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Crowd Marketing: 5 Ways to Use it Effectively

Posted In Business - By Techtiplib on Friday, June 13th, 2014 With No Comments »

Social media is the huge, and seemingly complicated online world where we communicate. When it comes to crowd marketing, an important marketing style for online marketers, the basics of it come from the oldest referral process of all: word of mouth.

Crowd marketing is word of mouth marketing in the digital world. The big difference is the lasting message that is made on social media as people can view your marketing message long after a Facebook user says “Wow, this product is great! Check it out:”

Ask for referrals and pay it back

This is the type of referral that happens best on Twitter where people are alway looking for more exposure. An example of how this works is by asking for people to @Mention their contacts within a Twitter conversation. 

All those who do get a big thank you message sent back from your Twitter account – exposing them to all their fans. This can be thought of as reciprocal referrals as you both get new contacts out of it. Out of all the suggestions I will have, this is the cheapest. It may not get the best results, but it will get some if you’re on a tight budget.

Create reasons for referrals with contests and giveaways

Beyond the above mentioned crowd marketing method, no one is going to share things with their friends and family ‘just because.’ They need a real reason to bother their contacts. A contest or giveaway can be that incentive. This can create a buzz, get people talking, and have them wanting to share this chance to win with their friends.

Free Comic Book Day’s contest to win a Tony Montana toy

An example right in my own Facebook feed is Free Comic Book Day’s contest to win a Tony Montana toy. They run these contests regularly where all you have to do to enter is tag a friend – hundreds, even thousands, of referrals are sent their way for a cheap piece of plastic!

Be there in the bad times and watch your customers spread the message

Social media marketing isn’t all about the good times. It’s also about being there when things go bad. When a problem comes up, and someone has a legitimate complaint that they post to one of your social media accounts, prompt responses breed good will instead of bad.

Basically, when bad things happen around your company you have two choices: ignore it, or deal with it. Ignoring it leads to ill will as this isn’t one person coming into your store and yelling, only irking the customers in the shop. This is a lasting communication on your page, don’t forget that screenshots and archives can get around your every effort to delete the comment. 

Dealing with it allows you to take control of the situation. It becomes crowd marketing when your customers see that you care and share this with their followers: “Look at what this company did for someone who had a problem!”

Identify crowd influencers

There are going to be people within your followers who are particularly well known or trusted. There are also going to be those who are trusted within your industry who are not following you.

First, find those who are with your current followers and offer them incentives/prizes/notoriety to promote a particular event or product launch that you have coming up. Make sure that you’re doing this for something important. Now is not the time to ask for a blanket referral. These users are important, give them something important to work with.

For those who are not in your current following, first, well, how do you find them? An older approach is to look through the followers list of your current fans. If you notice any trends about who they are following, capitalize on that. Another option is to use our crowd marketing service which has identified influencers in a number of different industries. Either way, once you find these influencers you have to be sure to offer them great content.

Take advantage of holidays and events

With so many important days in the year, why not market to those days with a special online promotion? No, I’m not talking about a “It’s Boxing Day, get 25% off at our store.” Social media is much more active than that, and gives you the opportunity to create user generated content.

A better example would be Honda’s #LoveToday campaign on Instagram for Valentine’s Day. They invited their fans to post videos and photos to their Instagram account that showed what they love about Valentine’s Day. They then took the best responses and incorporated them into the lyrics of a song that was commissioned by them to be recorded by a band. 

Winners were notified via a Direct Message that contained a photo of the new Honda Civic. Nice, right? “Not enough!” said Honda. Winners also received one of 500 heart-shaped LPs of the song recorded by Vintage Trouble. How’s that for out of the box crowd marketing?

Author Bio:

Ernest writes about social media, viral marketing campaigns, and other online marketing happenings over on Viral Tactic’s Social Media Blog. Come by to learn about the latest got marketing ideas, and share your thoughts on what’s happening online.

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