CoSchedule Social Media Analytics

Any business that uses social media among its online tools needs to be sure it’s also using analytics to measure the effectiveness of those tools.

Analytics will help your business identify relevant data, and analyze and interpret that data. Such analysis and interpretation will allow you to make data-driven decisions about your business and its campaigns, rather than stumbling in the darkness without such valuable information.

As cited by Pyramid Analytics in its collection of great data quotes, “Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed.”

In evaluating the social media data of your business, a good analytics tool will help answer the key questions of your social media efforts:

  • Who (for instance, demographic information on who is engaging with your posts);
  • What (for instance, what are people saying about your business on social media);
  • Where (for instance, where are you getting the best results from your social media campaigns);
  • When (for instance, when is the best time to post);
  • Why (for instance, why are people engaging with your posts);
  • How (for instance, how are you best reaching customers);

How does a business-owner go about finding the answers to those questions? With analytics tools. So let’s take at our top picks in analytics tools, free and otherwise, to enable your business to make effective decisions and improve your performance on social media.

Here are 6 social media analytics tools :

  1. Google Analytics
  2. CoSchedule
  3. Hootsuite
  4. Cyfe
  5. Snaplytics
  6. Hashtagify

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics Social

We can’t talk about analytics without talking about Google Analytics, and it’s our top choice because it’s powerful and free. Most people think of Google Analytics as a tool to analyze website performance, but it also holds a lot of information about social media.

Using Google Analytics, you can tell how a user is interacting with your site, with details like pages-per-session and average session duration. The Social Pages report will tell you which pages on your site get the most attention with social media traffic.

Here are some other examples of what Google Analytics can tell you about social media:

  • What social media platform is bringing the highest number of visitors to your website, by displaying sources of social media traffic.
  • Goals Completion information, which allows you to assign goals for your social media posts, and then analyze the completion of those goals.
  • Number of conversions from your social media posts.
  • Number of assisted social media conversions.

With all that data available, and the right price (free), it’s no wonder it’s Number One.

2. CoSchedule

CoSchedule Social Media Analytics

We like CoSchedule for its in-depth post analysis that can be a benefit to all types and sizes of business. This tool analyzes the performance of social media posts to recommend improvements.

For instance, CoSchedule will analyze your social media data and let you know the best day and best time to post, as well as the best type of content to post. It will also provide information on:

  • Engagement with your social media posts.
  • The performance of a campaign across multiple platforms.
  • The performance of your business across various social media channels.
  • How many times a link has been shared.
  • An analysis of your top 100 posts.

CoSchedule has a free 30-day trial and then various pricing plans depending on whether the plan is for an individual, a business or an agency, and the size of the business.

3. Hootsuite

HootSuite Social Media Analytics

We would be remiss if we discussed social media analytics and didn’t have Hootsuite on the list. Hootsuite is one of the most established analytics services around, and it supports over 30 social media platforms.

Hootsuite provides a central dashboard view for every social media platform, and gives you basic information like number of followers, traffic and growth rates. It then digs into more granular information such as demographics of followers and geography.

It will filter results in a variety of ways, such as by location, keywords or hashtags, and gives you a snapshot of what’s being said about your brand, for instance, or your industry.

Hootsuite will also measure the impact of a campaign including measurement of conversions by social media platform and return on investment between owned and paid media.

It offers a free 30-day trial and then has a variety of price ranges, again depending on the business and its size.

4. Cyfe

Cyfe Social Media Analytics

Cyfe is another powerful analytics tools that you can try out for free. This business dashboard syncs data from a wide number of marketing tools. It has multiple integrations and dashboards that cover advertising, monitoring, emails, Search Engine Optimization, sales and web analytics, as well as social media analytics.

For social media, Cyfe will give you real-time data on how your brand is doing across 15+ platforms, including Facebook Ads and Facebook Pages, Instagram, Twitter Ads and Twitter, LinkedIn Ads and LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, and Vimeo, to name a few. It also measures the return on investment of your social efforts.

Cyfe will give you statistics like followers and engagement, while also monitoring things like top performing posts. Cyfe also provides a great view of your social media analytics with dashboards that allow easy reporting and sharing on the performance of your business on social media.

5. Snaplytics

Social Media Analytics Snaplytics tool

There are also choices for platform-specific analytics. If you want to focus on a specific platform or two, there are those analytics tools that are expert at providing information specific to certain platforms.

For instance, Snaplytics has analytics specifically for Snapchat and Instagram only. This tool can build a library of a customer’s historical content and their engagement with your business. It also allows you to find top performing posts so you can create similar content, and provides a benchmark figure to allow you to compare results with your industry overall.

Snaplytics also provides quarterly reports, blogs and videos to help business maximize their effectiveness. Pricing plans vary but businesses can test a marketing campaign free for 14 days.

6. Hashtagify

Hastagify Social Media Analytics tool

The use of hashtags has been proven to boost the performance of advertisements and reduce the cost-per-click, while also providing cross-platform integration (for instance, across Twitter, Instagram and Facebook). Analytics on hashtag performance might be important to your company, and if so, Hashtagify is for your business.

