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Call them to act, make them your "advertisers"

Social media is a great "place" to express yourself. Both users and brands try to impress, engage with, attract and convince more users about their expertise and quality. Although this all started with classic marketing and advertising techniques, nowadays there are more ways to achieve such goals in social media. They are not expensive, they are time-consuming and require some certain skills.

So far, there are the contests in i.e. facebook, a custom tab where the user goes, the application requires authorization from the user ( which is a checkpoint many users are afraid to pass due to privacy ) then the application asks for some info, maybe answer some questions and then the user enters the contest. There are also the post promotions ( boost post in facebook ), twitter ads and more of those ( nowadays ) standard techniques. But what more can we do? Isn't there something more catchy to work with in order to make users want to join it more?

One of the coolest ways to do something new, interesting and different in social media is what is called "Call to Action Campaigns". Such a campaign contains those important ingredients :
1. an idea, a scenario, what your users are asked to do
2. what do you give them in return, their present, the winner's prize
3. which social media you are to run this on, all of them? Some of them? Only one?

Let's take an example to make the issue more clear. Let's say that you either own or represent a brand that sells flower services, garden beautification services e.t.c. You want, somehow, to be more active in social media and call your audience to advertise you, talk about you. You can easily create a campaign that will read :

Grab your smartphone or camera, go around The Big Apple and find the best shot of an urban flower, take the picture and upload it on Instagram, have your friends in facebook, twitter and other social media vote for you. The most liked photo in Instagram under the hashtag #NYurbanflower on Dec 25th, will win a full garden upgrade! Start today!

What is now possible with this campaign you just started, is that a lot of flower-lovers and fans, will start running around NY, a few in the beginning and more and more as this goes viral over the networks, taking photos they believe are great. Sharing them on instagram and having people voting for those will make it nice for them, as this will be for them like a game. At the same time, it will work quite well for your brand too. While users are sharing and the campaign goes on, your brand will be "advertised" by a lot of people at the same time, thus creating quite a few mini-advertisers for you.

Use a specific marketing-named hashtag

Make sure, if you are to start such campaign, to use a certain, specific hashtag, something to name your campaign with so that users and your audience can remember it and not make the mistake of posting photos without it or at a different hashtag.

Pay attention to terms and conditions of the platforms 

Also, during this campaign, you need to be extra careful about the terms of use of the platform you are to judge the winner from, that's the social platform via which you will be counting the likes/votes/shares e.t.c. For instance, you need to be very very careful with facebook about those terms. Read the terms of use first, before you plan your campaign.

Keep a close eye

While your campaign is running, make sure you keep the heat up, posting in the midst of it that "our flower photo shoot in NY is going on really well, we have 1700 people submitting photos already" and similar posts, to keep your users notified and attached to the campaign. You will need to go in daily and check on what is going on under your campaign's hashtag, see what people are uploading ( in order to avoid offensive content ) and keep an eye on your traffic.

This is not going to cost much

Technically, this is a zero-cost campaign to run. You can do this whole process just via posting and using your social media to communicate the campaign, only the prize you are about to give away is what your cost can really be. Of course, the more you spend on your launch posts and intermediate posts, the more exposure the campaign will get. Remember not to set such campaign to last too long, or your users will forget about it and it will get stuck.

You may be more lucky than others

Some brands are more lucky in such campaigns than others and that is due to their field of operations. For instance, fashion brands have more options as far as the scenario and prize are concerned than i.e. consulting brands. Also, the norm is that brands that sell physical products, do have an advantage over services. Still, even if you are one of the unlucky ones, you can surely think of something about your brand that can sustain such a campaign. Keep your prize related to your context, avoid to give something irrelevant as a prize because this way you will bring in more "I-want-a-present" users and not a quality mix for your business ( by quality, we mean users that are really possible to come into your store at some point ).


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