As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it “our best thoughts come from others”. An excellent way to get your audience engaged, is to provide them with a reason to share your message on their social networks. A recent Nielson Survey showed that only 15% of buyers believe what a brand has to say about itself. In contrast, the same study showed that 76% believe what their peers have to say about a brand. That is a huge difference. So, how can you compel your loyal fans to share?
Why Do People Share?
Think of your fans that share as your influencers. They follow your brand and share your content to all of their followers. Especially if your influencer has a large database of fans, these are the people you should be targeting with your b2b social media campaigns. Get your influencers to share your content with their peers!
But what makes people share? Here are the top 5 motivators that we found:
- Access to something exclusive
- Competition and winning
Be sure to keep these motivators in mind when you are crafting your email marketing messaging and creating your social campaigns. By doing so, you can appeal to your audience’s emotions, which can ultimately drive shares.
Campaigns to excite and engage
When working with social sharing, make sure that your campaigns are creative. Remember to do some initial content testing before you create and plan your campaign. Always pay attention to assets that have the highest download counts, and to the Facebook or Twitter conversations that have the most interactions. Once you have decided on a subject matter, then you are ready for you first social sharing campaign.
- Refer-a-Friend: These campaigns are always centered around a compelling offer. You can promote your offer via social channels or email marketing. Make sure that you have a special offer for the both sharers and the sharees. For an example of a successful referral campaign, check out Marketo’s recent refer a friend campaign a. If you refer a friend, you get an ipad–which has been proven to be a highly compelling offer.
- Social Sweepstakes: Create a fun and interesting contest and have your entrants spread the word via their social networks! Your customers and prospects are much more likely to share if they see value in what you are giving away. Also, the great part about having an entry form for a contest, is that you can collect more lead data then you normally would. Check out an example from Appirio for their upcoming Dreamforce 2012 t-shirt Contest. The winning t-shirt slogan wins 2 VIP tickets to their Dreamforce Party.
- Polls and Voting: Everyone has an opinion, and they usually love sharing it. Try creating a campaign that asks your audience to share their opinion about something. This is a great way to not only create dialogues and engagement, but it also gives you some valuable information about the likes and dislikes of your target audience. Take a look at a recent Mashable poll that was trending on Twitter. I saw a ton of re-tweets in my feed.
- Flash Deals: This is a concept similar to Groupon. Through a flash deal, you can set up a promotion that is time sensitive, creating urgency for the your buyer. These deals can last from a few hours to a couple of weeks. You can also create additional urgency by limiting the number of deals sold. You can offer a percentage off of your service/product, include a value-add (like a free iPad), or create a BOGO (buy-one-get-one). You can easily tailor this sort of promotion to your business. Check out this flash deal from Restaurant.com as an example.
- Giveaways: Giving away something for free is always a sure-fire way to get attention from your audience. Just make sure that what you give away is something that is appealing. Your audience may not want a free branded pencil, but they may want a cool t-shirt or something else that shows you understand your demographic. Giveaways always show goodwill towards your prospects and customers. You can combine a giveaway with any of the campaign ideas mentioned above, or it can be a stand-alone. Check out this decal giveaway that we promote on our Facebook page. The decals are Marketo branded AND are stylish.