There Are 2 Reasons People Share Content and You Only Want 1 of Them

Posted on Posted in Content Marketing, Social Media Strategy

People will knee-jerk share a Buzzfeed/Upworthy sensationalistic headline. But people aren’t necessarily reading the articles or watching the whole video!

“WE’VE FOUND EFFECTIVELY NO CORRELATION BETWEEN SOCIAL SHARES AND PEOPLE ACTUALLY READING.” (source)

Ok.

There are two reasons people share content:

  1. “Ooh! This looks like it will be good.” – didn’t read it
  2. “Ooh! This actually is good.” – did read it

Buzzfeed and Upworthy are very good at number 1. The Atlantic is good at number 2.

chart of which content providers get more reads

Takeaway: Go for quality, long-form content. Actually inform or entertain or solve someone’s problems. Then your shares will lead to reads and even purchases.

Why isn’t this longform? I didn’t have time. But it definitely isn’t sensationalistic, so I got it half right! 🙂

How to Grow Your Twitter Following Fast With Zero Work

Posted on Posted in Small Business, Social Media, Social Media Strategy, Twitter, Twitter Marketing

I got on Twitter in 2008, at first protesting that, “I have too much of a life to be on Twitter!”

Turns out I was wrong. I was working on the opposite coast from my wife and I had very little life, and quickly, most of it was in social media! I even did the first-ever live online Twitter standup comedy show… which was basically me tweeting all my one-liners out over a 30 minute period.

Once I got the hang of it, my followers shot up to 8,000 pretty quickly… and eventually into the tens of thousands.

Twitter gets me more website views and blog post reads than any other social traffic source… because Facebook people, unless you use ads to drive them to your website, tend to stay on Facebook more.

How to Get More Twitter Followers

The hang of it is: follow other people and interact with them. Every so often, unfollow the ones who haven’t followed you back. Two steps forward, one step back.

You can do this easily for free with Tweepi, in 10 minutes or less per day.

You don’t want to get just any followers- you want the ones that you can help, and can help you. You want potential customers. So find someone with a Twitter account who has the followers you want, and follow their followers.

If you don’t have the time for Tweepi, I’d recommend a new service called Zeek. Its founder, Tom, contacted me and gave me a free trial. All he asked for was some input on what kind of followers I was looking for.

The results have been great.

And seeing my new followers’ interaction level, I’d say Zeek-sourced followers are at least as targeted if not better targeted than what I got with my own efforts.

Zeek Automated Twitter Growth

Here’s what Tom says about his service:

“Zeek is a Twitter account management service with a lazer-focus on follower acquisition and engagement. You indicate to us your ideal audience, and we know how to target and engage them intelligently.

“Basically, we’ve developed a growth hacking system that we’ve streamlined to enable scale and reduced costs for agencies like yourself.

“All of the agency clients that we’ve onboarded are delighted, and the success stories have been nothing short of extraordinary. With some accounts acquiring thousands of new followers month after month, with engagement through the roof.

“Here are a few quick screenshots breaking down the growth, targeting, and engagement of one of our clients over a 6 month period:

Growth:


Targeting

Engagement:

For more info on how to get Zeek, contact me with our contact form to the right!

How To Get More Registered Website Users

Posted on Posted in Social Media Lead Generation, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Strategy

We have a client who offers free press kits for musicians, along with paid promotional services. Within a few weeks we were getting them users with Facebook ads for as low as $3.25 apiece. With more testing, I hope to improve that to $1.50 or lower.

He asked me:

Eventually, I’d like to breach the double and then triple digit thousand of users. How can we ramp up our ad usage in order to do that after we test? Is it just a matter of adding more $ to the ad spend or are there other factors involved or ways we can do this?

Yes, here are some options, which can be done in combination:

  1. Spend more per day on ads.
  2. Lower the ad cost per new user (to make ad spend go further).
  3. Build things into the website to make social sharing easier. e.g.
    1. clicktotweet.com and
    2. Facebook sharing button.
  4. Incentivize social sharing. What if they received a discount on their monthly subscription, or a free new feature in their free account, in exchange for sharing the site on Facebook?
  5. Email sharing: Do #4 and #5 for emailing their musician friends.

Immediately, I thought- well this needs to be a blog post! 🙂

The Only New Thing About Content Marketing Is…

Posted on Posted in Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Uncategorized

Content marketing is the hottest area in digital marketing right now. But what is it?

