I am asked often how I managed to attract over 20,000 Twitter followers to my business Twitter account and over 53000 to my food blog account. The truth is, it wasn’t difficult. No I didn’t purchase followers like so many people playing catch up have decided to do. That’s a bad move and it will also make your time using social media quite boring and a waste of time.
I went about it in a more organic way. First of all I created content and posted it regularly on my blogs. Depending on your industry, that may not be enough either. Sometimes it makes sense to whet people’s appetites with a good old prize.
The thing is, a lot of gaining a large following is down to your specialty.
I started my business Twitter and Facebook accounts years before I ever started blogging about food but it didn’t take long for my business account to be overshadowed by my foodie accounts. That’s just the way it is. People prefer reading recipes to learning about promotional pens unless they happen to be looking for pens at the moment and don’t like cooking.
But you can still make a big difference and grow your social channels with a bit of work and a few enticing prize gifts.
The important thing to remember is that the products you have on offer as prizes need to be in line with what it is you do. This will help ensure that the people entering your prize draws are interested in your products/service. We are all on social media to meet new people and promote our brands after all.
For my food blog that was easy. I found a good group of sponsors who donated food related gifts as prizes in return for me helping them build their social brands. Let’s just say that most of my sponsors have been with me for over two years so they are realising great results and obviously happy.
With my business blog I had to dig a little deeper in my pockets but the ROI has been awesome. I have attracted many new customers to my business’s products and service that I probably would never have met if it weren’t for the prize draws.
You can probably see from this page that my business supplies promotional products to businesses and organisations. For my business prize draws I suggested that only people who are responsible for marketing business, clubs or organisations should enter. You can’t make this mandatory but the suggestion seems to work just fine.
How Do You Start?
There are a lot of great prize draw apps out there. I have tested a few but now use Rafflecopter. I like Rafflecopter because the app randomly chooses the winner meaning I don’t have to. That could cause problems.
The app allows you to choose from a number of entry options such as following your business on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. You can also ask entrants to take a poll which is great for gathering important data. There is even a way to choose your own entry options such asking entrants to share the contest with their followers including your details in the tweet.
Each entry method gains people a chosen amount of points. Entrants can choose just one entry method or all of them. The more ways they choose, the more points they receive and the better their chances of winning.
If you’d like to see how this works in action, you can check out some of my current prize draws here.
The Rafflecopter app is free to use though there is a paid version with more functionality. Just in case you are wondering, I am in no way affiliated with Rafflecopter but I do like the app. You can visit their site here.
What do You Give Away?
If, like me you are lucky to have great sponsors or your own product/service you can give away you are ready to go. If on the other hand you don’t there are things you could do. Perhaps your suppliers would be happy to sponsor one of your draws. It never hurts to ask. Failing that, you could simply give away something like a Kindle or a few promotional products printed with your logo.
The prize doesn’t have to be expensive to attract attention but it does need to be interesting. Prize draws help create a buzz around your brand. They get people talking about and sharing information about you. Now that’s can’t be a bad thing!
I hope this post has given you a few ideas. I would be happy to answer any questions. I’ve been doing this long enough now that I think I should be able to help. Just leave a comment below.