What do you get when you combine a credit union with a zombie apocalypse? Give up? How about a crazy successful social media promotion. Ok, let’s back up a bit.

The digital advertising agency James and Matthew and Company was hired by E&A Credit Union to create a digital promotion to increase home loans. James Pond and his business partner used their self-defined zany approach to advertising to come up with this Facebook promotion:

“We all know that the Zombie Apocalypse is coming soon. What you need is a 1.99% APR home equity line of credit to upgrade your defenses.”

The quirky two-sentence promotion was accompanied by a picture of a zombie-proof home. It got 460+ likes and was shared 150+ times. That same month, the credit union had a record number of mortgage inquires.

Everyday, more business owners are turning to Facebook to boost their bottom line and every one of them wants to know one thing: What’s the secret to a successful social media promotion? James Pond, the man behind the zombie promotion, offered these tips to small businesses:

Think of your audience, not yourself

When creating a social media promotion, you can’t act like TV pitchman Billy Mays, touting your product like crazy. If you have a boring product you’ve got to find a way to jazz it up a bit. “Ask yourself, ‘Why should anyone care?’ and create a promotion around that answer,” Pond says. “Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.”

Be funny, make it engaging

Humor wins every time, Pond says. “Laughter is contagious. Make one person laugh and they’ll want to pass it on.” It’s the best way to get shares.

People also love to give their opinion, Pond says. “Ask a question on Facebook, sit back and let the interaction begin,” he says. Or you can run an interactive contest, like Maybelline Switzerland recently did. The company asked people to take a picture of their lipstick-clad lips and post it on their page for a chance to be the product’s model on Facebook.


Try an educational approach

If you can make someone tilt their head and say, ‘I didn’t know that,’ you’ll have them hooked, Pond says. Kellogg’s, the cereal maker, used this approach to teach kids nutritional tips on its Facebook page.

Make it shareable

You want someone to love your promotion so much they share it with others. “People who share your promotion are spreading the word about your product,” Pond says. “The most shareable posts have both good content and a stellar picture.”


Be available to your customers

Once you’ve launched your promotion, be available 24/7, or close to it. “Consumers on Facebook expect immediate response, so make sure you or an employee is watching the promotion at all times,” Pond says. He suggests installing the Facebook app on your phone so you can respond at will.

Start small with advertising

Pond suggests buying some ad space on Facebook to boost your promotion’s reach. While other social media sites have similar options, Pond says Facebook has most of the kinks worked out. He advises small business owners to set a modest budget out of the gate.

“You’ve gotta pay to play,” Pond notes. “For a campaign to be really successful, you need to have a Facebook budget.” Start small though, set a geographical area of five miles around your location and go from there. Once you have a few promotions under your belt, Pond says it’s okay to expand.

Pond encourages businesses to experiment with several promotional ideas to see which ones fit. Whether or not you’re an analytics nut, you’ll know if the promotion is working by the level of engagement. Whatever promotion you decide on, Pond’s takeaway message is: creativity equates to success.

Has your business done any interesting social media promotions? Share in the comments!

This post contributed by guest author, Lisa Furgison. Furgison is a media maven with ten years of journalism experience and a passion for creating top-notch content

© 2013 – 2018, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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