Marketing” is communication with the intent to persuade and bring about a sale.

“Content marketing” is marketing that uses content to persuade.

“Content” includes:

  • Videos
  • Blog posts
  • eBooks
  • Webinars
  • Whitepapers
  • Research reports
  • Infographics
  • Podcasts
  • Slide decks

“Content marketing” is the use of content to persuade people to buy stuff.

“Social media” always uses content (media is a synonym for content).

“Social networking” can be simply interaction without content (media).

You might say, “Wow, so content marketing is pretty much everything except verbal sales?”

I’d reply, “Yep, content marketing is a new name for most of what we’ve done as marketing for years. Old practice, new name. Sure, blogs are newish. And using Facebook ads and an ebook as social content marketing is pretty new. But it’s still essentially the same thing as mailing a brochure or writing a book.”

“Advertising an ebook?” you’d ask.

“New way to do the same thing,” I’d reply. “We’re just distributing marketing material to prospects.”

What’s new is that the Internet empowers us to:

  • Target prospects precisely. Both Google AdWords and Facebook Ads have dramatically advanced our abilities here.
  • Track their behavior after they click on ads, email links and social media posts. Use an analytics package like Google Analytics and a CRM like Salesforce to do this.
  • Follow-up with them in an automated, yet personalized fashion. Marketing automation software like Infusionsoft, Eloqua and Marketo do this.

The point of targeting, tracking and follow-up is to get more customers in a more efficient way at a lower cost.

  • Improved targeting means we waste less time with the wrong prospects.
    We save time and money.
  • Improved tracking means we learn what works and what doesn’t. We only continue with the most efficient strategies, content, target groups and advertisements.
    We save money and increase profit.
  • Improved follow-up means we convert a higher percentage of the prospects we paid to get as leads.
    We get more customers and increase profit and revenue.

The content marketing moves people down the funnel toward purchase. It can also filter out the wrong prospects for us. Any content marketing piece may only work at one segment of the funnel. Or it may work on multiple segments. And that’s as far as we can go without getting complicated!


Amazing funnel graphic from Adido! 🙂

Never Exclude Women From Your Social Media Campaigns

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Strategy

It was interesting that even in the Facebook discussion of the Superbowl, the top three gender-age demographics were female.

The Facebook campaign with the least commenting we’ve ever seen was for an action-sports-oriented page with 95% male fans. We had focused on building a completely male fanbase, since the client’s experience was that few women purchased their product. But we found out that the result was no discussion at all!

Researchers studied the age-old stereotype that women really are more talkative than men.

Women converse more than men? It depends. Some guys are more chatty. Some guys act like that cliched “strong, silent type.”

Even when you’re marketing in a male-dominated niche, we recommend you also advertise to women. They can be like the “glue players” that hold the team together. Most of us would rather interact in a mixed group, anyway. Some guys don’t want to talk only to guys.

Much as marketers look at 25-55 year old women as the household and healthcare decision-makers, we may want to look at them as central to social media conversations.

There may be a few exceptions- do you want women in your “low T” discussion? Well, maybe you don’t want to discuss that publicly anyway!

And sure, conversation isn’t always critical to social media profits. Too much talk may even get in the way at times. But if it’s important to you, don’t exclude women.

5 Facebook Funnel Mistakes 99% of Businesses Are Making

Posted on Posted in Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing Strategy, Lead Gen, Social Media Lead Generation, Social Media Strategy, Strategy

If you sell online, or market for leads online, you definitely have a sales funnel. You may not know what your sales funnel is, but you have one.

The question is: how effective is your funnel?

When we map out a business’s funnels and assign numbers to them, they’re usually stunned by how many people drop out at each step.

In this example, we have only 5 steps and we start with 100,000 fans:

This funnel sucks

Only 5 sales? We lost 9,995 people in the process? Crap!

In digital marketing, the number of people lost at each funnel step is gigantic. It’s amazing to me that anyone sells anything online. And, in reality, many people fail.

Many much tears.

Unfortunately, many business people assume that online sales and lead gen is easy. In fact, it’s near-impossible.

Successful sales online (including inbound lead gen and offline sales) requires:

  1. Great planning,
  2. Lots of iteration (that’s the fancy word for trial and error), or
  3. Sheer luck.

The ones who succeed by sheer luck don’t learn anything. Usually they fail with their second business attempt and can’t figure out what happened.