Hashtagify provides a variety of information on hashtag criteria, such as overall popularity, trends by the week and month, the languages used, and more. Using the results generated, your business may get inspiration from a successful existing campaign, or test the distinct nature of your campaign.

Hashtagify has a free search tool to allow for hashtag research, but for more in-depth data, there are monthly plans.

Final Thoughts

It’s not easy to navigate the world of data analytics, so it’s great to have powerful tools at your fingertips to give your business the insight it needs to improve its performance on social media.

We have made our top six picks with a view to giving you some options depending on your business, its size, the social platforms you use and your budget.

Some of your decisions around a tool to use may depend on the platform or platforms your business uses. For instance, if you’re focused only on Snapchat, check out our Number 5 pick, Snaplytics. But if your business uses a variety of social media platforms, Number 3 Hootsuite may be your best option.

If you want more than social media reporting, Cyfe might be a great option for your business. And if you want power at no cost, Google Analytics is a top choice.

What’s important is that you choose a tool that gives you the information you need to make great business decisions.

Danielle Canstello is party of the content marketing team at Pyramid Analytics. They provide retail analytics solutions and business intelligence software. In her spare time, she writes around the web to spread her knowledge of the marketing, business intelligence and analytics industries.

young adults using phones on social networks

Social media is now mainstream media.

Affecting billions around the world, they exert more impact on how people think, feel and act than any other factor. Collectively, social media influence public opinion, political landscapes, and economic environments in vast and significant ways.

From Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, to YouTube, Twitter, blogs and Pinterest – social networks and apps are the stalwarts of the digital world.

As the world adopts a social-first stance in consuming content, social media marketing has become an imperative for businesses and brands both big and small.

Huge conglomerates like Coca-Cola, Ikea, Intel, and Airbnb have used social media to enhance brand awareness, grow communities and improve their marketing reach. Ditto for solopreneurs, start-ups and SMEs attracted to social media’s lower cost of entry relative to traditional media channels.

But what does social media marketing truly mean? And how can your brand leverage on this ubiquitous channel?

What is Social Media Marketing?

Social Media Marketing involves using social networks to create, curate and share valuable content to a targeted audience in order to market a company’s products and services. The goals of social media marketing are to increase brand awareness, build online communities, attract leads and generate revenue.

young adults using phones on social networks

In thinking about social media marketing, it is useful to break down the different components of social media. To simplify them for easy recall, let us call them the 6 Cs:

  • Customers: You need to know who your target audiences are, where they typically hang out online, and what their interests are like.
  • Content: Social media eats, lives and breathes content. Your goal as a social media marketer is to create engaging and shareable content that amplifies your brand.
  • Channels: There are numerous social media networks, from Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, to Pinterest and blogs. Each have their own unique qualities.
  • Campaigns: Increasingly, companies realise that they need to invest some advertising funds to amplify their social media marketing activities.
  • Channels: Calibration: Thanks to the availability of social media analytics tools, you can assess the results of your marketing efforts and calibrate them accordingly.
  • Communities: If content is king on social media, then communities must be queen. Building a strong network of followers can help your brand gain traction online.

Let’s go through each of these components.

Who Are Your Customers On Social Media?

First and foremost, you need to identify your online customers.

What are their educational and economic backgrounds like? Where do they live? What concerns do they have in their day-to-day lives?

If you are selling to businesses, these considerations may include the size of the companies you are reaching out to, their interests, as well as their procurement processes and cycles.

Beyond these pointers, it is also important to consider your customer’s online activities. What are some of the topics that could trigger their interests? How can you distil and discern their pain points and keywords?

By mapping out your customer profile, you’ll have a stronger foundation to begin your social media marketing activities with.

What Content Should You Create On Social Media?

happy and successful

Content is king. On social networks, they may take a wide variety of formats, from text posts, image posts, link posts, videos, to infographics and ads.

There are three important factors to consider when you create content on social media:

  • Searchable: Is your content ‘findable’ online, and will people care enough to search for it?
  • Snackable: Does your content fit well into a mobile-first format? Is it easy to consume and understand?
  • Shareable: Does your content make your users want to share it on their own social networks?

Beyond these factors, it is also important to consider the value of storytelling. Virtually all the legendary campaigns on social media have a strong storytelling component.

If you don’t know how to get started, check out my winning schedule for social media content creation.

Related: What Is Content Marketing? Definition, Benefits, and Examples.

Which Social Media Channels Should You Choose?

This is probably one of the most asked questions on social media marketing. The answer really depends on your goals and objectives.

Let us look at some of the more popular channels below.

Facebook

facebook mobile next to a laptop

With over 2.2 billion worldwide users, Facebook is the largest social network of all. Increasingly, more users access Facebook using their mobile devices.

Functioning more like a content management system than a conversational platform alone, Facebook allows you to create a wide variety of content types – from text, photos, videos, and articles, to live videos, stories (short video/photo segments typically created using a mobile phone), offers, polls, and much more.

Instagram

flatlay for instagram

Considered one of the youngest social networks in terms of user profile, Instagram has just topped the 1 billion user mark.

