How to Run a Successful Social Media Sweepstakes

social media how toAre you planning to run a social media sweepstakes to make your business stand out this holiday season?

Do you need a guide to ensure that you don’t miss the crucial elements of a successful sweepstakes promotion?

Sweepstakes, contests and giveaways are increasingly popular among marketers who are vying for the attention of their social media audiences. Choosing a prize is the easy part.

Whether you run your promotion on Facebook or Pinterest, it’s easy to overlook something. Making sure you’ve got all your planning, technical and legal “i’s” dotted and “t’s” crossed is critical to your success.

In this article, you’ll learn the five steps of running a successful social media sweepstakes.

#1: Assess Sweepstakes Objectives

This is where most companies shortchange themselves. How? By focusing on superficial objectives that may not benefit their business.

For example, does it make sense to run a sweepstakes to increase your already-large fan base or do you want to jumpstart your social engagement process?

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How an Auto Repair Shop is Winning Female Customers With Social Media

social media case studiesHow does a small auto repair business develop a thriving Facebook page–with over 60 percent female fans?

Owner Jeff Matt started Victory Auto Service and Glass in 1997 with one shop in the suburbs of Minneapolis.

He always made an effort to develop personal relationships with his customers who trusted him with their cars.

The business grew to three locations by 2010, and Matt found it harder to maintain the small-shop feel. “When you have multiple stores and multiple managers, you can’t be everything to everybody,” he said.

Three years ago, he approached Stephanie Gutierrez, a long-time customer, about helping the business get started in social media.

By experimenting with different approaches, they hit upon a winning formula that promotes the personal connections Matt has always valued.

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Victory Auto and Glass uses Facebook to post photos from their shops.

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6 Ways to Maximize Your Google+ Engagement

social media how toIs Google+ working for your business?

Are you wondering how to increase engagement with your Google+ community?

Google+ is designed to focus on one thing and one thing only: engagement.

So, how can you pump up your Google+ engagement?

In this post, you’ll discover six ways to use Google+ posts to stimulate activity.

#1: Make Your Text Stand Out

You’ll first want to help your content stand out by differentiating the formatting. Instead of publishing a boring block of text, add a little formatting variety to your next Google+ post.

Unlike Facebook, it’s generally acceptable to have longer posts on Google+. If you publish a long post, remember that dense text can be a turnoff for readers. Use appropriate line spacing and paragraph breaks to make it easy for readers to scan your content.

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How to Get Major League Results From Social Media

social media case studiesThe San Francisco Giants have the most engaged fan base in Major League Baseball.

They’re recognized as social media standouts in the sports world.

But as recently as three years ago, they had no cohesive voice on social media and no social media strategy.

The Giants were a traditional organization in a traditional sport. In 2010, when they brought in Bryan Srabian as social media director, they were getting information to fans by broadcasting. Typically this meant holding press conferences and sending out press releases or email blasts.

But then Srabian had an “Aha!” moment. He was reading a book by Chris Brogan and then had a conversation with him on Twitter. “We don’t really talk to our fans at all,” he thought. But they could.

It was time for a new model based on listening and responding. But first they had to find out what fans were saying, and where they were getting their information.

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3 Strategies for Finding Customers With Social Media

social media how toDo you need a strategy to reach your ideal prospects with social media?

Are you overwhelmed by all the social media options?

If so, you’re not alone. Social media overwhelm is one of the biggest challenges businesses face.

In this article, I’m going to show you three social media strategies so you can focus your efforts on the channels that best align with your business objective and target audience.

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How to Setup Social Media Discussion Groups for Business

social media how to

Is networking a big part of your job or business?

Have you participated in or considered starting a discussion group?

The good news is LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+ all offer options.

In this post, we’re going to look at how social media groups work for businesses and how you can benefit from them as both an owner and a participant.

#1: Google+ Communities

Let’s start with the newest kid on the block for social media groups: Google+ communities. When Google+ launched communities in December 2012, they grew at lightning speed. You can now find thousands of communities that cover every topic.

Benefits as a Member

One of the nice parts about Google+ communities is that you can participate in them using your personal profile or your business page—an option you won’t find on any other social network. This means that you can build your business’s authority on a particular topic within communities.

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Google+ page participating in a Google+ community.

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26 Tips to Enhance Your Social Media Profiles

social media how toWhen did you last revisit your social profile on Twitter or Facebook?

Do you want to maximize the impact of your social networking efforts?

Basic housekeeping tasks are necessary for maintaining complete and engaging profiles.

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Update your social network profiles. Image source: iStockPhoto.

In this article, you’ll find 26 tips, an A-Z guide, with recommendations to help you get the most of your social network profiles.

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Research Shows Blogging a Top Focus for Marketers

social media researchDo you ever wonder what tactics, tools and strategies other social media marketers are using?

Regardless of how long you’ve been involved in social media, chances are you have some questions that you’d like answered.

Questions such as, “What are the best social management tools?” or “What are the best ways to engage my audience with social media?”

These and many more questions were answered in the 2013 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, which surveyed over 3000 marketers with the goal of understanding how they use social media to grow and promote their businesses.

Here are some interesting findings from the survey:

#1: Marketers Want Most to Learn About Blogging

When asked what social media platform they wanted most to master, 62% of marketers said blogging, putting it in first place slightly ahead of Google+. This answer is consistent with other studies, which show that the appetite for blogging education is growing.

An important trend to consider is that 28% of marketers now have mobile-optimized blogs. This is highly significant when you consider that the number of smartphone subscribers in the world has broken the 1 billion mark.

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Blogging takes first place as the social media platform most marketers want to learn about.

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3 Ways Social Media Creates a Social Local Community

social media case studiesAre you looking for ways to engage with your employees and your local community?

Are you using social media to create awareness for the services you offer?

Keep reading as I reveal how a nursing home used social media to build a loyal local community.

Nursing Homes and Social Media?

Nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and rehab communities are not known for being active in social media—yet.

But changes in Medicare mean communication with patients and families and the employees who care for them is more important than ever.

wapakoneta activities

Wapakoneta Manor is one of 24 HCF Management facilities on Facebook.

“The way that we’re going to be paid and the way we’re going to be gauged is changing; it’s evolving as we speak,” said Scott Unverferth, director of operations at HCF Management in Lima, Ohio.

New pay-for-performance models are on the horizon for managed care companies such as HCF.

HCF has 27 facilities throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania that provide skilled nursing care, rehab care and assisted living. They have approximately 3,200 employees and have been in business since 1968.

In April 2012 they made the leap into social media and haven’t looked back.

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