Successful digital marketing requires:

  • An offering people want,
  • Marketing well planned and executed,
  • Testing,
  • Time, and
  • Money.

That’s the truth about selling online, and it’s not sexy. Unless you think executing wisely and achieving business profits is sexy. That would be like calling Gandalf sexy. Well I suppose there is someone out there who has… anyway-

To me digital marketing is not about sexiness or fun (though you can definitely have fun with the testing). It’s about finding and using a system that gets you results.

If you want to confront the cold hard facts and succeed, then you need to overcome the 5 most common mistakes that businesses make with their digital sales funnels.

Funnel Mistake #1: Too Many Steps

Every action people have to take requires a decision. At most decision points, more than 50% of your audience (usually more like 80-99%) opts out. That means they do things like:

  • Don’t click on your ad or link.
  • Don’t opt into your email list or your lead magnet (ebook, whitepaper, webinar).
  • Don’t put something in a shopping cart.
  • Don’t check out.
  • Don’t finish paying.

So, let’s imagine you have only those 5 steps above, and 10,000 people see your ad. Here’s what happens if ONLY 50% (we’ll be generous and give you a best-case dream scenario) don’t go through with it:

  • 5,000 don’t click on your ad or link.
  • 2,500 don’t opt into your email list or your lead magnet (ebook, whitepaper, webinar).
  • 1,250 Don’t put something in a shopping cart.
  • 625 Don’t check out.
  • 312 Don’t finish paying.
  • 156 buy

Let’s say you spent $5,000 on those clicks ($1 CPC). If you don’t profit at least $32 per sale ($5,000/156 sales), you lose money.

But let’s be more realistic with those numbers. Let’s say 100,000 see your ad…

  • At a 1% CTR, 99,000 don’t click on your ad or link. 1,000 do.
  • At 20% lead conversion rate, 800 don’t opt into your email list or your lead magnet (ebook, whitepaper, webinar). 200 do. (We’ll save this number for later)
  • At a 1% sales rate, 792 people don’t buy. 8 people do buy.

So if you spent $1,000 on those clicks ($1 CPC), if you don’t profit at least $125 per sale ($1,000/4 sales), you lose money.

Pretty dire, right?

But we still have those 200 emails. Here’s what happens with them:

  • 20% of them open your email. That’s 40 people.
  • 10% click to the site. That’s 4 people.
  • 1% buy. Shoot, you only have 1/25th of a buyer! That’s smaller than Mini-Me.

One more demonstration:

  • Let’s say you manage to get 100,000 Facebook fans.
  • 10% of them see your Facebook post- that’s 10,000 people.
  • Many Facebook posts get 99.9% interaction, not website clicks. A post that does well with website clicks may get a 4% clickthrough rate. That’s 400 people.
  • 1% of these buy- that’s 4 people. 0.004% of fans convert per post.

So your 100,000 fan page got your 4 sales. Pretty lame, huh? This is why we stopped doing Facebook fan growth: too many extra steps and too many people lost in the process.

Relax. It’s not the end of the world. If 4 people buy per Facebook post per day x 365 days = 1,460 people buy per year.

But how did you get those 100,000? You may have to pay $10-50k to get 100,000 quality fans with Facebook ads. Because the low quality fans will never buy.

So, you’d have to be profiting $7 to $34 per sale to break even on that fan cost after a year. And that means you’d have to be able to wait a year to make that $10-50k back.

This is assuming:

  • You don’t run any ads to promote posts (which many people do), and
  • You reach 10% of your fans (which many pages don’t).

The Facebook post visibility problem is just too expensive. A “Facebook Fan-Reliant Strategy” reduces your sales funnel’s effectiveness by 90%.

That’s why we switched to three funnels with fewer steps:

  1. Facebook ad -> Squeeze page to get email -> email -> click -> sale
  2. The shortest one: Facebook ad -> Sales page -> Sale [only 3 steps!]
  3. Retargeting audiences from #1 and #2 -> email or sale

Now, we’ve seen profits up to 2,200% from Facebook ad campaigns. To get that high, you have to create 100 ads a month. That’s how you find the ads that work incredibly well.

The upshot: Reduce the number of steps in your funnel.

Funnel Mistake #2: Not Getting Enough People Into Your Funnel

Advertising helps, and it’s critical for new sites. But only so many ads will be profitable. It will bring you a limited volume of sales.

You’re going to need more affordable traffic.

