As more and more businesses embark on the social movement, many learn right away that it is quite taxing to achieve the right mix of content, promotion and engagement. Some businesses are great at promotion and content creation, but struggle with initiating conversations with their followers. The problem is that many businesses think their social presence and regular communications are enough to maintain a healthy diet of social engagement. This leads many businesses to push communication out to their social community in hopes of sparking an interesting conversation. This method has led followers to lose interest and refrain from engaging in meaningful conversations.
The Facebook “Like My Status” Game
One day, while I was browsing my news feed on Facebook, I noticed many of my friends playing a cryptic game via status updates. They would simply post “LMS”. After searching online for the meaning, I learned that “LMS” stood for “Like My Status”. Apparently, those that like the requestor’s comment would be rewarded with a comment from the requestor about their most memorable moment with the ‘liker’. After learning the rules of the game, I perused through similar status updates and was amazed by the volume of likes and comments generated by the simple request. Not only were the comments from the requestor, more often than not, the ‘likers’ were replying back to the requestor’s comment and long-winded social conversations were soon taking place.
Request an Action, Get a Reward
This method of request [for a like] and reward [share a memorable moment] instantly gave me a new perspective on social engagement. Many of my friends post updates that are self-serving, usually things like what they’re eating or things they don’t like on television. Similarly companies engage socially with this self-serving approach. Many businesses post updates about their products, services, or company news, which are usually enough to warrant a disappointing number of likes/comments. I started noticing (and paying attention) to companies that requested an action from their followers, rewarded them and saw successful engagement streams. Here are some examples:
Southwest Airlines: Requested followers share the promotion and rewarded them with a chance to win a gift.
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TRUSTe: Requested followers to check-in at the TRUSTe office and rewarded them with a chance to win a gift
QlikView: Requested their followers submit a picture caption and rewarded the best caption by choosing them.
Juniper Networks: Requested followers submit their answers to a quiz and rewarded the correct answers
Facilitating a discussion topic for your online community is not wrong, matter of fact, you should do so regularly. Obviously you want to avoid asking your community to discuss how cool your company is, but it’s not off limits to ask them to share successes or experiences with your brand. Remember, the reward doesn’t always have to be a prize or discount; simply acknowledging your respondents has its benefits.
How are you engaging with your social community? For more insights on how to engage your customer via social channels, check out our Definitive Guide to Social Marketing.