Unlike Facebook, Instagram is ‘social media lite’ – this means that it has stripped down features with a greater emphasis on visual content like photos, videos and stories.

Due to the way it is built, Instagram tends to attract influencers with massive followings. Lifestyle brands have also used Instagram to great effect.

Twitter

mobile login screen for twitter

Now capable of allowing up to 280 characters, Twitter functions more like a broadcast and conversational channel than a content repository. Savvy users tweet multiple times a day, sharing links to their content or responding to tweets by influencers. Increasingly, tweets with embedded videos and images work better in gaining traction than pure text tweets.

LinkedIn

start up networking session

With over 550 million global users, LinkedIn is the largest professional social network in the world. It is also one of the most under-used and hence opportunities abound for B2B professionals to tap this network.

Unlike the past, LinkedIn now works more like a professional reputation platform than an online resume. Companies have also used this social network to build their follower base, engage business partners, and improve their lead generating efforts.

YouTube

youtube loading screen on mobile

As the second largest search engine after Google, YouTube has carved a niche for itself as the new TV. Virtually everyone watches a video on YouTube to entertain, educate or enrich themselves.
With the huge number of YouTube Channels available out there, gaining traction here requires a significant amount of investment in producing quality videos that are keyword friendly, topical and valuable.

Blogs

write new blog post on wordpress

Contrary to popular belief, blogs are not dead. Google and other search engines love blogs on websites as these are frequently updated, producing fresh and useful content for search engine users.
The beauty of blog articles is that they can be optimized to be both search engine and social media friendly. Beyond that, blogs also reside on your own website and are thus more immune to the vagaries of ever shifting social media algorithms.

What Is a Social Media Campaign?

Like any marketing effort, social media marketing is characterised by campaigns which are usually targeted at launching specific brands, product offers, or events.

These are usually fixed based on the following parameters:

  • Target Audiences: They have a specific targeted audience.
  • Goal Driven: They have a specific goal, measured in quantifiable results.
  • Time bound: They happen during a specific time duration and date.
  • Fixed budget: They normally have a fixed budget.
  • Creatives: Most campaigns need attractive and engaging copy and designs to work well
  • Offer: This would be the bait or hook to attract participation

In the social media world, advertising campaigns normally include a promotion or a lead magnet (a valuable piece of content, product or experience) that is used as a bait to attract participation. These are usually highly targeted to ensure that the right potential customers are drawn to the campaign.

How Do You Track Social Media Marketing Success?

Thanks to the ever-growing basket of tools and apps available, you can easily track the performance of your social media campaigns on a single or multiple social media platforms.

Social media analytics are usually measured in terms of your page or account performance or your campaign performance. Some of the indicators tracked may include the engagement rate of your posts, growth rate of fans, number of clicks to your website, as well as advertising efficiency metrics like your cost per click (CPC), cost per thousand impressions (CPM), or cost per lead.

How Do You Build a Social Media Community?

Community building is more of an art and a science, and it requires stamina!

To succeed in growing a thriving online community, you need to adopt a systematic approach involving recruiting of new members, engaging them with valuable content and offers, sustaining community interest, and working with brand advocates.

Brands that have done well on this space include Whole Foods Market which regularly serves useful recipes or holiday cooking ideas to their Facebook and Instagram fans. You may also choose to follow the example of Airbnb, which crowdsources attractive photos from their network of home owners to be shared on the channel.


Ready To Learn More? Sign Up For Our Social Media Marketing Course!

What we have touched on above is just the icing on the cake.

In our two-day social media marketing course, we cover a detailed six-step process focusing on the most important social networks you need to know. You will be equipped with hands-on knowledge and valuable tools to strengthen both your skills and knowledge of social media marketing. Find out more about the course here.

Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing Trainer at Equinet Academy Walter Lim

Corporate storyteller, influencer, strategist, people developer, and change agent, Walter has 20 years of experience in brand development, content marketing, PR, social media marketing, strategic planning, industry development, and organisational management.

As the Chief Content Strategist of Cooler Insights, a bespoke content marketing, PR and social influence consultancy, Walter is an avid business and marketing blogger. He is also the lead trainer for Equinet Academy’s Social Media and Content Marketing courses.

Appointed by SPH to be a judge for the Singapore Blog Awards for 6 years (2010-2015), he has spoken and trained at multiple workshops and conferences on social media marketing, public relations, citizen engagement and branding.

asian girl using laptop

Social media platforms in Singapore have come a long way since Friendster and Myspace. In this article, we take a look at the key social media usage and engagement statistics relative to Singapore audiences, and analyse what they mean for digital marketers targeting audiences in Singapore. Let’s get started!

Digital and Social Media Statistics, Singapore

1. Singapore has one of the highest digital consumption rates in the world.

asian girl using laptop

More than three in four people in the country use the internet regularly this year. Our smartphone penetration rate (73% in 2017, per eMarketer estimates) is also among the highest in the world. The growth of ecommerce and increasing use of smartphones will force advertisers to embrace digital at a faster rate. (source: 2017 Adspend Report by eMarketer and IAB)


2. 83% of the Singapore population are on social media.