That means you need SEO or unpaid social media. And that means you have to create awesome content like this blog post. You have to create something that helps your prospect and you don’t get paid for it. But it brings in tons of people, some of whom opt into your emails and some of which buy.

But the most common mistake with content marketing is to create content that gets lots of buzz. You get tons of shares and comments and you slap each other on the back. But this often doesn’t move your prospects toward the sale. Check out this article to learn how to create content that gets shares and retweets and website clicks and sells.

The upshot: Create content that brings in traffic and sales.

Funnel Mistake #3: Keeping It Too Private

Because of how many people we lose at each funnel step, we need to do whatever we can to get shares at every step. For example:

  • Create ads that are tweets and Facebook posts that deserve shares/retweets and website clicks.
  • Create landing pages that deserve shares and retweets.
    • For example, a free lead magnet (ebook, whitepaper, video series, webinar) that’s so cool that people have to share it.
    • You can put Facebook commenting at the bottom of their free content so that excited people can comment. Those comments get shared via their Facebook account as well. Here’s how you add it. And Leadpages (note: affiliate link) has some squeeze page templates that have it built in. I use Leadpages and Clickfunnels (aff link) both for creating opt-in and sales pages. They’re both great.
  • Create thank you pages that empower people to share or tweet about it- especially after email opt-ins- but also for sales.

The upshot: Learn what kind of content the research shows people share and don’t share here (free whitepaper I wrote for Marketo).

Funnel Mistake #4: Only One Idea Per Funnel Segment

In the olden days of marketing, people created one campaign and ran it for months and months. If it tanked- they were screwed. 

Then a few brilliant folks like Claude C. Hopkins started using coupons to track what worked and didn’t. Direct mail was born. This evolved over the decades- and with digital marketing it has become standard to at least split-test your ideas. If you aren’t familiar with split-testing, you’re way behind. Google it.

  • Get a platform like LeadPages or Clickfunnels that empowers you to easily test 2 or 3 opt-in pages.
  • Create 2 or 3 sales pages, too.
  • Combine that with your ad testing and you will cut your cost per lead or sale by 50-80%.

You can’t afford not to do this, because many people who don’t just go out of business. It’s hard to make the math of profits work without this kind of testing.

And it’s how some marketers enter old niches and quickly dominate them. Some companies get put out of business. The most vulnerable businesses are the ones that have been around long enough to get cocky and think they don’t need to keep up with the times.

Don’t be lazy here or you’ll regret it.

The upshot: Split-test wherever possible.

Funnel Mistake #5: Being So Inbound That You Don’t Close The Sale

I get it. It’s cool to just market. To just do inbound. You aren’t pushy and you don’t get rejected.

Except you do. Someone else gets the customer.

Stop being afraid of selling. Get more of them to convert to the next step.

Figure out what objections or fears are keeping people from buying. Tell them about the other things that will happen if they don’t work with you that they should be more afraid of.

The upshot: Figure out what it takes to move them to the next step. Close the sale. Coffee is for closers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, my English teachers in school told me to write conclusions.

Fix all the mistakes above. You may go out of business if you don’t. You’ll reap massive profits if you do.

Why Marketing Strategists Can Be SO DANGED WRONG At Times

Posted on Posted in Social Media Strategy, Strategy

Recently I saw that some digital marketing strategists were surprised by Facebook’s recent announcement about posts of a promotional nature.

According to people we surveyed, there are some consistent traits that make organic posts feel too promotional:
  1. Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  2. Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  3. Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

Beginning in January 2015, people will see less of this type of content in their News Feeds. As we’ve said before, News Feed is already a competitive place — as more people and Pages are posting content, competition to appear in News Feed has increased. All of this means that Pages that post promotional creative should expect their organic distribution to fall significantly over time.

For us, that announcement is no big deal, because it doesn’t affect our basic strategy, which hasn’t had to change much since 2010. The biggest change for us in Facebook strategy was to devalue fan growth in 2012 and make email acquisition a critical component. We never had to worry about how tabs were devalued, because we always saw them as outside the main flow of Facebook (the newsfeed). We never worried about organic visibility declining because we have always recommended advertising. Generally speaking, we’ve used durable strategies all along. Part of that is because we have always embraced advertising as a fundamental investment. Resistance to advertising is a curious and unwise attitude in digital marketing.

I would question whether you should get your Facebook marketing strategy from people (generalists, strategists) who don’t implement tactics day-to-day. Why? Because to be surprised or thrown off by the announcement above means that that their knowledge of Facebook as a marketing platform is shallow and inadequate.

