Viewing: Tools - View all posts

Upviral - Viral Loop Marketing Tool 

I first came across UpViral because I read a lot about filmmaking and the associated equipment and one site, in particular, Planet 5D, runs a lot of competitions to win cameras and accessories from different companies. After entering a couple of dozen or so I started to think about how I could apply this marketing technique to the band so I looked into the platform.

How it works, in a nutshell, is that you create either a giveaway prize draw and/or a free gift in exchange for someone agreeing to sign up to your email list. That sounds pretty simple, right? That's because it is. However, that's not the best bit, this is: When they sign up they get points and the system generates a unique referral link for each person. If they then share the link on Facebook, Twitter, emails, Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger or any other way then they get more points awarded. You get to decide exactly how many points they get for each action completed, sending someone to the contest, sharing the link on each platform, signing someone up to the contest etc.

And what do points mean? If you know the answer to that catchphrase then you are showing your age!

The more points you get, the more chances you have to win Think of these like a digital raffle ticket, the more you have in the box, the more likely you are to get picked. You can give away prizes when people earn so many points such as PDFs, MP3 downloads etc. You can also award points for people signing up to your social media platforms as well.

I tried a couple of small contests to win a vinyl and another to win some festival tickets to kind of dip my toes in the water. These went OK and I got a few people added to our mailing list as a result. So then I wanted to go for a big one and get a prize set that would really entice a lot of people. Now here is where you have to be smart. If I had bought an iPad or something similar that a lot of people across a lot of demographics want, sure I would have got a lot of people signing up and sharing the contest to earn points but they aren't likely to be potential customers, i.e. people who like the band and will come to a gig or buy an album in the future. I had to think up a set of prizes that would appeal to our existing and also potential crowd.

I surveyed on social media and also just used my common sense to find things and came up with the following prize package:

  • Crosley Vintage style portable record player 
  • The Jive Aces “Diggin’ The Roots” double album on vinyl 
  • The Jive Aces “Just for the Record” vinyl 
  • Complete set of The Jive Aces CDs (11 albums and 2 E.P.s) 
  • Pair of tickets to a Jive Aces show of your choice 
  • £100 Vivien of Holloway gift certificate 
  • Yellow Kala ukulele (the “Bring Me Sunshine” model!) 
  • One-year subscription to Vintage Rock Magazine 
  • One-year subscription to Vintage Life Magazine 
  • "Deliciously Decorated" by Charly White from Restoration Cake

I also decided to give away an MP3 track form the new album when people reached 6 points. To earn that number they'd only have to sign up and share the contest a couple of times.

I then created a webpage on our site where the giveaway was embedded. You can see this at http://www.jiveaces.com/contest. The form is no longer visible as the giveaway has long since ended but it gives you an idea for context.

I then took some photos before a gig on the beach in Deal in Kent when we happened to have three girls singing with us and all wearing Vivien of Holloway dresses to create promotional images for the contest featuring some of the prizes. See the main one below:

Then I had another idea to involve the companies I got the prizes from and so I told them about the giveaway and asked them if they would promote it on their social media, I would send out a "thank you" email to all the people who entered and as a consolation prize and give them a special offer on their products such as %10 off on their website store for a limited time. That way, each of the brands would get exposed to each other's customers as complementary but non-competing products (magazines, clothes etc).

To be totally honest, I didn't really set this up well in advance with them so I got a little bit of support on this idea but not a great deal. This is the thing I have to concentrate on for the next one so if you are a brand that wants to get involved with this then email me at promo@jiveaces.com!

I ran the contest for a month and here is how it went: I had 759 people sign up, some of whom were on our mailing list already so I got about 560 new people. Not bad methinks! I was hoping for a thousand but I am still learning...

To promote the draw I spent a little money on boosted Facebook posts and an ad, sent it to our email list and posted it on social media copious amounts of times, plus tagged all the companies whose products I was giving away so they could easily share it.

To make the draw really fair (instead of the computer randomly picking a winner) I actually printed out every single entrant's name times as many points as they had (the top points earner had over 500!) and chopped them up into a box. We then did a live stream on our Facebook page and made a big song and dance about it (literally!). You can see the video HERE.

So the key to this I think is finding prizes that will appeal to your target audience that are or are potentially interested in your band/brand/product and then involving as many collaborators as possible and getting the word out.

All in all the platform is pretty simple to use and the tech support was fairly quick too. The interface to set everything up is nice and clean and straightforward and easy to see what you have done and what you still need to do. It also takes you through in a fairly logical step by step order. They are also continually adding new features and quite aggressively developing the platform. In fact, the feature to award people points for signing up to your social media only started after I launched the giveaway so I added it as an option as soon as it was available.