Qatar and United Arab Emirates takes the top spot in the global ranking with a staggering 99% of their population on social media. In contrast, only 0.06% of North Korea’s population (16,000 out of 25,610,672) have a social media account. (source: wearesocial x Hootsuite Global Digital Report 2018)


3. As of January 2018, number of social media users in Singapore have grown 9% since January 2017.

(source: wearesocial x Hootsuite Global Digital Report 2018).

For reference, there were 4.40 million users recorded on January 2017, so that is an increase of 396,000 users. Singaporeans are most active on Facebook, WhatsApp, and YouTube.

There is still debate regarding whether WhatsApp can be counted as a social media platform or social media network, or if it’s just a messaging app. You can read more about the different perspectives from this short discussion posted by Professor Kyujin Shim and her students, or on a Quora thread here.

Hootsuite has a great article outlining the benefits of marketing on Whatsapp, with examples of real campaigns by brands such as Agent Provocateur and Absolut Vodka executed successfully overseas. However, in Singapore, marketing on Whatsapp usually brings to mind the spam group messages used by illegal moneylenders. Perhaps it is time for that to change.


4. 75% of Singaporeans actively access social media via mobile.

(source: wearesocial x Hootsuite Global Digital Report 2018).

Mobile video is now the dominant social format, and passive content consumption is steadily climbing.  This is why brands are coming up with more video content on mobile, and there are more news outlets publishing news in video format.  Additionally, there is a recent upsurge in live streaming sessions, and small businesses are quick to capitalise on that by applying an element of gamification via offering live bidding session for items, which in turn, increases the engagement rate.


5. Mobile phones and smartphones are the most used devices for browsing the Internet, used by 95% and 91% of the population, respectively.

people using phone while waiting

Meanwhile, 71% use laptop or desktops, 42% use tablets, 86% use the television. 15% use a device for streaming internet content to their TV, 4% use an e-reader device, whilst 7% use a wearable tech device. (source: Singapore Business Review)


6. Singaporeans spend an average of 2 hours and 6 minutes daily on social media.

(source: wearesocial x Hootsuite Global Digital Report 2018).

Filipinos (Philippines) take the lead with 3 hours and 57 minutes, whereas the Japanese clock a mere average of 48 minutes daily.


7. In a recent preliminary survey published by Equinet Academy, jointly with Cooler Insights, 40.2% rated themselves “not very good”.

Only 1.6% would consider themselves an “expert” in Social Media Marketing. 10.7% consider themselves “proficient”, and 45.9% said they are “average”. With the high rate of social media usage in Singapore, it would be remiss for brands here to not step up their efforts. Sprout Social provides an excellent round up of how Social Media Marketers in other countries fare.


8. Singaporeans use an average of 8.8 social networks weekly.

(source: Connected Life 2017-2018 survey by Kantas TNS)

The following graph from Statista shows the percentage of penetration of leading social networks in Singapore as of third quarter of 2017. The data was published in January 2018.

penetration of leading social networks in singapore as of q3 2017


9. Online advertising now represents only 14.7% of total advertising expenditure in Singapore versus 25.9% in Japan and 53.6% in China.

(source: Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2017-2021 by PWC).

Looks like there is still plenty of room for growth!


10. The Connected Life results reveal that one in five (22%) connected consumers in Singapore ‘actively ignore’ social posts or content from brands.

Businesses need to avoid being invasive as a quarter (24%) already feel ‘constantly followed’ by online advertising. (source: Kantar TNS) It is important to plan your content marketing efforts diligently and strategically. Storytelling is a great tactic used by many brands. When you are able to connect emotionally with your audience and their lifestyle, the brand loyalty and goodwill increases as well.


Instagram Statistics, Singapore

instagram profile

11. 38% of Singaporeans use Instagram daily

That puts us in third place for the global ranking of Instagram penetration by country, ranked by number of monthly active users compared to total population. Sweden comes first at 47%, and Turkey second at 41%. Hong Kong and Malaysia were tied at 35% Instagram penetration. (source: wearesocial x Hootsuite Global Digital Report 2018)


12. 36% of users are aged 25 to 34 years old.

See below for the spread of age groups for Instagram, in Singapore. 55% of active accounts are women, while 45% are men. (source: napoleancat.com)

instagram demographic age spread singapore


Facebook Statistics, Singapore

picture-of-mobile-faceook-app-with-scrabble-tiles

13. Facebook boasts a monthly traffic count of 33,400,000 in Q4 of 2017.

According to SimilarWeb, it is the top social media platform used by Singaporeans- and the rest of the world.


14. In Singapore, Facebook users aged 45 to 64 now make up 19.58% of the total count.

(source: Channel NewsAsia)

That translates to 1 out of 5 users. Conversely, the user base for ages 18 to 24 have declined, from 18.4% in 2017 to 17.5% in 2018. Why the increase in recent years? Two likely reasons: firstly, the older crowd tends to adopt internet trends late; and secondly, they finally got on social media to keep up with their kids and grandkids.


