As social media continues to gain in its influence and its sway, business owners need to capitalize on whatever low-hanging fruit they’re able to find—those social media strategies that are relatively low-risk and high-reward. I want to share one strategy that I’ve had great success with for my own businesses, including my premium steak company, Fuego Diablo.
I’m talking about the power of holding a social media contest—or, more specifically, about the power of giving away free stuff.
In my experience, giving away something of value is one of the best ways to build your social media base. Before you launch a contest, though, the first thing you need to do is to ask what your goal is; what are you trying to accomplish with this contest? For Fuego Diablo, our goals have been to grow our following, to rack up a lot of impressions, and ultimately to generate social media word of mouth.
In pursuit of those goals, we’ve staged a few different contests. Some of them have been fairly involved, requesting participants to share photos of themselves eating our steaks. Other contests have been quite simple—requests for participants to like, share, or leave a comment. For best participation, I highly recommend simple contests; make the threshold for entry as low as you possibly can.
Another word of advice: Boost your post. This combination—boosted posts, plus requests for your followers to share or to engage in some way—is the single most powerful method I’ve found for generating big impressions.
You don’t have to give away a lot of product, so long as it’s something of real value; in fact, I’d argue that more people will enter if you give away ten $100 products instead of one $1,000 product. But in my experience, this is almost a gimme: A relatively easy way to get a lot of product endorsements on social media—including from some people who’ve never even used your product. (At Fuego, we get a lot of “oh, that steak looks amazing!” comments from people who have never actually tried one.)
People are interested in winning free stuff—and they’re often willing to take some small actions, like sharing a photo, for that opportunity. That’s one social media strategy that I’m willing to throw my weight behind.