Introduction ........................................................................................................................

3
Key Findings................................................................................................................................................ 4

A Deeper Look into Engagement and Earned Media .................................... 5
Campaign types in the study ................................................................................................................5 Sweepstakes ..................................................................................................................... 5 Trivia .................................................................................................................................. 5 Quiz .................................................................................................................................... 5 Coupon .............................................................................................................................. 5 Giveaway ........................................................................................................................... 5 Pick-your-favorites .......................................................................................................... 5 Video, Photo, and Essay Contests ................................................................................. 5 What campaign types resulted in the highest engagement and earned media? ............ 6 What do we mean by sharing, and how does sharing create earned media for brands? ............................................................................................................ 7 Why do certain campaign types generate more sharing? ........................................................ 9 Do new users convert when they click on earned media? ...................................................... 10 How much does earned media boost a social marketing campaign? ................................ 10

How to Run Campaigns with High Entry and Earned Media .....................11
Play up the personality .................................................................................................. 11 Consider “What’s in it for me?” from the users’ perspective ..................................12 Incentivize sharing behaviors in creative ways. .........................................................13 Benchmark performance with the appropriate metrics ...........................................13 Mix it up. .......................................................................................................................... 14

Conclusion ..................................................................................................................15

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Paid. Owned. Earned.
This 3-word marketing maxim is getting major traction in the social marketing space because these three categories of media perfectly encapsulate the major strategies important to a brand’s approach to its social channel. Successful brands on Facebook own fan pages bursting with compelling content and active community conversations. They drive traffic and attention to these owned properties with a carefully planned paid media strategy, crafting advertisements to emphasize and influence a variety of end-user actions. And hopefully brands are getting earned media as well: this is the coverage you can’t buy, and includes mentions, recommendations and shares generated by users who are so engaged by your branded content that they’re compelled to share it with the world (or, their Facebook network). And when 68 percent of Facebook users say that a recommendation from a Facebook friend would make them more likely to buy a specific product or visit a retailer, brands want all the earned media they can get (Omnibus). There’s a catch though: you can’t buy or create earned media directly. Your brand’s Facebook page will only spawn earned media (likes, shares and comments) if you run marketing campaigns that are optimized for engagement and sharing activity. Wildfire recently analyzed over 10,000 social media campaigns in order to see what types of campaigns generated the most earned media. The fact is, social marketing campaigns on Facebook are not all created equal. Campaign types that attract high user activity and entry rates are not always the same campaigns types that inspire users to share with their friends. We wanted to understand what campaign types resonated with users most and for which reasons. Promotions are one of the most popular marketing methods on Facebook whether sweepstakes, contests, or coupons and more. Wildfire’s Social Marketing Suite software has powered over 200,000 campaigns to date, and we selected a randomly sampled subset of brands, of all sizes from around the world, for this study. Our dataset included 10,000 campaigns that were run over the past 9 months. The promotion types included sweepstakes, coupons, video, photo, and essay contests, giveaways, trivia, quizzes, and “pick-your-favorites”. The study surfaced a number of actionable results for social marketers, including the types of social marketing campaign that tend to get the highest participation rates, the different campaign types that get the highest sharing rates, and the common thread among campaign types that generates the most sharing with friends on Facebook, creating valuable earned media along the way.

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Key Findings
• The most entered campaigns are not the campaigns that generate the most earned media, or sharing activity. Certain campaign application types generate higher entry and participation rates (contests and sweepstakes for example), while other types are more likely to be shared via a news feed post or an invite to the app (pick-your-favorites, quizzes and trivia). Coupons, giveaways, and sweepstakes get the highest amount of entries on average. “Pick-your-favorites,” quizzes and trivia that get the most shares by users, thus creating more earned media for the brand. The campaign types that generate the most earned media are those that allow users to reveal personal preferences, tastes or opinions to their Facebook friends. These include pick-yourfavorites, quiz and trivia applications. People are equally as likely to enter contests and sweepstakes whether they heard about them directly from a brand or from a friend’s post. In other words, where a user learns about a contest or sweepstakes within Facebook does not impact the likelihood they will enter it. The earned media generated by users sharing to their networks about interactions with these apps resulted in a significant conversion of new users— in other words, the earned media is working. For example, 82% of the users that clicked on a friend’s news feed post about a quiz they’d taken went on to take the quiz themselves.

82% of users that clicked on a friend’s news feed post about a quiz they’d taken went on to take the quiz themselves.

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A Deeper Look into Engagement and Earned Media
What types of campaigns did we look at in this study?
First, let’s define and discuss examples of the campaign types that we covered in this study.

Sweepstakes:
Sweepstakes are similar to a lottery, where the prize winner(s) is/are chosen randomly. The odds of winning depend on the amount of entries.