15. The average organic reach for each Facebook post is 8% of Page Likes.

(source: wearesocial x Hootsuite Global Digital Report 2018)

For example, if you have 1000 fans on your Page, then expect to see about 80 engagements (Likes, Reactions, comments, or shares) through organic reach. This statistic is in line with the global average percentage of organic reach to Page Likes worldwide. If you’re looking to make the most out of your organic growth, check out this article on Entrepreneur on how to create viral content in social media.

With more businesses ramping up their social media efforts to keep up with the demand, that means more competition for eyeballs and attention span. Social Media Marketing is an effective way to help businesses grow organically (read: almost free) and build lasting relationships with their target audiences.

In a field that’s dynamic and ever-changing, there is always something new to learn. If you’re not one for self-studying, check out our structured 2 day Social Media Marketing course for some actionable insights and guided learning. If you feel ready to kick things up a notch and run paid campaigns for targeted audiences, take a look at our 2 day Facebook Advertising course.

Do you have any other interesting social media statistics you’d like to share? Sound out in the comments below!

Gwen is the Sales and Marketing Manager at Equinet Academy. She is passionate about content creation and making digital marketing less daunting for small businesses. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Social media is all the rage now. Every company has a Facebook Page, Instagram Account, or Twitter Account.

However, many businesses find it a challenge to trigger consumer interest or recruit members on social media. Somehow or other, run-of-the-mill content like inspirational quotes, blog posts or product highlights alone just won’t cut it.

This is where social media contests and other promotions come in.

Focused on gamification, social promotions can be easily tracked, monitored and measured on social networks like Facebook and Instagram. Social promotion apps and tools like Wishpond and Binkd make it easy for your brand to gain momentum through carefully considered social promotions like contests, giveaways, and lucky draws.

So what can you do to kickstart your social media campaigns?

#1 Lucky Draws/ Sweepstakes

Considered the easiest kind of contest for your Facebook and other social media fans to enter, lucky draws are able to generate more sign-ups to your mailing list or “likes” to your Facebook page than any other contest.

Normally, lucky draws require your contestants to fill in minimal details like their name, email address, and mobile number to participate. Occasionally, they may also require the submission of some “proof of purchase” like the example from Pentel below whereby participants have to submit two finished refill pipes to qualify.


Source of promotion: Pentel Singapore

Due to the low chance of winning, you need to ensure that your prizes are fairly attractive to make lucky draws work. While you can probably get a large number of participants due to the ease of competing, you may also attract a lot of “contest freeloaders”. These are folks who are merely interested in winning your prize – they are unlikely to be good customers of your products or services.

#2 Voting Contests

Like lucky draws, voting contests are easy to participate in for your customers. You can either include a public participation element (eg vote for your friends) or you can use it as a way to gauge popularity for your products or services.

Voting also allows you to gain some consumer insights. You can tell what your customer is more interested in, and how interested they are in your products.

There are several points to note here:

  • Ensure that your contest is not too product centric
  • Incorporate some elements of fun and intrigue. For instance, you could state that participants are helping to choose the next “Superstar” in your range.
  • Include a hashtag for your event, brand or promotion.

Here is an example of the voting contest organised by ZoukOut.

Termed the ZoukOut Singapore Girl 2016 Voting Contest, it allows the public to win a pair of VIP tickets to ZoukOut Singapore 2016, and play a role in selecting the right girl to become the ambassador for ZoukOut – Singapore’s most iconic outdoor dance event.

You can see more details below:


Source of promotion


Source of promotion

In another variation of the voting contest, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) sought the feedback of the public on the preferred colours for their new buses. Eventually, the preferred colour was green. See details below:


Courtesy of Colour Your Buses

#3 Refer-a-friend + Comment Promotions

Also known as “Refer-a-Friend” or “Tag-a-friend” promotions, Referral Promotions work very well in helping you to increase fan growth for your Facebook Page, Twitter Account, or Instagram account.

The basic mechanics is that your fans are rewarded if they recommend and get friends to participate in your contest. This helps you to trigger Word Of Mouth (WOM) and virality quickly, especially if the incentives provided (like prizes) are attractive enough for the winners.

An example of such a promotion is from wt+ (Wing Tai Retail) below, which offers contestants a chance to win a $500 shopping voucher by sharing their 3 favourite clothing brands under wt+ and tagging a friend whom they love to go shopping with.

Note that it’s important to lay out the steps and prizes in your promotional mechanics, as well as any other Terms and Conditions (Ts & Cs). You can also include a link with further details if the space on Facebook (or other social networks) are limited.

Here is another variation of the contest mechanic where you’re requested to like Marina Bay Link Mall’s Facebook page (without a compulsory Facebook gating though, as that is illegal), “Like” and share an article post, and tag a friend whom you’d wish to share the dining vouchers with. This promotion is tied to a blog post written by an online food influencer Seth Lui.

Note the use of the square bracketed [GIVEAWAY!] in the post as a way to capture attention.


Source of promotion

Here is another variation of the tag-a-friend contest post, which involves writing down why a person is an awesome mum. The prize here are just samples of Pond’s different creams.


