Getting people to follow you or share your content in social media channels may be a challenge at times. You’ve got to be creative and plan well-thought social media campaigns that will let you make more quality social interactions and ultimately see more evident results in your e-commerce store traffic. Social media contests are a great solution to getting attention online. You can create a fun customer experience and for a period of time, you can enjoy a spike in traffic to your website. Additionally, you enjoy the increased publicity of your e-commerce brand and the number of mentions you can have on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Many have tried running online contests. Some skyrocketed, some didn’t. For those who succeeded, one thing they have in common is that they all planned well. Not because you’re giving something away, you can get by as is. You need to be prepared. With social media contests and thoughtful execution, your e-commerce business can earn a lasting boost in sales in the end. Take for example, Eggo <>, a brand of frozen waffles. It ran a two-part Facebook contest. First, a recipe contest where entrants submitted their best waffle recipes and second, a voting of the favorite recipe. Eggo awarded the winner $5,000. You can notice that even though it gave away a cash prize instead of brand-related items, the whole contest revolved around the brand itself. Eggo received a lot of user-generated content when they asked the entrants to submit their own waffle recipes. As a result, they got many recipe photos of their product, including a high interaction because of the voting factor. It was a total brand exposure for Eggo, as they suggested to their audience to try out the recipes first before voting and also share it with their friends. And so, anybody who would want to participate had to buy Eggo first. It’s amazing how a social media contest about recipes can reach so many. Truth be told, marketing campaigns like this aren’t really hard to create, and they’re actually inexpensive. But as you can see, they work effectively. How to Run Social Media Contests With Public Voting: An Overview top social media campaignsIf you want to start your referral marketing program, and you’re considering leveraging social media contests, this is how to do it. You’re going to ask your customers and social connections to submit a photo, video or essay to your contest microsite. As a contest rule, you’re going to select the winners by the number of votes. And so, your customer/participants need to share their entry with friends, both at the time of entry and throughout the contest period. When friends click the link to view their entry and vote, they are also encouraged to enter the contest or check out your e-commerce website. When your customers share their entries, those shares serve as invitations to a targeted audience so that they too will participate in your contest. The cycle continues over and over. More shares, more entrants, more site visitors, more potential new customers for your e-commerce store. Do You Want More Traffic to Your E-commerce Site? greatest social media campaignsSocial media contests may just be the key that you need to boost traffic to your e-commerce site. The reason it works so well is entrants are motivated to frequently share their entries to all social media networks, so that they can increase the odds of winning. Each share brings more brand exposure and visitors to the campaign microsite, which is also heavily branded and contains links to your online store. A secondary benefit to these contests is, you’re able to collect user-generated content that you can reuse later for marketing purposes when the contest is over. Be sure to get your entrant’s permission to use this content in the contest rules. People do business with companies they know, like and trust. These contests go a long way to closing the gap on all three. When prospects discover all the fun that your customers and website visitors are having in the contest, they won’t want to be left out. Six Steps to A Successful Social Media Contest building a social media campaignNow that you know how valuable planning is to your social media contest success, here are six simple steps that will make your e-commerce business the real winner of the event. Think of the ways to always deliver your best in every part of the social campaign. Create an enjoyable experience for your followers as they join you. Step 1. Determine the appropriate theme for your contest. Design your social media contest to directly involve your e-commerce products, so you can generate user-generated content that you can leverage later. It will also allow free brand exposure of your products to the contestants and their social network when they share their entries. If it isn’t possible, you may want to create your theme around the holiday seasons (e.g., Halloween costume photo contest, ugly Christmas sweater photo contest, etc.). This way, it will be memorable for the entrants and you’ll easily get a chance to use your products either as a prize or a contest element. Be creative when making the contest mechanics. Do your best to maximize sharing. You may want to consider generating funny or out-of-the-box entries, something that’s never done before. Just be sure not to make it too outlandish that it might cast the entrant in a bad light or embarrass them. It won’t do your contest any good, as the contestants may regret joining and you might not get many entries. It’s best that you test different themes and you’ll soon discover what the sweet spot is for your particular audience. If your e-commerce store sells visually appealing products such as jewelry, clothing, crafts, etc., photo or video contests will work best. Your audience will be able to see how your items will look on them as they see the entrants wearing them. If you sell products that enhance or alter appearance like diet pills or cosmetics, it’s most effective if you adopt a before-and-after story for the most impact. If your products are neither of these, you can always inject