Creating social engagement on the cheap

While out of town recently, I came across an interesting social media campaign in the most unusual place – at a Comfort Inn in Lexington, Virginia. I was in town for a weekend horseshow and thought my focus would be away from social media for 48 hours when, after I checked into my hotel, I saw a very cute rubber ducky in my hotel room bathroom. A tiny placard accompanied the duck with a quick description that read “Take me with you and together we could win prizes”.

The card also included a QR code directing me to the hotel’s Facebook page along with the instructions that stated if I post pictures of where I take the rubber ducky, I could be the winner of a monthly prize. A pretty clever little way to drive some new users to engage with a Facebook page.

This little campaign got me thinking:

You don’t have to spend oodles of money to get new users to your social media outlets.

Sure, there are promoted Tweets and Facebook ads that could get you more likes and followers, but those can cost big bucks. Plus, the true value in social media is in engagement with your followers. That’s where you learn the most about how your brand is perceived and faring.

SHARE YOUR PRESENCE: When coming up with new tactics for your social media outlets, think outside the box and try something new to drive engagement. Before you begin, though, make sure your customers know you have an active presence on your social media accounts. Include social media icons on your website, email signatures, business cards, and on any marketing collateral you create.

GIVE COOL STUFF: If your line of business allows you, pass out trinkets and encourage folks to post pictures of them on Instagram or on your Facebook page. Create a fun and unique twitter handle and promote it on all of your marketing pieces. If you have a physical location, tie your Twitter handle to your Foursquare check-in and greet your customers as they check in. (A great example of this strategy is @BittersweetOT, a coffee shop located in Alexandria, Virginia. They rock the Twitters!)

MONITOR: After you have a new social engagement plan in place, be sure to monitor your accounts and respond to the customers you’ve engaged.

Before you know it, you’ll have built a fun and engaged community on the interwebs. 

What fun ways have you promoted your business?