Source of promotion

#4 Photo and Video Contests

In an age where everybody and their dogs are taking selfies, it makes a lot of sense to organise a photo contest. Often, this is combined with votes (ie “likes” on Facebook) to determine which is the winning photo.

Photo contests are great for generating brand awareness and participation in view of their visual nature. In addition, the use of your brand hashtag helps to increase the virality of your Photo Contests require entrants to submit a photo in order to win a prize.

These contests are great for gathering user-generated content for your business. In addition, you can also encourage your fans to include your product or logo or colours in the image and to share it widely through their social networks.

In the example below by Liberty Insurance Singapore, participants have to dress up in the colours of the Singapore flag, share that photo in the comments section, like and share the post.


Source of promotion

In this second example below from UNIQLO, the global brand organised an Instagram contest whereby participants are supposed to take a photo or video of themselves dressed in their favourite UNIQLO outfit, and to sing, dance, cook or express themselves in a way that fits the brand image.


Source of promotion

#5 Spot the Difference, Count the Numbers, or Solve a Riddle

It is interesting to see how evergreen favourites like “Spot the Difference” or “Count the Numbers” can make a return in the digital age!

For this first, all you need to do really is to create duplicates of the same image, use a photoshopping software (like Adobe Photoshop or even Powerpoint) to edit one of the images, and present both for people to identify. Just look at the number of participants for this contest by Jia 88.3 FM radio station.


Source of promotion

This second contest by Westgate, a shopping mall in the Western part of Singapore, involved getting participants counting the number of mooncake designs in a GIF image that is uploaded on Facebook. In addition, they have to write down their favourite Earle Swensen’s mooncake flavour in the comments.

I love how it incorporated both a gamification element as well as the seeking of consumer insights in a single contest.


Source of promotion

This third variation of a simple online contest involved solving a riddle. Orchestrated by the Made in Singapore Lah folks, it involves understanding what some mystical Chinese idioms mean and writing down the answer in a contest form.


Source of promotion

#6 Essay Writing Contests

Before your imagination runs wild, do note that most writing contests on Facebook or other social networks are pretty short and succinct.

You should not be running a short story competition asking your prospects to pen down a 3,000 word piece chronicling their most unforgettable day in school.

Like Voting and Commenting contests, they can give you deeper insight into your customer’s preferences. However, the challenge is that the majority of your customers are unlikely to be good writers and hence, you need to manage the quality of your entries.

I love our “Chief Influencer” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s recent writing contest titled “What would you do if you could be PM for 12 hours?” in preparation for the National Day Rally this year. Looking at the responses, you can tell that he is a pretty popular guy!


Source of promotion

In line with Disney’s highly awaited movie “Pete’s Dragon”, Shaw Cinemas in Singapore has run an Instagram writing contest where participants are urged to do the following:

  • Follow the @Shawsg Instagram account
  • Like the contest post
  • Comment by describing which animal/pet they would take for a travel adventure, and why

While the prizes were more like movie swag than anything expensive, I like how the contest ties in thematically with the movie.


Source of promotion

#7 Crowdsourced Ideas/ Tips Contests

If writing essays are not your thing, you may wish to use your social media accounts to harvest tips and ideas from your communities.

Everybody loves to give their two-cents worth. Both Facebook and Instagram are excellent channels for such idea crowdsourcing contests to take place.

Check out the example below from Darlie Singapore, where winners can win a Fitbit Flex if they follow their Instagram account (@darliesg), comment with a health upgrade tip, and write how it improved their confidence and smile.


Source of promotion

EZ-Link, the provider of public transport stored value cards in Singapore, has also run a crowdsourced ideas contest. Together with HotelsCombined – an app allowing people to compare hotels on their mobiles– they ran a Facebook contest where the public could submit a public transport tip for tourist, screenshot their favourite accommodation in Singapore using the HotelsCombined app, and stand to win a staycation.


Source of promotion

#8 Promo Codes and Coupons

Offers and discounts are one of the reasons why people gravitate towards your Facebook Fan Page or Instagram Account.

Personally, I feel that promo codes and coupons are less effectively than other giveaways. After all, FREE or WIN are much more powerful trigger words than SAVE or DISCOUNT.

Having said that, there are ways to make promo codes work well, like this hilarious example below from Occupy Democrat.


Source of promotion

An article in Wishpond (a wonderful social promotion app) highlighted this example below which offered a one hour massage at only $25. Note that the offer must be very clearly stated for coupons to work. This type of promotion can be run for a longer period of time, depending on how long you want the offer to be valid for.

The below coupon by Advanced Back and Neck Care have been running for over 6 months. Wishpond suggested that you should make the tab visible on your Facebook Page (not hidden in the drop down menu) and that you could post about the offer every week or two to remind customers about the ongoing offer.


Courtesy of Wishpond

You can also work with social media influencers, like William Tan below. In the deal with Domino’s Pizza, participants can enter a promo code into a contest engine to enjoy a special deal.


Courtesy of Only William

#9 Online to Offline (O2O) Promotions

With our brick and mortar retailers bleeding red ink each day, it is natural that social media channels like Facebook could be used to drive traffic and purchases at physical stores.