an element of inspiration-based content through photos or videos, and then relate to a common interest of your customers. For instance, if you’re a furniture e-commerce retailer, you can ask for amazing photos and videos of your customers’ best indoor design. Now that you’ve come up with a great theme, you can think of a unique hashtag that your entrants can use in social shares. Make sure that you set-up your contest software to automatically add the hashtag to all social shares so followers can quickly filter their news feed to display all of your photos or videos. The easier you make the process of viewing and sharing them, the more they will do it. We recommend requiring users to submit their photos or videos directly to your microsite versus via a public hashtag. This will give you more control and moderation to all of the user generated content that you’re collecting under your brand promotions. You’ll be able to double-check submissions before they’re added to the public hashtag and gallery. In addition, you can leverage on this opportunity to capture email opt-ins to increase your subscriber list, and you’d want to acquire legal rights to their submitted photos and videos for commercial use. Step 2. Prepare an appealing grand prize and include a second and third prize too. When you consider the appropriate prize for your contest, try to give away a highly desirable product from your own online store versus a cash prize. You’ll less likely encounter fraudulent voting, because only members of your target audience will be interested in the item you’re promoting as a prize. The goal is to generate interest and engagement from your target audience, so keep it relevant to your brand’s product line. If you’ve run previous contests, and you can see that there’s not much interest in the prize from your e-commerce store, why not consider something that appeals to a wider audience instead. Give away prepaid Visa cards, Starbucks gift cards, Apple products (iphone, iPad, etc.). For sure, you’ll have many takers for these kinds of prizes. If you go this route, see to it that you also use a software that identifies and purges fraudulent votes. Manage your contest integrity and prize security well, and you’re sure to have a great social media contest that your audience would want to be a part of. Step 3. Write up your contest rules. Create your own contest rules. If you don’t want to spend much, you can learn from the rules of a similar program that’s promoted by a large company. Obtain a copy of their rules, read and learn from them. Use the rules as a guideline to write your own rules. When you’re done, have a business lawyer review your contest rules. You don’t need to pay a lot. Find one of those prepaid legal services that charge around $25 a month. They’ll review up to ten pages of documents or more. Step 4. Create the contest microsite. When running a social media contest, especially if you’re incorporating public voting, you need to be concise and clear on how your program operates. It’s necessary that you publish all details on a microsite. Then, you have to send your customers to this page. Let them sign up for your program, agree to the rules, submit their entry, etc. To make the process organized, quick and easy, use contest software that instantly build up a program site and have it running in a matter of minutes. You can even choose a design that suits the look and feel of your e-commerce brand and they handle all of your tracking and referral system. You can tap into more advanced softwares, like Sociamonials, that offers automated issuing of prizes to winners and blocks fraudulent activities. All you need to do on your part is to respond whenever the software sends you notification emails. Step 5. Launch your contest. Once your contest information and technical components are ready, launch the program. Broadcast your contest to your customers, email list, and site visitors. Make a big deal about your launch and mention it wherever your online voice can be heard. Step 6. Creatively add your referral program to your online marketing campaigns. See to it that you mention it in every marketing opportunity that you have in your e-commerce business. Specifically, here are four best places you can call attention to your social media contest. Email Email all of your subscribers, inviting them to enter the contest. Provide a link to the contest microsite. Make it interesting for them to join. Store page banner Add a banner on your home page directing visitors to the contest microsite. Facebook page tab Tap on the Facebook community where everybody likes sharing. Add a tab on your Facebook page. Add your contest microsite to that tab, so your Facebook friends and fans can enter the contest or vote without having to leave your Facebook page. Social media news feeds Regularly post a link to the contest microsite on all of your social media feeds, especially during the contest period. Rock Your Community’s World Through Social Media Contests - Start Now! social media marketing toolsSocial media contests are the next big thing happening in social media that the online crowd can look forward to, besides catching up with their social circles. Your followers expect to find something exciting about your e-commerce brand so that they’ll choose you, and not your competitors. With these six simple and straightforward steps, you can dominate your industry through social media campaigns that intensify your referral marketing program through social media contests. Rock the world of your target audience by opening doors for them that will tie a connection with your brand through the fun experience they can gain as they participate throughout your contest. After all, it’s all about making it meaningful and worth it for your customers. We’re truly excited that you want to learn more about running social media contests with public voting. We’ve got more information to give you. We also have six more ideas that can turn around and generate more referrals for your e-commerce business. You can have complete access to all of this information when you download a copy of our industry whitepaper. Don’t miss it! <>
