The Facebook contest continues to be a popular tactic for brands, with companies using them to both acquire new fans and re-engage existing ones. With Facebook dominating the percentage of social networking time spent by users, promotions that run on Facebook remain a consistent part of social media plans.
But the social networking space has grown since contests were first introduced to Facebook. Emerging networks like Pinterest have attracted attention from consumers, and marketers have followed. Consumers are also moving in droves away from a computer-only social networking life -- mobile access to networks on smartphones and tablets has skyrocketed. Social networking now accounts for 30 percent of mobile web time compared to 20 percent on the desktop.
Just as adapting to the shifts in consumer behavior is critical for website and ecommerce optimization, social media marketers who are launching social promotions must also modify their promotions to insure they are seen and engaged with by their target audience. For brands managing active presences on additional social networks like Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, and others, it's more true now than ever that brands must be where their customers are active, and most often that means reaching them in multiple formats on multiple social networks. The typical Facebook contest may no longer be the only or best avenue for engaging customers for your particular company. Facebook is still undoubtedly the most popular social network, but brands running promotions solely on Facebook are likely not reaching their entire target audience or, worse, making it unnecessarily difficult for interested parties to participate. The demographic profiles of each burgeoning network vary widely from one another; therefore, brands that recognize and utilize each of the various networks that touch their audience can offer a seamless contest experience to all networks.
Brands can break free from the Facebook-only contest paradigm by simply expanding their promotions and making them easily accessible on the various networks customers devote their time. Users' social networking time has become more fractured -- building social promotions that can be accessed broadly across your audience's preferred devices and networks illustrates that your brand is able to provide an optimal contest experience for users everywhere. Social media management platforms that simplify the design, management, and publishing of cross-promotional campaigns make this process possible.
By actively making social promotions accessible to anyone who might wish to participate, brands are able to connect with more people to either initiate a social connection or nurture an existing one.
So, what's included in an expanded social promotion?
An additional benefit to optimizing promotions to each social network is the added ability to cross-promote contests across and, ultimately, boost participation. Each social network optimized for the promotion can also be tapped to spread awareness of the promotion to a wider variety of people. Tweeting or pinning a link to a Facebook app isn't enough to make an impact -- marketers are challenged to insure contest accessibility is paramount.
As the social networking space continues to expand, marketers need to make sure their promotions also expand to reach this larger audience. Building out promotions optimized to reach each platform's distinct customer base gives users a simple way to enter contests, a solid supplementary tactic to everyday engagement on newer platforms like Pinterest and Google+.
Jason Weaver is CEO of Shoutlet.
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"As the social networking space continues to expand, marketers need to make sure their promotions also expand to reach this larger audience.". Definitely true. We should forget about traditional marketing methods either though - often companies dedicate all of their time to social media ignoring things such as promotional merchandise, calls, building a personal relationship etc.
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