Here’s a great giveaway idea by Nescafe involving “Made in Singapore” bags featuring our colloquial language “Singlish” which can only be redeemed at roadshows in their stores with a $15 purchase of Nescafe items.


Source of promotion

The Sky’s The Limit

So there you have it, a total of 19 social media contests and other promotional ideas for you to chew over.

Most of these have been tested here in Singapore, and have helped their respective brands to gain online traction, drive social media fan growth, and increased sales and visitorship.

Remember that you need to have fun in creating your social media promotions for your campaigns.

To get more Social Media promotion ideas, sign up for our social media marketing course!

Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing Trainer at Equinet Academy Walter Lim

Corporate storyteller, influencer, strategist, people developer, and change agent, Walter has 20 years of experience in brand development, content marketing, PR, social media marketing, strategic planning, industry development, and organisational management.

As the Chief Content Strategist of Cooler Insights, a bespoke content marketing, PR and social influence consultancy, Walter is an avid business and marketing blogger. He is also the lead trainer for Equinet Academy’s Social Media and Content Marketing courses.

Appointed by SPH to be a judge for the Singapore Blog Awards for 6 years (2010-2015), he has spoken and trained at multiple workshops and conferences on social media marketing, public relations, citizen engagement and branding.

6 step social media strategy

Are you hiring an intern to manage your company’s social media channels?

Or outsourcing social media marketing to the cheapest vendor you can find?

Perhaps that’s why social media marketing isn’t generating that ROI which your company hungers for.

Like other aspects of your business, you need to be strategic and systematic in how you develop and deploy social media as a marketing strategy. Just having a Facebook page or Twitter account alone and sharing photos from your office party wouldn’t do.

This is where my six-step process for social media marketing comes in.

Equating Social Media Strategy with a Continuous Cycle

One of the first things you need to understand about social media marketing is that it is a journey rather than a destination.

The most successful social media marketers in the world knows this. This is why they are relentless in continuing to push out great content, share interesting information with their communities, and refine their social advertising strategy with ever targeted messages.

Unlike traditional marketing efforts on television, newspapers or radio, social media activities need to stretch beyond campaigns to include daily and weekly practices. It is a continuous learning cycle of constant analysis, measurement and refinement.

To guide you along, consider using my 6-step social media strategy (below) as a guiding post for your own efforts.

6-step social media strategy

#1 Analyse – Know Where You Stand

The first step in social media marketing involves understanding where you currently stand.

By now, virtually every small or large brand would have some social media and online presence. However, few of them would know how successful they’ve been, who they seek to serve, or how they compare with other players in the market.

There are three things you need to do here:

a) Company Social Media Audit

Conduct a comprehensive social media audit to determine how well (or badly) your social media channels like your Facebook page are performing. This would look at Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like the number of fans or followers you have, frequency of updates, levels of engagement (likes, comments and shares), and number of referrals made to your website.

(As you’d imagine, this may involve getting to know our good friend Google Analytics. Here’s a wonderful guide to Google Analytics for beginners from the lovely folks at Moz.)

b) Customer Persona Development

You need to understand who you wish to target. Describe the demographics (age, education, income, etc), psychographics (interests, lifestyles, and attitudes) and online behaviours of your target customers. Zoom in on how they search for content online, and determine what keywords they use.

(You can learn more at The ABCs of Building a Customer Profile.)

c) Competitor Analysis

Identify which brands your company competes against, and measure how you square against them online. Using tools like Fanpage Karma or Buzzsumo, you can track the frequency of your competitor’s social media posts, engagement of each posts, as well as their most shared content.

#2 Define – Zoom In On Objectives

Next, you need to establish what your goals and objectives for social media are, as well as how your customers search for, locate, engage with and transact with you.

a) Marketing Problem, Objectives and Metrics

With the analysis you have done earlier, you can identify where your current gaps, establish social media marketing goals and objectives, and layer on with suitable metrics to determine success. There are normally three main types of objectives and KPIs here:

  • Awareness: Total number of views, impressions (served through ads), reach, and visitors
  • Engagement: Likes, comments, shares, and retweets
  • Conversion: No of sign-ups, eBooks downloaded, and purchases

b) Map to Digital Marketing Funnel

Part of defining also involves zooming on your customer journey and where they “land” on your website. You need to understand the role which social media plays in attracting visitors, generating leads and converting them to become your customers.

#3 Develop – Contagious Content and Sticky Communities

Now that you know where you’re going, you need to determine how you can trigger social sharing amongst your targeted communities.

a) Making Your Content “Contagious”

According to Joshua Berger, author of the best-selling book “Contagious”, there are 6 STEPPS to triggering virality and sharing:

  • Social Currency: Remarkable facts or news, game mechanics, and making people feel like insiders.
  • Triggers: Specific days, seasons, phrases, or contexts of use.
  • Emotion: High arousal emotions like awe, excitement and amusement (or even anger).
  • Public: Creating a monkey see monkey do effect.
  • Practical Value: Offering listicles, tips, guides, and FAQs that help your customers.
  • Stories: Using the power of storytelling.

b) Community Management Tactics

If content is king, community must be queen.