Is your social media ROI worth the budget, time and effort you're spending on your e-commerce business? Are you keeping track of the metrics necessary so you can measure what's working and what's not in your social media marketing? Social ROI may not tell the whole story about how you should run your business, but it tells a big chunk of information necessary for you to find your track on how to succeed online. The Digitally Connected Consumers and Your Business Social ROI The digital age has made the world smaller by making people globally who share common interest connected through online social circles. Whether you like it or not, today's consumers are more inquiring, information-seeking and always looking for consumer proofs such as product reviews, before finally deciding to purchase. They like sharing their opinions and experiences on various products and e-commerce sites regardless it's positive or negative. Through all this social sharing happening online, there's a big information that e-commerce businesses can tap on, and use to guide them for success. If we want our online businesses to grow, it should be the online entrepreneur's reality to be able to relate social media efforts into actual customer sales and conversion. You need to be able to point out which social shares finally end up in purchase and which don't. When you do so, you'll be able to bring a huge amount of savings to your marketing budget and ultimately in your e-commerce business, by spending only on those areas that you know will bring you a reasonable amount of ROI. You can dump those which are not giving you the results you want, and focus all your resources to those that make your customers happy and your business grow. Would you like to have access to such smarts? What's social media ROI? Social media ROI is all about numbers. It's the proportion of whatever metric you're measuring that comes back to you, and hopefully signifies that your social marketing works. For example, if you spend $10k on a Facebook contest and it results to 100 new customers each paying $1,000 worth of your products, then you've gained 1000% ROI. Good on you! However, if your social media contest resulted in 10 new customers with a $500 purchase, then you're down to a -50% ROI! You need to find out where you fell short along the campaign. Generally speaking, we applied the formula: Profit from social contest/Amount of investment on social contest x 100 = Your Social ROI in % However, this is a very simplistic scenario, for demonstration purposes only. Running a Facebook contest involves counting a number of social signals such as likes, shares, and the traffic that brought the entrants to the contest site itself. And it could be, from social sharing across all networks. Keeping track of these metrics may appear complex, only if you perform it manually. But we now have access to the most sensible tech that will help us do the monitoring and accounting, so we have a good plain number figure of social ROI to look into. Remember, if you're keeping track of the important metrics for your business before you initiate a social campaign, you will surely succeed. Your social ROI can always point you on what's the next good move for your business to grow. What You Need to Measure: Social Metrics and Intelligence By now, you should have realized that your social media ROI explicitly states the value your e-commerce gained or lost in your social media marketing efforts. Your social media campaigns, then become measurable and, are expected to have specific outcomes. What are the social metrics and intelligence that you need to know to be able to compute your social ROI? It's not really that complicated. It usually refers to everything that you spent or costed you money whether directly, or measured in time and other resources, in exchange of a desired outcome. Outcomes, often, are sales that resulted from social media, but it can also be the number of leads generated or landing page conversion if you are doing an A/B test. It's actually up to you, as a business, to create a clearly defined goal on what ROI you want to make from social media. This process is important as it will be the basis of everything else that you will do and measure in your social marketing. And so, take time to come up with a concise goal that you want to achieve for your business using social media marketing. When you're done, you can proceed to defining the metrics that you need to track to be able to measure your social ROI. According to experts, the top metrics that relate to social media success and therefore, you need to apply in your own business are: 1. Audience reach It's the number of people who can see your social media campaigns. It could refer to the number of your Facebook fans, Twitter followers or LinkedIn group members. The higher your audience reach, the more number of people can read your content, the more opportunities you can have to increase your social ROI. 2. Audience engagement There's no one way to define what audience engagement is. Whatever definition you give, it boils down to how your audience responds to your social media campaigns. Do they engage with your content through likes, shares, retweets, comments, clicks or favorites? Do they do what you ask them to do such as visiting a website, signing-up to an opt-in form? When there's a good audience engagement, it demonstrates audience trust to your brand. It shows that your followers are actively involved in your social content. When they are, they're more candidate to become your paid customers. 3. Site traffic When the number of your e-commerce site visitors increases, as a result of your social media campaigns, it partly indicates that you're getting higher ROI from social marketing. Your social efforts are converting to a spike in your website traffic. And it's actually one good goal to aim for in social. 