Trivia:
The trivia application provides multiple choice question trivia where users can measure their knowledge. The results of a trivia campaign generate a number score, and typically display it alongside the average score of all the other users that have participated in the campaign.

Quiz:
The quiz application provides quiz questions configured to result in a categorization of the user based on the responses submitted. Results display an image and statement, i.e. ‘“I took the ‘Which Sex and the City Character are You’ Quiz and found out I’m a Carrie!”

Coupon:
The coupon application provides customizable coupons, vouchers or codes that consumers can print or redeem electronically.

Giveaway:
The giveaway application provides a sign-up form which allows users to submit the relevant information necessary to get on the list for a brand-sponsored giveaway.

Pick-your-favorites:
This application enables a user to choose a pre-determined amount of items from a larger set of brand-selected items to demonstrate their “favorites.”

Video, Photo, and Essay Contests:
These three applications function identically except for the media that the user is called upon to generate and upload. The user can either be prompted to upload one or more essays, photos, or videos in order to win a prize. Winners are determined by merit as judged by the administrator of the contest, by popular vote, or a combination of the two.

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What campaign types resulted in the highest engagement and earned media?
The study found that, on average, coupons, giveaways, and sweepstakes get the most entries and Facebook engagement. This is not surprising, as entries to these campaigns are closely correlated with low barriers to entry (as in a sweepstakes), high-value perceived rewards (as with coupons), and the popularity of a “sure thing” (as with giveaways).

Coupons, giveaways, and sweepstakes get the most entries and Facebook engagement.

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Before you restructure your entire marketing plan to only run coupons, sweepstakes, and giveaways, the study found another significant trend: the most entered campaigns are not the campaigns which generate the most sharing, and resulting earned media.

What do we mean by sharing, and how does sharing create earned media for brands?
In this study, sharing occurs when a user participates in a branded promotional campaign and then gives the campaign application permission to post about it to his news feed for his networked connections to see, or he invites certain friends to the promotion app directly (instead of broadcasting it via news feed.) This creates earned media for the brand because each share enables extended reach, broadcasting information about the campaign to connections of participants that the brand may not have captured otherwise.

THE CYCLE OF EARNED MEDIA SHARES
THE CYCLE OF EARNED MEDIA SHARING

% OF ENTRANTS THAT INVITE A FRIEND

CAMPAIGN ENTRY

% OF ENTRANTS THAT PUBLISH TO NEWS FEED

DIRECT INVITE
CONVERSION RATE

NEWS FEED POST

REFERRED ENTRIES

CLICK ON POST

CLICK RATE

CONVERSION RATE

REFERRED ENTRIES

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When earned media is the focus of the analysis, an entirely new set of high performing campaign types emerge, with an interesting commonality. The campaigns types that are most “shareable” are campaigns that include “pick-yourfavorites,” quizzes, and trivia.

RATE OF SHARING BY CAMPAIGN TYPE 39%

32% 29% 26% 25% 25%

19% 15% 23% 11% 13%

When interacting with branded applications that quiz a user, (for example, to determine which character from Sex and the City they are) participants are 3x more likely to share the result to their news feed as they are when they participate in a video contest. This generates valuable earned media for the brand.

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Why do certain campaign types generate more sharing?
What about these marketing campaign types tends to influence more sharing? First, all three are applications that determine and publicly display characteristics of the user’s personality, so we can see that users enjoy sharing information about themselves, their tastes, and their interests. The most-shared campaign applications are designed to either: 1. allow the user to discover an aspect of his personality of which he was previously unaware (see the “Tree Personality” example on page 12), or to 2. display facets of his personality that he knows about and wants to share (such as his aptitude for certain trivia, or his favorite items from a selection of options). Perhaps the most important question of all, however, is whether or not the shares generated by users get additional new users to engage with the branded campaign too. The analysis of earned media’s ability to draw additional users into engagement with a brand showed positive results: “pick-your-favorites,” survey, and quiz campaigns (that appear in users’ news feeds) have a high chance of being seen and clicked on by their friends (27%, 15%, and 13% of the time respectively).

27%

EARNED MEDIA CLICK RATE

15% 13% 11% 11% 10%

3% 2% 1%

Which types of earned media news feed posts are clicked on most often?

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Do new users convert when they click on earned media?
When a user clicked on a news feed post from a friend about participating in a campaign, how many went on to click on, participate in and enter the promotion as well? The study reveals that 82% of the users that click on a news feed post, shared by a friend who took a quiz, will go on to take that quiz themselves. This indicates that when a user’s attention is piqued by the news feed, the engagement potential is very high.
EARNED MEDIA CLICK-TO-ENTRY CONVERSION RATE

When a user’s attention is piqued by the news feed, the engagement potential is very high.

82% 74% 74% 69% 13% 11% 66% 11% 47%

23% 13%

When a user clicks on earned media, how often do they go on to enter the campaign themselves?