Here, you need to craft out your social media community management tactics to recruit online members, engage them, sustain your communities, and develop advocacy amongst your members.

#4 Deliver – Monetize through Promotions and Ads

Once you’ve accomplished some social sharing through contagious content and built supportive communities of raving fans, you need to start monetising. There are two main ways to do so.

a) Create Social Promotions and Lead Magnets

These are promotional mechanics like contests, freebies and discounts which are aimed at triggering participation, sign-ups and even purchase.

b) Social Media Advertising and Influencer Marketing

To get the word out there, you may wish to invest in native advertising channels like Facebook Ads, sponsored posts, or influencer marketing activities.

A hot tip here is to ensure that whatever forms of advertising you do is trackable and measurable. This could include embedding a trackable URL, using tools like Google’s URL Builder.

#5 Measure – Track Success and Social Media ROI

You cannot manage what you do not measure. With superior analytics embedded into all things social, there really is no excuse for you not to know what your ROI is.

a) Know Your Metrics

Remember the social media KPIs which we have established earlier? Beyond these indicators, you may wish to also assess the effectiveness of your advertising investments using metrics like Cost Per Thousand (CPM), Cost Per Click (CPC), and Click Through Rate (CTR).

b) Calculate Social Media ROI

To evaluate what your social media ROI is, you need to know a few things:

  • The costs of running your social channels
  • Conversion rates for each social channel
  • The value of each conversion (for example 10,000 web visitors could translate to 100 eBooks downloaded, out of which 50 of those downloaders become yourcustomers)
  • The estimated spend of each customer (you can use your Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) as a gauge)

You can read more about social media marketing ROI in my comprehensive post here.

#6 Manage – Keeping Your House in Order

Finally, you need to manage and sustain your social media marketing activities by incorporating the right resources, policies and procedures to keep things running smoothly. There are four key areas to consider here:

a) Social Media Manpower

Create the right organisational structure and ensure that you’ve got adequate human resources to do the necessary. This covers jobs like social media strategy, content strategist, creative/art director, community manager, and digital analytics.

b) Social Media Budgets

Ensure that you’ve got the right budgets allocated to social media marketing each year, and for each campaign. This would be especially interesting to your CEO and your CFO! Thankfully you already worked out your Social Media ROI and can stand up to scrutiny.

c) Social Media Policies

Are there guidelines for your employees on how they should use social media? What about your Facebook fans? Consider crafting them to minimise ambiguity in managing your social media channels.

d) Social Public Relations

Last, but certainly not least, you need to consider what you should do to continually cultivate influencers, manage “haters” and expand your earned media.

An Agile Learning Approach To Social Media Marketing

Together with content marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing is one of the pillars of the digital marketing world.

By using a systematic, cyclical and step-by-step process, you are better able to target your customers, track the success of your campaigns, and train your social media team to determine what works and what doesn’t. This “lean” approach enforces learning and ensure that you could improve your social media strategy and tactics with each campaign that you launch.

Master all the six steps of social media marketing strategy in my 2-day  social media course today!. Done in partnership with Equinet Academy, this rigorous two-day training course will equip you with practical hands-on experience in social media marketing.

Are there other ways to optimise your social media marketing? I’d love to hear them.

Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing Trainer at Equinet Academy Walter Lim

Corporate storyteller, influencer, strategist, people developer, and change agent, Walter has 20 years of experience in brand development, content marketing, PR, social media marketing, strategic planning, industry development, and organisational management.

As the Chief Content Strategist of Cooler Insights, a bespoke content marketing, PR and social influence consultancy, Walter is an avid business and marketing blogger. He is also the lead trainer for Equinet Academy’s Social Media and Content Marketing courses.

Appointed by SPH to be a judge for the Singapore Blog Awards for 6 years (2010-2015), he has spoken and trained at multiple workshops and conferences on social media marketing, public relations, citizen engagement and branding.

LinkedIn Marketing Tips to Boost Your Career

Do you have an account on LinkedIn? If so, how are you using it to secure good clients or plum job offers?

Celebrating its 12th year, LinkedIn is the most important professional network for individuals and businesses. Unfortunately, many still treat LinkedIn as an electronic rolodex.

Failing to recognise the full potential of the social network, you literally leave career and growth opportunities on the table.
Read more

Social Media Marketing and Content Marketing Trainer at Equinet Academy Walter Lim

Corporate storyteller, influencer, strategist, people developer, and change agent, Walter has 20 years of experience in brand development, content marketing, PR, social media marketing, strategic planning, industry development, and organisational management.

As the Chief Content Strategist of Cooler Insights, a bespoke content marketing, PR and social influence consultancy, Walter is an avid business and marketing blogger. He is also the lead trainer for Equinet Academy’s Social Media and Content Marketing courses.

Appointed by SPH to be a judge for the Singapore Blog Awards for 6 years (2010-2015), he has spoken and trained at multiple workshops and conferences on social media marketing, public relations, citizen engagement and branding.