If you are interested in using UpViral, CLICK HERE to sign up. Full disclosure, that's my affiliate link to their service so they'll give me a little slice. But if you do sign up, play hard to get! By that I mean if you go through the process of signing up and give up towards the end they'll come back to you with a discount. When I did it I got a 50% discount for an annual plan paid in advance.

I hope this has been of use to you guys, hit me up if you have any questions!

Cheers, Alex

P.S. here are a few more individual images from the shoot.

Twitter Promote Mode - Review 

In my quest to take over the social sphere... OK, expose a few more people to our music, I tried out "Twitter Promote Mode". Instead of making individual ads, it just forwards your first 10 tweets of the day to more people who don't necessarily follow you and costs £79/month (or $99). You choose three of a small list of very generic interest demographics such as "Entertainment", "Travel" etc and off it goes.

Now, they do say it's in "Beta Testing" which means it is not a full-on, battle-tested product yet (although allegedly good enough to charge that much for it...).

What the website claims is the following:

"For a low monthly fee, your Tweets and account will automatically be promoted. Reach up to 30,000 additional people and add an average of 30 new followers each month.*

With a caveat at the bottom...

"your performance may vary".

The demo graph they show you is this: 

Who knows if this is a real graph or made up for demo purposes but looks pretty good, right? Over 360% more reach than their organic reach to existing followers, whoop!

And they have gained 53 new followers too. OK, not so impressive but not bad.

Well, these are our results:

Firstly, to make sure I was getting my money's worth I did way more tweeting than normal. I was averaging just under seven tweets a day. Our usual average is 30 - 100 tops. 

This is how many people we reached:

As you can see, our yellow "promoted" reach is a lot less than the example graph. It says we reached an extra 24% over what we would have reached without  Promote Mode. This equates to 10762. Only a third of the "up to 30,000" alleged.

And new followers?

A whopping 14. For the first half of the month, it was averaging about one a day but halfway through it stopped completely. I will add that we gained a total of 39 followers this month, 14 from Promote Mode and 25 organically. This is maybe slightly up on the average but not the most we've ever had in a month, probably due to the effort put in trying to get my money's worth.

So to sum up, is it worth it? I would say no, not for that price. The results were marginally better than the organic reach and growth and I think £79 can be much better and more wisely spent.

Next up; Tweetpi.com. I'll let you know how that goes in a future post!

Cheers, Alex

Social Media Tool Review - Boostfy.co 

N.B. I'm not in any way connected to this company and don't get anything for writing this, it's just a tool have found useful.

We have had an Instagram account for a few years but have only started using it in earnest for the past year or so, especially since Facebook started sucking more and more and choking our reach (yes I know they are the same company...). Although it has it's inherent restrictions I am enjoying using it more than other social media I think because it is exactly that, much more social. In comparison to Facebook now, we get an average of 80-100 likes on an IG post with only 4000 followers and are getting between 40-80 likes on a photo on Facebook with 27,000 followers. This puts the value of IG followers at 6X - 8X over FB page likes in terms of reachability.

I am completely against buying views, likes, followers etc for the purpose of making yourself look more popular than you are. Allegedly the theory is that if you look big then you will attract more real people. There may be some truth in this, however, there is one small downfall and that is that it is dishonest. In the long run, I also think it will destroy the foundation and trust that (good) social media is based upon.

I was sceptical when I first came across Boostfy. Let's face it, who hasn't had dozens of those nefarious emails promising new followers for $xx? As I saw it as an ad on Facebook I did give it the benefit of the doubt and furnished it with a click.

The way it works is that you put in your Instagram account details you then add a bunch of targetting options. Pretty simple. There is a field for hashtags, a field for locations and one more for accounts. You can use any one, two or all three of these in conjunction and you can choose one of three "modes" that just weight the likes towards one of these three things.

The system then goes through and finds posts and likes them. That's it. It just finds posts with the specified hashtags and/or followers of the input accounts and likes them. This then stimulates reciprocated attention and people check out your account and if they like it (and presuming you have targetted smartly and relevant)

You can also blacklist hashtags and accounts if there are specific ones you don't want to include.

For example, if you are a mechanic who specialises in classic cars you will want to target hashtags such as #hotrod #classiccar #classicvehicle etc. Then add accounts who's audience you want to steal... I mean target... such as events and car shows etc. You then may want to blacklist certain makes or models of car you don't service like #subaru or whatever.

You get a seven-day free trial and then it costs $200 for a lifetime plan. The tech support is pretty fast too. Using this I have grown our Instagram by over 1600 in a few months sometimes getting as many as 130 new follows a week. The average is about 70-80 though and a low week is about 40-50.

So, dues to its accurate targeting ability and the one-time fee I think it is pretty good value and seems to work. Try out the trial at boostfy.co and let me know how it goes for you.

Cheers, Alex