4. Number of leads generated We all know that lead generation is critical to every business, as being able to pitch or close a sale. That is true, only if the right leads are generated. Social media marketing is very effective in filtering out targeted leads. Through social content that appeals only to its target audience, social marketing enables businesses to generate the right leads. And through successful social campaigns, the number or volume of qualified leads also increases. 5. Customer sign-ups and conversions The number of sign-ups to a marketing campaign or free trial, that eventually converts to being a paid customer, is a great metric to track when it comes to finding out what social campaigns work in your audience. Being able to determine what works can lead to better social ROI's for your business, which can be scaled up for higher revenues. 6. Revenue generated Of course, it's imperative to keep a close eye on the revenue generated from your social marketing efforts. But the *ability to pinpoint exactly, which social network or engagement or social posts caused that effect, is a goldmine of information that helps *generate higher social ROI. Business revenue may refer to product sales as a result of social media campaigns, but isn't limited to it. It may also refer to any other sources that may have brought business profits. Measuring the revenue generated from specific social media strategies, can help you to quickly identify your social ROI. Social Media ROI Tools When you understand how social ROI impacts your business, you'll want to get started measuring it. Instead of timing your social posts for the highest engagement, you'd want to time it for the optimal revenue so your business can enjoy a higher ROI. This is when you begin to look for tools that will help you track your social posts, subscriber actions, influencer activities, analyze data and provide you with analytics reports. Google Analytics is a free tool that you can use to track activities that are sourced out from your social media campaigns, such as website traffic to your e-commerce site and sign-ups to your opt-in pages. But your data would be incomplete as it won't tell you which specific social activities resulted to sales and other revenue. And so, your social ROI data would be partial. There are a number of popular paid softwares that you can choose to try, to help measure your social media ROI across various social channels. However, if you're an e-commerce business or B2B, know that this would be another separate step that you need to incorporate with tracking of your other marketing campaigns such as referral marketing, incentivized sharing and social CRM. There's one robust social media marketing software that will help you all the way to not only measure social ROI, but achieve a higher one, by helping you execute your social media marketing using ROI-optimized publishing times, giving you access to revenue-generating campaigns and a powerful social CRM. You only need to use one tool, and everything about your social media marketing and social ROI are taken care of. Its revenue tracking allows you to report on ROI on your social activities. How to Measure your Social ROI When you're using the right tool for social media marketing, you're just two steps away to measuring your social ROI. These are: 1) Determine your social media goals. - Know the outcome that you would expect from your social media campaign. More followers? More sales? More site visitors? 2) Use your social media software to execute your social media campaign and track ROI. - Plan, design and create your social campaigns. Determine the metrics that you want to track for your ROI. Track your metrics. You've eliminated redundant steps that you would have done manually otherwise, such as:
  • Decide on the right social platform to use.
  • Set-up and track your campaigns on that platform using a tracking tool.
  • Check on the reporting of your tracking tool.
  • Monitor important metrics and values.
  • Evaluate your findings.
  • Go back to your social media software and modify your campaign as needed.
  • Make sure to adjust the tracking set-up all over again.
When you've done those two steps, you'll end up with a suite of analytics that you can use to evaluate your winning social campaigns, based on the metrics that you've initially determined to use. Now that you have real-time data in your hands, you have the information to decide on your next move, which is based on doing more of what worked and halting that which didn't. By using a software like Sociamonials, you'll gain access to an overview report that will help you see at a glance which networks, media types, employees, campaign types, etc. are driving KPI’s like revenue, leads, visits and engagement. You're able to do this because it's a state-of-the-art one-software-tool for all of your social programs designed to give you a complete reporting of your social media ROI. You've eliminated steps that are based on inaccurate methods of measurements, and leveraged on technology-based business tracking that uses pixel codes. You've shortened the process of data analysis and reporting, by letting the software be involved in your social marketing from creating your campaigns, scheduling, tracking, analyzing and reporting. Pro Tip: Leverage on Your Social ROI If you want to gain social intelligence to improve how you do your business, you may want to consider using a social media marketing software that’s built just for that purpose, like Sociamonials. With a focus on helping businesses gain higher roi from social media, Sociamonials is designed to help the entrepreneur run his business with ease by allowing him to focus on what matters most, the direction of the business. Let Sociamonials handle all the technicals on social metrics, conversion and areas for improvement. See how you progress and never waste a penny on your marketing budget. When you do so, the ROI you're receiving may be worth the social media marketing efforts you’re exerting. Much more, you can scale it up using the data and business IQ that you can only have access to, when you use a smart social ROI software.

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