Creating Partnered Sweepstakes Campaigns
Understanding Social Network Giveaways
Know when your company is ready
In today’s social networking environment, especially on Facebook, viewers are constantly being bombarded with sponsored ads, sponsored links, sponsored stories, large corporate sweepstakes, “share this in 2 minutes or die” photos, you name it, and they’ve seen it. So, as a company with a loyal following of interested fans, when creating a contest, sweeps whatever you want to call it, you must be sure that what you have to offer is different and be sure that it is appealing to your fans. If possible, try to work with other respectable businesses within your area to make the entire process more rewarding to you and your fans.
To do that, we recommend that you host a Partnered Sweepstakes. A partnered sweepstakes is when one company or brand creates and hosts a sweepstakes which involves other businesses to help spread the reach of the contest while keeping all creative content and links within their hosted brand. For the purpose of this article, we will cover how to create, promote and execute a partnered sweepstakes promotion for the purposes of building upon an existing social network.
- Pick your software: Before you go any further with the idea of having a sweepstakes, you should carefully choose the software you plan to use. There are many, many to choose from and this in itself can be very hard to do. For software used to host a sweepstakes like this one we are talking about, we recommend PunchTab. You can’t get much better software if you want to run a campaign that is built strictly to increase one brand’s website traffic, Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Pinterest followers, etc. The only downfall we’ve found is that it is so simple to execute and so simple to use, people actually get confused because they expect more complexity. We’ve seen enormous social network and membership growth from using PunchTab and did we mention it’s free. If you are a 3rd party social media management service, we caution that your clients will be skeptical of this software because of its simplicity however, after the first campaign results come in, they will be believers.
- Create a great prize: One thing is for sure about the social media world, if you have a prize that is genuinely a great prize, your fans will immediately see its value. When fans see the value of the prize, they instantly become a strong online marketing team of hundreds or thousands working just for you.
- Find great partners to sweeten the deal: If your business has the rare luxury of incorporating strong partners that would increase the value of your prize and broaden your social reach, then we recommend you go for it.
For example, let’s say you own a movie theater.
- You alone have 2,000 Social Networks fans and followers and 1,000 newsletter subscribers and you want to give away a pair of movie tickets.
- Now let’s say there are several restaurants right next to your theater and let’s assume that you know the owners or managers of each of these restaurants. You should pick one restaurant and approach them about being part of your sweepstakes. They can sweeten the prize by adding “Dinner for Two”. So the winner would now get dinner and a movie for two. Question is though, which one of the restaurants would you choose? Well that’s easy (kind of).
- Go to their website and see if they have a “Newsletter Signup Area”. If they do, then you know they are at least trying to build a newsletter membership.
- Next, go to Facebook, Google +, Twitter and even FourSquare then add up the total fans, followers and even check-ins for each restaurant.
- *You MUST also look at the content of each social outlet to ensure the restaurant has fresh, positive content on their wall.
- Finally, make sure they have a good reputation. Check them out on TripAdvisor or other rating aggregators like Yelp and UrbanSpoon. If they have a consistently good rating of 4.0 or higher, then they would be the restaurant to invite to become part of your sweepstakes.
- Make it sweeter: Now that you’ve chosen the perfect restaurant to approach, maybe there’s another partner you could bring in. Perhaps a coffee or dessert shop? I mean come on, what’s better than dinner, then a movie and then a nice coffee and cheesecake to top off the night? Using the same process that you did when choosing the perfect restaurant partner, you should now choose the perfect coffee shop partner and/or bakery.
- Land the deal: Assuming that everything is in place, you now want to approach your potential partners. The conversation should be very simple. Let them know you are having a sweeps to build a social buzz and you would like to include them so that your sweeps has a better prize and a stronger social reach. Present the creative to them, share the links and make sure to give them the ability to share the sweeps with their audience across all platforms including their website, Facebook, Twitter and Newsletter marketing.
- Pick a timeline: Now that everything is in place, work out a timeline with your partners to launch your sweeps. This way everyone can promote it on their social networks all at once. It would be very helpful for each company involved to send out a newsletter to let their fans know about the sweeps.
- Respect your partner’s brand: Don’t be surprised when your partners send out Facebook posts, Tweets or Newsletters with their branding. Remember, it’s their company and their brand that their members trust. As long as the sweeps links to your brand and all traffic points to your website and social network, your brand remains dominate and protected.
- Launch and monitor:Assuming everything is in place, launch your campaign and let the fun begin.
- Be sure that you monitor it all day, every day.
- Be absolutely certain that you have a standard response in place for those who might have questions about the sweeps and for those who have issues.
- It’s been our experience that many times complaints come in that can’t be reproduced but so what. Remember, the viewer is always right. Don’t argue with them, just tell them how to get around the issue they claim to have or better yet, sign them up manually if possible.
- Planned award announcement: So you have involved partners in your sweeps. They have been talking about the sweeps for weeks now and keeping those submissions coming. Your fan base has grown, your newsletter membership has grown and your sales conversions have increased online. As part of the rules and details that you had to create in the very beginning, you had to tell everyone when the prize would be announced. Make sure to convey that date and time to your partners and plan it so that they too can share the good news across their networks.
That’s it, so get out there and create your very own partnered sweepstakes and whatever you do, remember to have fun with it and let your fans have fun with it too.
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