Posts tagged social media contest ideas
Google My Business - The "Other" Social Media Outlet?

With the big news that Google is shutting down Google+ over the next few months, it seems like Businesses are back to using giants Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. While Google+ never really took off in the first place, many businesses are left wondering how (and if) this change will impact their business.

First things first, Google+ and Google My Business are 2 separate entities. Google+ was Google’s answer to the social media craze, thinking it would become a place for individuals to interact within “circles” of friends and colleagues. This is was they are beginning to phase out.

Google My Business, instead, is essentially a free directory listing where Google allows you to post information about your business, pictures and social media updates, as well as receive reviews from other Google users. The benefits of this platform are tremendous and those include:

  • In-depth insights into how many people viewed, clicked on, or called your business from this listing.

  • Easy "click-to-call" capabilities for smart phones. Meaning if someone Googles you on their phone a button will appear where they can call you in one click.

  • Integration with Google maps to easily show where you are located on a map when searching from a desktop, and one click access to directions when searching on a phone or tablet. 

Businesses with a Google My Business account also get several benefits in search. These range from showing up, essentially immediately, on the first page in search (on the right hand side map search section), as well as the added SEO benefits of linking your website directly with a Google property.

Now here comes the confusing part. There are 2 ways you can sign up - as a "Brand" page or as a "Location". A lot of businesses lean towards the "Brand" option as they may service multiple locations or may not be location specific. Here's the problem with just doing a "Brand" page. You don't get all the added benefits that I listed above. You are only going to show up in that Google Search Map section if you sign up as a location and verify it.

Once it's verified and running, it's important to keep you profile up-to-date with the correct information. Check in about once per month and make any changes to your contact info, hours or description as needed.

In addition, Google My Business, offers you the ability to post updates that live on your page for 7 days. These are great places to post events, sales, new content, or anything else you’d like to have Google Searchers see while viewing your profile.

So fear not business friends, while Google+ is leaving us (RIP), there are still some great options to take advantage of when it comes to promoting your business on the search platform.

Facebook for Business in 2019

Even if you’ve pushed against it, all business owners have somehow been exposed to Facebook and it’s power to advertise and promote your business. You’ve probably also heard about the massive changes that the New Year seems to bring to the platform and how businesses can take advantage of it.

2018 was the year brought the massive news feed changes. It reduced businesses organic reach and shifted all of our focus pretty heavily towards advertising. As soon as we started to adjust to that, Facebook got hit with some pretty serious data protection claims, which has now changed the game in what information advertisers can access and how they can target their ads to potential customers.

So, as we enter 2019, this leaves us scratching our heads, wondering, “What is happening?” What are the next big changes coming up to Facebook in 2019, and what does that mean for us as businesses?

Well, in order to answer that question, I turned to someone a little smarter than me… Google. After doing some research (and combining it with what I’ve seen for myself and my own clients), I’ve come to a few conclusions.

  1. Ad pricing will rise - As organic reach continues to shrink, and the demand for ad space on the platform continues to rise, it’s just a classic supply and demand issue. Ad costs will go up, and it’s going to become more and more expensive for businesses to break through and show up in the newsfeed.

  2. Facebook/Instagram Stories - While Facebook stories haven’t taken off like Instagram ones have, the ability to shop right inside, and offer full screen video and still advertisements, it’s no wonder they have caught the attention of advertisers. Think about how you can utilize these, especially if you’ve found your newsfeed ads losing steam.

  3. Video, Video, Video - We seem to say it in everything we write and it couldn’t be more true on Facebook. Video is continuing to take over, and with new video creation tools offered right inside the ads manager, it’s becoming easier for smaller businesses to take advantage of it.

  4. Look-a-like Audiences 2.0 - That’s right, while you may not be able to target based on off-platform behavior yourself anymore, the new Look-a-like Audiences will help you better identify your own audience, and find those who are similar in values and behavior.

Want to see some of the other things that may be important when it comes to Facebook in 2019? Check out this article I found to read more, and happy Facebooking!

Want more trainings and classes on growing your business online in 2019? Check out The Digital Marketing Hub!

Social Media Contests - What is Actually Allowed?

Everybody knows, there is no better way to engage an audience on social media than a contest. People love give-a-ways, and they love the thrill of possibly getting something for free. However, there is a lot of confusion surrounding social media promotions. Facebook has recently begun implementing rules about what contests are and are not allowed on business pages. Businesses that break those rules could be risking their page getting shut down and losing all of their followers. Below we're breaking down some of the contests you CAN run as well as some ideas to help you make the most out of your next social media contest.

1. Like To Win (PAGE) - Currently, Facebook allows you to collect page likes in exchange for contest entries. This is one of my favorite contest types. Not only will you get people interacting with your page for your contest, but they will continue to see your updates after the contest is over. To encourage shares and to spread the contest even further, I like to create a "tipping point" in order to win. As an example, if a page is hovering around 1,500 likes, the contest would have a contingency that says it will be activated when it reaches 2,000 likes. With this contingency, entrants are more likely to share with their friends and family to participate to activate the contest and win the great prize you're offering. 

2. Like To Win (POST) - Similar to the "Page Like" contest, you can also ask participants to "like" a certain post to enter the contest. To me, this is a little less effective as it doesn't encourage long term engagement with a Facebook page. However, it's extremely easy for someone to just "like" a post so this technique tends to encourage a lot of entries. This type of contest is great if you have a smaller prize that isn't tempting enough for a more difficult entry process.

3. Comment - These require a little bit more work by the entrant but can be a great way to get your contest (and subsequently your business) in front of someone's friend list (since what they're commenting on tends to show up in newsfeeds). You can encourage comments in a few ways. You could ask people to comment on a photo with their best caption idea. You could ask for help naming a product or to come up with a new, creative idea. (As an added bonus you now get to utilize the new name or ideas provided by your audience). Or you could write a sentence and ask entrants to fill in the blank.

4. Run a Poll/Vote - This works by asking a question and asking people to vote (either through comments or through a 3rd Party App like Poll on Facebook). These are great ways get feedback from your audience while offering an incentive for them to do so. Another idea is asking for entries that will then be voted on. You could run anything from a "Cutest Baby Photo" contest to a "Fan Of The Week" contest. This will encourage those who have entered to share their photo or entry to encourage more votes, which means more eyes on your brand.

5. Tag The Photo - This one is a little different and I haven't seen it done many times, however, may be worth trying out. Your business could post a picture and ask entrance to "tag" themselves in the picture with a piece they identify with. As an example, a jewelry store could post a picture of different ring styles and ask women to tag themselves in the style they like the best. This photo tag will now post to each entrants timeline and will show to all of their Facebook friends.

As a general rule of thumb, the biggest thing that can make or break a contest is the prize. Make sure the value of your prize is in line with the amount of work a participant has to do to enter. The more steps that are involved the better the prize must be, or a user it more likely to keep scrolling.