How much does earned media boost a social marketing campaign?
Just how much of an impact can earned media have on user interaction with your social marketing campaigns? The study found that earned media can account for up to a 12% boost in engagement rates, which means viewing, clicking and participating with a campaign.

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How to Run Campaigns with High Entry and Earned Media
When designing your brand’s custom content for social channel distribution, it is important to consider the behaviors and interactions it will inspire from the end-user. We have compiled five best practices for creating engaging social marketing campaigns that inspire the creation of earned media by your users.

1. Play up the personality.
Wildfire’s study shows that users who interact with branded applications (apps) are more likely to elect to share their interactions via their news feeds if the apps reflect their style, aptitude, or personality. The data shows that the top apps users are likely to share or broadcast results for are pick-your-favorites, quizzes and trivia. In fact, when interacting with a branded quiz app, participants are 3x more likely to share the results to their news feeds versus when they participate in a video contest or enter a sweepstakes.

Trivia campaigns inspire high user sharing activity, likely because they reveal users’ aptitude for varied subjects.

When putting together a plan for your next social marketing campaign (or set of them), consider how you can plan the content or application to allow users to express themselves. If you’re putting together a voting app, for instance, think through how you can set it up so that users are voting on something that expresses an opinion they’d feel proud to share, and make sure the app includes a mechanism for sharing their voting outcome via a news feed message.

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2. Consider “What’s in it for me?” from the users’ perspective
Users on Facebook are very conscious of clutter in their feeds; they don’t want to be a source of news feed “spam” to their friends. Keep this in mind as you screen potential interactions that a user could have with your Facebook applications and content, and you will have a good idea of what’s inherently “shareable” and what isn’t. The main question to ask yourself when crafting content is: “If I posted about my interaction with this content, what would be in it for me? What would be in it for my friends?” In the example below, a user might share the results of a quiz she took because: (a) she gets to display results to her friends that prove she is trustworthy and practical, which is consistent with her own self-image; (b) she thinks her friends might also find the quiz entertaining; or (c) she wants to publicly align herself with a cause that users can rally around, like a tree planting in Haiti.

You may find yourself realizing that certain pieces of content don’t easily pass the share test. For example, while a user may be thrilled to fill out a “what engagement ring style are you?” quiz, she may think twice about broadcasting this activity to her network of friends and family.

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3. Incentivize sharing behaviors in creative ways.
When developing the structure of a new custom application for your fan community, consider building in some game mechanics to incentivize sharing behavior. Mountain Dew does this exceptionally well with its “Dew Crew” campaign, which has an intricate but easy-to-follow gamification element that rewards users for sharing and posting.

Mountain Dew incentivizes sharing behavior from fans by assigning point values to it in a campaign oriented around game mechanics.

4. Benchmark performance with the appropriate metrics.
How do you define success within your social marketing initiatives? What about ROI? Both measures of performance depend heavily on the metrics you define and benchmark against. While your goal with one campaign might be engagement, another might be sharing and earned media. It’s important to make sure you’re measuring progress towards those goals with relevant metrics. Here is a reference chart that you can use to define the metrics used to measure each social marketing initiative you deploy.

Using relevant metrics to quantify progress towards your social goals will help in determining your brand’s ultimate success in social media.

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5. Mix it up.
Certain marketing campaigns naturally inspire users to broadcast their interactions with a brand (like the ones discussed above). However the study found that the types of marketing campaigns that are most entered by users are not the same as the campaigns that are most heavily shared about by users; in fact, the most shared campaign types–quizzes, trivia and pick-your-favorites–don’t always get the highest participation or entry rates. Popular campaigns like sweepstakes, giveaways and coupons are proven to get users to enter, but entrants are less likely, for example, to voluntarily share the fact that they just entered a sweepstakes. In other words, these campaigns types generate less earned media from each entrant. Just as paid media (ad) campaigns should be adapted to drive different types of user activity, so should custom content initiatives. A well-rounded social media marketing program includes a steady drip of varied applications and content designed to influence a range of user interactions.

A well-rounded social media marketing program includes a steady drip of varied applications and content designed to influence a range of user interactions.

Delta has more than six custom content applications available for users to interact with.

In the example above, Delta has more than six custom content applications available for users to interact with. Each tab does something different, and while the activity offered on one tab will perform better at enticing user signups, another tab will be best for inspiring user-generated content submissions, sharing and so forth.

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Conclusion
A strong social media marketing strategy is one that approaches the creation of branded content and applications for users from multiple angles— designing some owned media to achieve high consumption and participation rates, and designing other owned media to influence high sharing activity (to generate the earned media that grows communities so successfully!). Use paid media to amplify your owned content even further, and you’ll reach new users outside of the existing network, thereby generating many more opportunities for earned media.

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