Consumers are absolutely besieged by images, messages, and impressions. Every time we turn on our phones, computers, televisions, e-readers, or radios, we’re inundated by advertising and information. Given the overload that we experience, it’s often the most outrageous messages that hit their mark.
If you’re looking to boost the number of impressions you make, one of the very best ways to do it is via social media. Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram touch more users more times per day than we can really wrap our heads around. That’s a lot of potential impressions, but you have to do something novel to really capture the attention of potential customers. If you’re determined to make a splash, here are some ideas to get your started.
- Invite users to submit videos or pics with your product or logo. Think people won’t take the time to make and upload a video? Think again! Look at the thousands and thousands of ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos filling up your newsfeed on Facebook. The videos of folks dumping ice water over their heads – sometimes in very creative ways – demonstrate the power of the novelty video. Someone makes a video, shares it, and it spreads, increasing exponentially to reach more users every day. The best way to adapt this photo/video idea for business is to run a contest: Invite customers to post pics of themselves wearing a hat or t-shirt with your logo while they’re on vacation or in an unusual spot. The photo that gets the most likes or shares wins a prize. Think about the potential here – you’re going to be making thousands of impressions and building fans for life. Powerful stuff.
- Pop-up advertising. We become completely immune to things we see or hear day after day. When the same old ad comes on my Pandora radio, I completely tune it out. It’s like I don’t even hear it. Novelty is king, and that’s why pop-up advertising is so effective. Whether you turn your pizza shop delivery vehicle into a giant slice of pizza or whether you hire a clown who walks on five foot tall stilts to entertain folks in the parking lot on a busy Saturday, the real secret to pop-up advertising is that random people will take pics and share them with their friends. Your little attention-getting stunt will continue to make its way around social media long after your part is finished.
- Flash mobs. More labor intensive than some other techniques, the surprise and wonder factor here is huge. You coordinate a number of people to perform in public, making sure you get good quality video of the event, and you post the video online. Again, like the other social media techniques, the power isn’t in the initial views. While the folks who happen to be on the street or mall when you perform will certainly be surprised and enjoy the event, the real numbers come when the video is shared over and over, resulting in tens, or even hundreds of thousands of impressions.
- Work lightning fast. Twitter is particularly useful for brief messages that are timely and relevant to rapidly developing current events. One of my favorite examples was the Oreo hashtag during the Superbowl when the lights in the stadium abruptly went out. “You can still dunk in the dark” was the tagline of the ad that appeared on Twitter just seconds into the blackout. The ad was retweeted countless times, and Oreo was declared the winner of the Marketing Superbowl. You need a smart, witty social media guru on your payroll in order to take advantage of current events opportunities, but it can be worth every penny you pay. Seize the moment!
Key to all of these social media strategies is the fact that by getting consumers involved with spreading the word about your brand, you’re transforming them into your biggest fans. Social media works because everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame, and there’s no reason while they can’t have that fifteen minutes while wearing your logo and creating millions of brand impressions.