What’s Your Source For Marketing Best Practices?

I’ve always wondered where social media generalists get their strategy ideas from. New articles? Blog posts? Rumors? I’ve seen repeatedly in the last decade situations where the most insightful case studies were not published because a company didn’t want to give away the competitive advantage they had discovered. Not all the best tactics and strategies will be in the public domain.

That means that strategists who don’t implement anything will only know about the most average and common approaches- not the most powerful or cutting edge ones.

And in the case of the Facebook promotional posts announcement, being a non-implementing company clearly can lead to misconceptions about basic Facebook strategy. The fact is, no wise Facebook strategy has excluded Facebook advertising since 2012, if I’m being nice, and really 2010, because the huge opportunity of Facebook ads (because of its specific targeting and low prices) was clear way back then.

None of this is a surprise, because Google’s money always came from ads, so one would expect Facebook to follow that model. I didn’t know exactly what would happen or when, but I suspected that the newsfeed and ads would be the core of their marketing opportunity for a long, long time.

I remember when writing one of my books, an editor questioned something I called “a social media best practice.” As an editor with an academic writing background, she wanted an academic reference for it.

In other words, she was asking, “What other book or blog post corroborates your claimed best practices?”

I had to reply, “Well, it comes from my experience,” and that seemed like a lame response at the time, but in light of this, I now see that my day-to-day experience, usually working with 8-12 clients, and doing so over the last 10 years, is at times richer and more useful for answering specific strategy questions than the blogosphere is.

Marketing must seem like a weird industry to academics. In medicine, research is done independently with government grants, or is funded by huge companies. Practicing doctors based their clinical approach on that research and other doctors’ clinical experience. But in marketing, we don’t have nearly the research industry, so we rely much more on very small case studies and opinion. And the marketing ecosystem changes much more rapidly than the human body could ever evolve. It’s a moving target. So, the more of research you can do and experience you can gain in-house, the more effective marketer you will be.

Working with clients forces you to be oriented toward what really works (because you’ll lose the client if you’re wrong) and to keep secrets (because clients don’t like you to give away their competitive advantages).

When people hire us, they’re paying us to implement what we’ve found that works, and to avoid what we’ve found to be dead ends.

The Upshot

If you’re not working with people who implement digital marketing tactics daily, you won’t have access to the most powerful strategies- you’ll fall behind and miss opportunities. If you want to be a market leader, you need to find the smart people who are working on the gnitty gritty of digital marketing every day.

The Top 2 Causes of New Business Failure And How To Beat Them

Posted on Posted in Entrepreneurship, Internet Marketing Strategy, Social Media Strategy, Thought Leadership

invisible400The Top 2 Causes of Failure for Entrepreneurs Are…

  1. Lack Of Funding: If you don’t have enough running capital for 3-6 months of startup, you’ll probably go out of business before you’re profitable.
  2. Lack Of Sales: If not enough people are buying from you to keep going, you’ll have to shut down.

You need money, honey. A Lack of Sales typically is caused by one of two problems:

  1. No One Knows You Exist: A lot of businesses feel invisible. You can’t sell if you’re invisible. You need more awareness- more publicity- more buzz! And of course, maybe we’re exaggerating. Some people know about you, but not enough.
  2. Product/Service No One Wants: You can’t put lipstick on a pig. No way to fix this except move on to a better idea. It’s better to test the market before committing a ton of time and money to what could be a BIG OL’ DUD.

A lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of selling something people don’t want. They’re selling [what they think people need], not [what people want]. Don’t do that! Experts make that mistake a lot. I’ve been guilty of it myself! We do it because we think as experts we know exactly what these poor people need… But they don’t care. They want what they want. Even if we’re right, people don’t want to eat their vegetables. Don’t treat your customers like you’re their mom and they’re bratty kids. Do this instead: SELL people what they WANT… GIVE them what they want AND what they need. This makes it easy to over-deliver, which is a good way to keep customers happy. “Wow, they gave me a ton!” For example, Flintstone Vitamins: Kids want cartoons and sweets. Moms want kids to take vitamins. They each delicious-tasting Flintstones vitamins, and everybody wins. FREEDOMVITAMINS

How To Use Facebook To Ensure Entrepreneurial Success

There are five things you can do that will help a great deal- not only to avoid a lemon but to help you succeed with your marketing from the start.

