Social & Email: Friendly Prospects
Social prospecting is still young in marketing years. Finding the best way to reach qualified prospects requires trial-and-error testing. The basic rules are similar to other direct marketing methods: Give people a reason to connect and get as much access to communicate with them as you can. Instead of accumulating likes, follows and pluses that do little to grow your business, use the platforms to capture email addresses so you can connect with customers and prospects on a one-to-one basis. Here's what marketers can do:
Should Be Fun
Combining fun and functionality is irresistible, as shown by P.F. Chang's "Year of the Dragon" marketing campaign (see image in the mediaplayer to the right). It uses Facebook to share a story while acquiring consumers' email and street address information. The adventure begins when visitors land on P.F. Chang's Facebook brand page. An invitation to like the page for a chance to win prizes and reveal good fortune greets newcomers, and the experience continues for five views.
Each step along the path—from the invitation to finding the fortune—has a consistent theme and teasers. Once the like button is clicked, the landing page is replaced with a short history of the Chinese New Year and a teaser to click to find good fortune. The third page is a request for an email address. Submitting your email address opens a page requesting your name, address and birthday. Completing this form takes you to the fortune page. My fortune turned out to be: "Prosperity can be obtained through time spent with friends." Finally, there is the opportunity to share it with social connections.
2. New Media,
More traditional direct marketing motivational tactics work well in social media, too. The P.F. Chang's campaign trades the chance to win prizes for contact information. Free e-books, discount coupon codes and other motivators can be substituted for the prize program. People will opt in to your email program with the right incentive. Test until you find the ones that work best.