns, customers may begin to feel you’re only after what’s in their wallets, not their hearts. When a promo ends, keep talking to fans and followers and make sure you’re timeline is filled with content that’s not trying to overtly sell something. Look at it this way. How often do you click on a brand’s timeline to see what they have to say before making the decision to connect with them on social media? Now, how often do you click that follow button if their entire timeline is one-sided sales pitches? We rest our case.

Some marketing gurus tell you to avoid running promotions on social media channels altogether but you needn’t take such a hard line approach. Plenty of businesses run very successful promos. The key is in learning to balance your messages without alienating your followers.

Image: Amnesty International UK

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