As we enter the home stretch for the best commercial watching night of the year, the toughest question for many of us is, what are we going to eat for the Super Bowl XLVI? With ads running in the millions of dollars for only a few seconds of play, how can a small business compete with the overpowering big players in the market?
PepsiCo, over the last few years, has pulled their Super Bowl ads completely, in favor of a highly successful social media campaign. Social media has gotten so big that the National Football League has even created a social media command center. This move has saved PepsiCo millions, but also has made them a lot of money from their creative social media approach. PepsiCo has created a contest that simply asks customers to take a picture of both a Pepsi product and a Frito-Lay product together and send it in. Doing this enters the contestant for a chance to win many different prizes. This move gives the customer a much more engaging experience than a commercial that will sure be talked about for some time to come with their friends and peers, especially those of the lucky winners.
Believe it or not, a small restaurant has the same capabilities as a multinational company does in the social media space. It is free to use and with some time and hard work, your small business can also be on its way to Super Bowl sales glory.
Be sure to create accounts on every social media platform to insure your target market is being reached. This includes Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare just to name a few. These platforms will give you a presence within the online communities. Rather than trying to convince your customers to “Like” or “Follow” you, convince them with the experience they have when dining with you that they cannot help but “Like” or “Follow” you.
The next step would be to set up and make your customers aware of a simple contest that will entice them to participate in your social media platforms. When this happens, a user becomes free advertising for your business, shooting out to hundreds or even thousands of their friends and followers. For instance, a great way to get your brand out there is having a contest involving everyone who “Checks-In” on Foursquare at your location(s). A random winner, out of those who had “Checked-In”, can win something as simple as a gift card to your business. Not only will Foursquare integrate with the user’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for people to see, but it’s the word of mouth aspect that is extremely important. Anybody can read a sign with your brand on it, but when that brand is coming from a friend, that person is much more likely to try your business.
Rather than sending out fliers in the mail, wasting hundreds of dollars on people who will not even think of looking at them, why not use social media as a means to contact your target market directly? This comes without any wasted energy. Every customer you are reaching wants to hear from you in the first place, making results that much more effective.
All of this expanded presence on the web will also help in your Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Having your business interacting hundreds of times a day with all different customers will enhance your ranking for search results on Google, Yahoo, and the like.