  1. Identify Your Potential Buyers
  2. Research & Understand Them With Facebook Audience Insights (you need a Facebook ad account for that)
  3. Test Your Product/Service Ideas And Throw Out The Bad Ideas
  4. Test Your Slogans And Find Most Effective Ones
  5. Test Your Unique Selling Proposition

testbusinessideas

You’ll Live Or Die According To Your U.S.P.

Do you have a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) for your new company or service? Here’s how to create one. Tell us in 20 words, how is your company, product or service different from and better than the competition? What does it do for me? What’s the primary benefit? Is it for me or someone else? Here’s the formula: “[Company] is the [superlative:only/first/premier/best/fastest/biggest] [what] that delivers [what benefit] to [which people]?” For example, Brian Carter is the only social media speaker who delivers practical digital marketing takeaways, comedy-club level entertainment and inspiring motivation to marketers and business owners. Isn’t he amazing?

3 Things To Test With Facebook Ads BEFORE Going To Market

  • Test Your Product/Service Ideas: Do people really want it, not just need it? The ultimate test is to sell it, but if you can get clicks on an ad, that’s a good indicator. If you can get them to opt into something (to qualify for the beta when it’s ready, for example) that’s even better. And my favorite is Kickstarter, because you get paid for something before you’re ready to sell it.
  • Test Your Slogans: Which ones really resonate with your market? Finding out what works here will help you write your marketing copy later, and may help you prioritize how your develop your product or service now. What features or options do people care about? Getting verification on this increases your chance of success.
  • Test Your Unique Selling Proposition: Is your USP working as well as you expected? Try three different versions.

You can also survey your market with surveymonkey. Here’s one I did while working on new online course ideas: survey1 Good thing I did it, because some of the things I thought would be number one weren’t at the top of anyone’s priority list. survey2 I used the results to come up with some course ideas, and then I tested some potential course names with Facebook ads. I’m not going to show you the best ones, because I don’t want anybody creating a similar idea until mine’s ready! But I’ll show you some of the worst results: fbad2

Find Out The Demographics Of The Most Interested People

You can even use Facebook ad tests like this to find out which demographics respond best to your ideas. Whether you use that targeting later on, or just use that intel in developing your product or service, it’s supervaluable to know the age, gender and location of your best potential buyers. For example, from a tests we did a couple years ago for a financial-niche Facebook app: demographics What could you have tested about your current company? What can you test about your next project to avoid wasting time and money and start off on a stronger footing? Ok, so go do it!

How To Get More Customer Referrals With Facebook

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Internet Marketing Strategy, Social Media Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Webinars

liketagsHere’s a clever way to boost your sales by getting more recommendations to prospects from your current customers…

The research tells us that recommendations from friends are one of the most persuasive sales strategies out there.

Think about it in your own life: are you more likely to check out a new make of car because some Brian Carter dude recommended it, or because your best friend recommended it? Hopefully you answered “my best friend” even though the research tells us that Brian Carter is ridiculously influential 🙂

How To Make Friend Referrals More Effective And Palatable

All you need is:

  • An email list of customers
  • A Facebook Page
  • A Facebook Ad Account

Here’s How You Do it

On Facebook…

  1. Create a post asking people to think about a friend that would benefit from your business, and ask them to tag a friend in the comments.
  2. You can incentivize with a sweepstakes this by saying one recommender + recommendee pair will each win a prize.
  3. Take your customer email list, create a custom audience in Facebook Ads, create a lookalike audience from that, then
  4. Promote that Facebook post to these two audiences (one ad per audience)

Now, you’ve just reached out to your customers and people like them on Facebook with a giveaway that will drive action.

improvpromoI use this technique to promote my local improv comedy group’s performances (Andrea Vahl suggested it when Facebook changed their contest guidelines, I tried it, and it has worked for us a dozen times).

But it doesn’t have to be used for just events.

Speaking of events though, it could be used for paid webinars- what if you offered a $7 webinar and offer free access to five winners?

Adding a giveaway to it makes it less spammy- now people are giving their friends the opportunity to win something for free– and that makes the referrer look good, which is one of the keys to driving viral marketing activity.

Not everyone will refer, so have a backup option. Give the customer two options- if they don’t feel comfortable referring, or can’t think of someone, let them know they can also

  • Recommend you on LinkedIn, if you’re a solo entrepreneur, or
  • Positively rate your business on Yelp or Google Local.

Thar you go.

Now go do it!