In previous blogs I’ve talked about customer engagement. It’s a crucial part of new marketing and particularly social marketing. There are different ways of accomplishing engagement but it has to be interesting, sincere and fun.
Whether you market to consumers or other businesses, you are still dealing with people, so consider your audience and what is meaningful to them. You can do this in many ways – as a retailer, you can offer product, product discounts or an exclusive say or insight into the next iteration of a product. If you are in education you can offer information (blogs or white papers), school discounts or other things of value such as links to scholarships and grants. Financial services companies can create forums for people to learn tips for saving and share successes or ask financial advice, as well as develop white papers regarding subjects of interest, such as saving enough money for retirement.
The key is to offer something of value to your customers and make sure they have a say. The social media realm is different from push marketing where you try to influence a group of homogeneous people with offers you think or know they will like. With social marketing you put your brand out there for interaction, buy-in and influence. You reach your audience by offering information or other things of value.
One way we have reached out at d.trio is by hosting a contest we called “Turf Wars” to engage customers and prospects. We mailed out a small container of grass seed and challenged recipients to grow the grass and submit photos of creative entries. We announced progress through email, Twitter, our Facebook page and LinkedIn. Tying into the spring theme, we offered Home Depot gift cards for the top two vote-getters and a gift card for a randomly chosen registered voter.
We had a great response – 10% participation and over 260,000 votes from many different IP addresses (multiple votes were ok). We had a huge spike in traffic to our website http://www.dtrio.com/turfwars/, and our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/dtrio as we provided information and updates. The response to the promotion was really positive and people had fun with the competition. It was fun, interactive, competitive and engaging.
How do you engage your customers and prospects?
We’d love to hear what your experience has been with your social marketing or contests, here or at http://www.facebook.com/dtrio – tell us what you think.