Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Running a Twitter Contest: Response to Gareth



I tried having a contest a few weeks ago on twitter, but there wasn't much of a response. I've heard that a contest is a good way to increase followers and promote a business... where did it go wrong? Thanks, Gareth


I'm not sure what your contest looked like, but there are a few basic tips to make your Twitter contest as successful as possible. As you may know, there are lots of different types of contests you can hold. The most common are hashtag contests and retweet contests. Hashtag contests require users to incorporate specific hashtags (hyperlinked keywords with pound signs in front of them that link to all other mentions of that word). This article has tips on how to track a hashtag contest.

Make sure the content on your Twitter account is interesting and appealing. It doesn't do much good to run a contest and gain more followers if they just come to realize that they have no interest in your tweets (I'm not saying this is what happened necessarily). To avoid being unfollowed or forgotten as soon as the contest is over make sure you have funny or informative content up prior to the contest and after it.

Making your product the prize of the contest showcases your work. Be sure that your product is something people will want, and promote it as such. Giving away something too small or common may actually discourage people from participation. You should also keep the length of your contest in mind. A one-day contest may sound like a great way to make your contest seem urgent, but it may prevent you from reaching a large number of people. At the same time, if you stretch a contest out, it can result in people losing interest or forgetting. The ideal length for a contest is around seven to ten days.

Lastly, entertain people! Retweeting "Win a FREE _______, just RT..." is not going to entice people unless the prize is out of this world. Instead include a fun fact about your product; anything people will find interesting or humorous. Hold a trivia contest or make your promotion a game people will activly engage in. When the contest is over, be sure to announce the winner, and update everyone as to how it went. Hope this helps; let us know if you come accross any more Twitter contest issues.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Facebook Fan Page Management: Response to Mabel


Hey Sarah, I read you post on getting blog followers, it was very good. I’ve just started a Facebook fan page, but I’m not sure what kinds of things to post to it. Also, how do I get more fans?



Thanks for your question, and congrats on expanding your social network to Facebook! While it can overwhelming at times to manage a studio, a fan page, a blog, and a Twitter account, most artisans find that it’s worth it for the increase in sales and traffic.

Regarding what to post, take a peek at some of the pages you’ve “liked” on your personal Facebook account. Most likely, you’ll see a post from them every day or every few days with some new article, link, or important update. Generally, if you have a page that updates too often, they end up dominating a news field, which can annoy your fans. Remember, Facebook isn’t Twitter, and if you plan to post your tweets to your Facebook fan page, so do sparingly and make sure they are important updates.

Generally, you should post an update once a day or every few days with news about sales, giveaways, and the occasional newly posted item (try to avoid posting a Facebook update every time you update your store). You can also update them with important information which may not be related to your business, such as a helpful craft business article or venue update. You can use Facebook to promote your blog too, but try not to post an update every time you blog.

You can also use your fan page pictures to create a story of your creations. Post pictures of your work as it progresses to show how you create a piece. Include pictures of your workshop, or a booth you had at a craft show to help fans get to know you better. And don’t forget to put your Facebook Kiosk on your fan page too!

You can gain fans for your Facebook page in a similar fashion to gaining blog followers. Fill out the link on your Market Hub, add your Facebook link anywhere else you can (such as forum and email signatures), promote your page though Twitter and similar channels, and post high quality updates. You can also post a widget/badge for your Facebook page on your blog or any website you run.

You can even promote your fan page through Facebook. Make sure to fan other artist’s pages and comment on their updates and pictures. You may even consider running a Facebook ad campaign for your fan page, although you may choose to reserve this form of advertising for your studio.

Lastly, if your page is brand new…give it time to grow! :)

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