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A guide to promoting on Facebook & Twitter
Date: 2010-09-20 14:17:04

This article is a guide to using the enormity of Facebook and Twitter to your advantage. It gives a summary of just a few of the tools at your disposal and hopefully arms you with the necessary weapons to attack the masses of potential customers threaded in to these social networks.

Whether you're a social butterfly or shrinking violet, there's no doubting the marketing power of the social media giants, Facebook and Twitter. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they're here to stay and better yet, growing rapidly every day. And as the age old saying goes; "if you can't beat them, join them."



Before we proceed, there is one rule that absolutely MUST be adhered to on ALL social networks:

Content must be GENUINE and INTERESTING.

We know this sounds obvious, but it cannot be stressed enough. If your content is boring or repetitive, your "campaign" will go nowhere quickly. We'll give two examples:

1. You're following a Twitter user and every day, they Tweet (post) a variant of the following message with exactly the same hook (or call-to-action). "To all followers! Get the best price on tickets this week @PlayHugeLottos! Play NOW! http://bit.ly/xxx"

One tweet of the above message, or even staging it over time, would be fine, but if your message becomes obviously repetitive and unexciting, you can be guaranteed that your followers won't be followers for much longer

2. On Facebook you've been invited to join a group by a fellow you knew from your high school days. The group: "How to win the Lotto – online!"

Now while the tagline to the group sounds pretty interesting, you visit the group to find that the information on the page is stale and the images posted aren't real images (but rather just random logos and images saved from the interweb. The problem here? The information is not genuine. The content is not current or interesting anymore. The result? A failure in luring potential players.

So … with the rule out the way, let us push forward to what exactly you SHOULD do.


Twitter


Possibly the newest arrival to the red carpet of the interweb, Twitter has become a massive success – and rightfully so! It's a unique offering with very clear advantages. The first advantage being that it puts users in touch with those they aspire to be like or those they simply want to know better – without the stalker-like draw backs such as criminal records. The second advantage is that it's concise and easy to use. Remember that phrase; "KISS – keep it short and simple"? It has clearly worked for Twitter!

If you haven't yet signed up to use Twitter, give it a go! You have nothing to lose as it is a free service. If you're not yet convinced that Twitter is here to stay, consider the number of mobile devices that come PRE-INSTALLED with Twitter applications as of late.

- Android devices (all devices e.g. HTC Hero, Google Nexus One)
- Apple iPhone (all models)
- Blackberry (all latest models)
- Samsung (Omnia series)
- LG (Chatterbox & other QWERTY models)

Enough said? Good.

The first principle to Twitter is that you need followers to Tweet (or "broadcast") to. That comes back to the idea that you should be a genuine user to garner any type of notable following. The more genuine you are, the better your "followership" will be. Employ the usual tactics when it comes to being popular, i.e. using tools such humour, controversy & celebrity.

Now, let's assume you have a healthy group of followers. What exactly should you say that will keep things interesting?

If you've been a customer or affiliate with us for a while, you know we're in the habit of running fantastic campaigns as often as possible. These range from giving away free tickets to free TVs and even VIP trips to the Monaco F1 Grand Prix (which happens every year by the way!). These are all newsworthy campaigns that you could mix in with your other Tweets. We suggest you avoid posting about every jackpot though as this could cause "Twit Blindness" and turn your followers off. Rather select the really alluring jackpots and mix those tweets in with all your others.

Shortened URLs

Most desktop applications, whether for Mac, Linux or Windows, have built in URL shortening functions. This will convert a long URL such as "http://ads.playukinternet.com/tracking.php/text/xx/x/xxx/x" to "http://bit.ly/xxx" effectively reducing the number of characters. Why is this important? It's simple really. Twitter restricts Tweets on its network to 140 characters each, making every character in your Tweet crucial.

Shortened text links (created and downloaded from LottaRewards) will track correctly both in the shortening system* as well as in LottaRewards.

If you're looking for a great Twitter application, we strongly recommend Tweetdeck. It's capable of running on Mac, Linux and Windows and there's also a great iPhone and iPad version available!


Facebook


Many of you would be more familiar with Facebook than with Twitter as it has been publicly available since 2006. The last 2 years has seen the strongest growth of Facebook users and in 2009 it officially overtook MySpace.com as the world's largest social network. Facebook now boasts over 400 million users worldwide.

