So 2013 is here and well under way, bringing a new opportunity for everyone. Considering that so much happened in 2012, it’s a also a great time to think about what the next twelve months have in store for us, in terms of social campaigns.
As we saw last year, it is no longer feasible for brands to simply push out promotional messages to their audience and expect them to invest time and money in the brand. Social Media engagement had a breakthrough year in 2012, as many businesses saw engagement as a vital part of the social process, creating innovative campaigns and competitions to interact with their audience.
Here are my predictions for social promotions in 2013....
TIME TO TAKE THE FACEBOOK BLINKERS OFF
Facebook apps are important and do fulfill a purpose, however, I feel often brands are blinded by the success and sheer user figures that the networks boasts.
Furthermore, it is a big mistake for brands to focus purely on Facebook for social promotions, as the growing list of alternative social networks cannot be ignored.
These platforms allow for innovative marketing campaigns including photo contests on Flickr and Instagram, video competitions on YouTube as well as the unlimited amount of campaign opportunities that Twitter enables, from 'RT to win' to treasure hunts'.
Finally, implementing an inspirational, fun campaign on Facebook is great, however Facebook campaigns should not aim to simply boost 'likes' E.g 'Like us and win'
Brands get too caught up on 'like' totals, because they have been understood to be a barometer of a brand’s success for some time now. Asking someone to like your page as part of your campaign is trivial and desperate, they can un-click the button as quick as they clicked it - 'Likes' are meaningless if you don't engage and interact with your fans!
PERFECT FOR PINTEREST
Due to the highly visual nature of Pinterest, the ability to share directly to brand's boards and the capability to give categories to interests, the social networking site can allow for some truly unique and innovative campaigns.
These promotions are not something that many brands have dabbled in due to the youth of the platform, however, I think you will see them rise this year due to the success brands have had in 2012 with the network.
For example, last year car manufacturer Peugeot, ran a highly innovative competition that rewarded fans who completed a Pinterest puzzle. Followers had to go to the Peugeot Facebook page or website to get the missing boards to finish the puzzle. The first five people to complete a board won a prize.
This is a great method that could be used for a number of competitions. For example, a brand could run a photo competition and create boards for different categories. The brand could then ask fans and followers to fill their categorised boards full of images!
The idea could also work for a quiz. A brand could post a question on it's website and then ask followers to pin the answer in 'image form' to their 'quiz board'. E.G "Which artist sings this classic", (follower then pins picture of the artist).
A WORLD OF AUGMENTED-REALITY
It has been around for a few years now, yet (AR) hasn't managed to enter into the forefront of audiences minds. However, campaigns that have used augmented reality, have really impressed the public, especially when the ideas are ambient.
For example German shoe brand Goertz implemented innovative 'virtual shoe stores' at central train stations. The idea was based around the fact that as retail has moved online shopping has become much quicker, faster and sometimes cheaper. However, there is one thing that has hasn't been made easier - trying on the products to see if they fit.
What Goertz did was let people try on a range of shoes using (AG) on a huge screen. People could select any model and size, viewing the shoe as if they were actually wearing it. Audiences could then take a photo to share on Facebook and finally scan a QR code which took them to product model on Goertz's website.
If brands continue to use augmented reality in this creative way, then it could provide a valuable platform for interacting and engaging audiences. The majority of people are moving away from feature phones to smartphones, so why not put that technology to good use!
A SPACE FOR SPOTIFY
Music master Spotify has recently launched new features to make the application more personalized and more social. The site, which boasts over 15 million active users and over 4 million subscribers, now allows users to 'follow' people, giving them real-time info on the music their friends and influencers are listening to. The app also now incorporates a 'discover' tab displaying relevant artists and playlists based on what users have in their library.
However, few brands have really utilized the potential of Spotify in their campaigns and competitions. One brand that has made use of Spotify recently is confused.com. The car insurance comparison site created the 'ultimate safe driving playlist' on Spotify and ran a test featuring eight people driving 500 miles each, under various conditions, to see how different types of music (heavy metal, dance, hip-hop and classical) affected the ability to drive.
Spotify allows for apps within it's software, which opens up a realm of opportunities for brands in terms of social promotions. Brands could ask audiences to create and share their playlists on the application and even enable voting. For example this could work for a gym brand, encouraging people to create the 'ultimate workout playlist'.
I FORESEE MORE FOURSQUARE
I’ve often seen Foursquare as the sleeping giant of the social media world. The initial concept is simple and brilliant, go for a meal; click a button to check in, shares some hints with your friend and maybe even get a special deal for your trouble. However, for one reason or another it hasn’t really taken off in the UK like it has in the US.
This could be for a number of reasons and I have to admit that I’m guilty of neglecting my Foursquare account but I’m convinced that 2013 will see the end of that.
Back in August 2011 Foursquare made their brand pages self-service. Before they had done this you had to be an international brand and be invited by Foursquare to have a page. Now though any company, regardless of size, can create a Foursquare page where they can build a presence, engage their fans and reward loyal customers. If you do own a business then it really is worth checking out their brand.
2012 was also a huge year for Foursquare as they decided to take their product in a new direction and focus their niche. Last year’s update saw the company take a distinct focus on exploration by helping people finding hotspots in their local areas. The app now makes recommendations based on places that you frequently visit or places that your friends enjoy.
Many companies have started to see the applications potential launching Foursquare campaigns for their brand. EE are the latest brand to jump on the Foursquare bandwagon during Christmas 2012. Working with Poke London the phone network encouraged people in a street in Hackney, to check in using Foursquare to be rewarded with a snow blizzard surprise accompanied with Dean Martin's 'Let it Snow'.
I see no let up in Foursquare campaigns this year as the Social application grows in the UK. I also predict that more and more brands will begin to utilize the 'gamification' element of Foursquare for their Social Promotions. For example, check-in at the stadium to win a badge and the chance to take a penalty on the pitch!
Lastly with Twitter announcing the launch of a new mobile service called Vine on Thursday, which allows users to create and share looping videos - could we see brands adopt this application for a social promotion? It will be interesting to see if they do!
BEELIKED CAN HELP!
If you're looking to run a social promotion BeeLiked can help. BeeLiked offers a 'microsite' service, which enables brands to showcase their campaign on their website with a fully branded, fully customizable page, allowing visual entries as well as social voting. Take a look here
BeeLiked microsites are also fully functional on mobile and can be implemented as a Facebook App if requested.
Our social media tool allows you launch a number of promotion methods across mutiple networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, Flickr, YouTube, Spotify and Foursquare. The software also enables you to moderate your campaign entries, and then pick winners at random in our easy to use competition suite. Why not check it out here
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