Social media, by nature is a selfish medium. User post statuses talk about what they are doing that particular day. Social media is all about me telling and sharing things that I personally find interesting.
In case of people where this does hold true, the same cannot be said for a business. If a business on Facebook only talks about their products and brand, most people would tend to hide it from their feeds and unlike/unfollow it. Social media users use it to connect it with family and friends, not businesses. So how does one business successfully advertise on a platform that is it not basically meant for or isn’t what the platform is generically used for?
Business need to be creative and provide some sort of incremental value / incentive to people interacting with it on a social media platform. They need to provide value, since they are invading into an apparently private world. That is why a business needs to provide incentives to people interacting with on a social media platform, since as said before, social media is a selfish medium. Nobody uses facebook primarily to obtain discounts.
So what does providing value/ incentive means to businesses?
Well that varies from business to business. There are four general methods which are described below
1: Sweepstakes and drawings: The Key point here is that it doesn’t have to be huge, just attractive enough!
2: Coupons and discounts: A discount that isn’t available anywhere else ensures that people do visit your official page/twitter/instagram
3: Entertainment: A more trickier area, this includes great conversations, videos, audios, podcasts etc etc
4: Provide rewards for actions: Loyalty cards / membership points and like can be put here
Does this means that every other business needs to give a 50% on their services? No, not necessarily, the rewards and discounts given should be attractive enough. For Example a car wash may offer free polishing of cars if they users have checked in on the premises on social media the last five times they got their car washed.
Such methodologies ensure that people recognize your online presence and use it to their liking/benefit which is what ultimately what social media marketing is about
It does not have to complicated or a cost burdening investment in any case, it just needs to be attractive enough to tempt the user into letting the business invade their personal social media world