If that doesn't impress you, how about Facebook's feature list:

- Search and connect with friends from primary school, high school, college, university or almost any common group you can think of.
- Join or create groups of any imaginable category
- Install a multitude of applications (e.g. genealogy applications, media applications)
- Play games with or against friends
- Market to a highly targeted audience (this is the particular bit we like)
- Share and consume infinite amounts of video and audio
- Connect and follow your favourite music artists and sports stars

Unlike Twitter, Facebook has not stuck to the KISS principle and as such, a guide to marketing on Facebook is not really one we are able to write in a few days. We'll therefore stick to the summary.

Marketing on Facebook can be divided in to two main types. First being conventional paid-for marketing and the second being referral/viral marketing. We're going to focus on the latter in this guide.

Referral/viral marketing on Facebook

There are a number of methods one can employ to spread a message on Facebook and ultimately get users to see what you want them to see.

1. Direct messages and wall posts

As a Facebook user, you can easily send direct messages using Facebook's integrated email service. Also, posting a status update is a great way to tell your friends what you're up to or to suggest something to everyone.

This has the disadvantage of relying on your friends viewing their updates within this period. Many users do not use Facebook during the day and thus will not always see your post. Another disadvantage would be that you're fishing in the same pond and that eventually you would've caught all the "catchable" fish in that pond.

Direct [email] messages have the disadvantage of eventually getting you the "spammer" nickname and thus can't really be sustainable – especially if you would like to remain friendly with your friends.

2. Start a group.

Creating a group is a great way to bring like-minded people together and effectively expose them to a particular message. That sounds quite sinister doesn't it? Well I didn't really mean it badly – I think.

The clear disadvantage to creating a group is that all too often they're not exciting enough to entice people to join. For example, a user might love cats, but would probably not be that inclined to join a group entitled "I love my cat" especially if there really isn't much going on in the group.

Groups tend to have very short life spans even though they might have been started with solid intentions. It's therefore pivotal that if you are considering starting a group, that you first ponder how to start it off fresh and keep it fresh. Freezing doesn't work. We have tried.

Consider cool content and active users. Consider chats on the message board and consider possibly mixing in some controversy or humour.

3. Piggy-back

Piggy-backing is a great way to leverage off of existing groups or posts. Don't get demoralised if the group you were thinking of creating already exists. Rather try to turn it in your favour by getting involved. Remember that there's always the chance of posting messages on a group's wall. It's especially effective if your message is relevant and non-threatening. By being a real part of a group, you avoid the chance of being booted out for constantly posting advertisements.

Just remember, no-one likes the guy who's always talking shop.

4. Mix it up

OK this shouldn't really be a method, but more like the global rule. By using a mix of all available tools and providing a newsworthy and current call-to-action, you pique users' interest and keep them returning and [hopefully] also sharing your message.

Let's go back to the cat example. You like cats and you want to sell cat collars. Let's apply the mix-it-up approach then shall we?

First of all, consider your hook. If you're selling something cat related, you need to appeal to cat lovers (your target market). Thus, starting an "I love my cat" themed group would be a good start, but it would be a lot better if you make it entertaining. "My cat is better than yours" or "Cat-off" comes to mind. And the hook? How about the idea that members of the group should upload pictures of their cats doing silly things? Make it interactive, but always remember to prepare it with good content before seeding it to your audience.

With your group created, you can move on to the rest of the weapons in your arsenal to spread the message. Firstly, create a great email and send it on to your friends (don't overdo it). Secondly, post on your wall remembering to include an enticing hook. Let's go with "If you don't like cats, don't click this link to this AWESOME cat group."

Within your group, get your users to challenge their friends, thereby encouraging the viral aspect to your campaign. If they send it to their friends, you might be in for the famed snowball effect. Whatever you do, make sure your group does not go stale.

Then lastly, subtly pitch your advertising to your group using all the available methods. Again, please don't overdo it. Being too pushy will simply alienate your potential customer. Be subtle but confident in your product and it will sell. With your target market so close at hand, you're sure to reel in a few tasty fish (for your cat).

* * *


All of this relies on the ability to create campaigns and text links within the LottaRewards system. We suggest you create a separate campaign for each area you'll be marketing in. This will keep your stats separated enough for you to identify your successes.

If you require any assistance in creating campaigns or text links within the LottaRewards system, please contact us for further assistance. Alternatively check our quick start affiliate guide or other resource articles.

Lastly, thank you for reading this article and we apologise for the repetition of the word "hook". By now we're sure you have a permanently ingrained vision of a pirate in your mind.


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*most URL shortening services such as bit.ly and tinyurl.com have their own tracking function built in. Simply visit the root of their site and enter the shortened URL you were given. This will return the amount of clicks on that specific URL.

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