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How to Crowdsource Awesome Facebook Posts… FROM YOUR FANS!

July 22, 2013 - 13:39:52 by
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crowdsource-facebook-postsManaging social media is hard.

Creating content is hard.

Creating relevant content that offers value to fans & encourages interaction & sharing…

Yep, hard.

Luckily, there are smart tools out there that can help you brainstorm awesome posts to share.

But did you know one of the easiest & most scalable ways to find content for your fan page is to crowdsource it?

Yes, you can actually crowdsource your Facebook posts from your fans.

In fact, I’m going to show you 5 easy ways to do it in this blogpost.

And I promise — if you put my tips into practice, you will make your content creation process more scalable — and your posts more relevant & authentic.

Seriously?… Posting to Facebook to find content to post to Facebook?

It sounds strange, I know. But keep reading & see how it can help you save time & improve your posts.

Do what Journalists do

Journalists create content for a living.  So it makes sense to emulate their best practices.

In fact, the tactics they’re using to procure & generate stories are a perfect model for marketers, social media managers & copywriters.

How do they do it?

Old days – we spent all day on the phone setting up a story – waiting for callbacks. Now we send one tweet out, and seconds later you have experts.

~Sean McLaughlin, CBS News Anchor & Reporter

In a word, they crowdsource.

They’ve realized that their fans & followers are chomping at the bit to help — ie. produce, identify & share news-worthy stories.

So they just encourage people to talk.

The Guardian even created a page to receive reader-generated content. Readers actually get assignments & are encouraged to submit photos & videos:

Guardian Witness

My advice is to do the same thing with your fans.

Below are 5 tips on how to leverage the knowledge & creativity of your Facebook community to get awesome content for your page.

#1 — Collect testimonials via questions

You surely have customers who are happy with your product or service.

Then why not ask them why they like you?

Derek Halpern of Social Triggers did this recently. He asked readers about the value they get from his blog.

The readers answered — and didn’t even realize they were giving testimonials.

They just answered a simple question:

If you stumbled on someone who doesn’t read Social Triggers, what would you tell them to persuade them to start reading it RIGHT NOW?…

Start your response with “You should read Social Triggers because”…”

The answers were in perfect testimonial format.

postplanner_derek

So why not emulate Derek & ask the same question of your fans?

Post this exact text to get testimonials about your product/service’s single best benefit:

If you stumbled on someone who doesn’t know [your product or service], what would you tell them to persuade them to try it RIGHT NOW?

Cool, right?

And once you have the testimonials, share them as statuses on your fan page.

You can even tag the author in the comments of the post.

#2 — Harvest your post comments

Kevin Cain recently posted about crowdsourcing content creation on the Content Marketing Institute’s blog.

He recommended the following ways to take advantage of the comments on your Facebook posts:

  • Try to learn more: go back to your commenters with follow-up questions & gather ideas for creating a completely new piece of content
  • Debate: if your commenter express different viewpoints than yours, engage them in a debate — even better, have a debate on video or audio
  • Re-purpose comments: use those super awesome comments as quotes or testimonials

The idea here is to be vigilant.

Remember: tomorrow’s awesome post is potentially lurking somewhere in the comments of today’s post.  ;)

#3 — Ask fans to send photos using your product

Heidi Cohen recently posted about after-sales engagement on Facebook on Jon Loomer’s blog.

She recommends featuring customers who are already satisfied to build you brand:

By using your products & spotlighting them in their photos on Facebook & in real life, your customers help build your brand.

Happy customers are great asset — and make for awesome material for Facebook posts!

Here are 3 ways to ask customers for an endorsement:

  • Ask face to face: if you have a physical shop, ask them personally to take a picture of them using your product & send it to you
  • Take a picture right away: If you offer a service — like running a beauty shop or coffee shop — take a picture of the customers with their new hair or cup of coffee
  • Include a letter request: if you sell goods online, put a small letter to the box with the product — and encourage customers to upload an image to your Facebook page

These tactics will get you some awesome testimonials & positive customer feedback.

For example, check out training clothes vendor, Zaggora.  They are constantly encouraging customers to send images wearing their products.

postplanner_zaggora

#4 — Run a photo contest to collect images

Create a campaign that helps you to collect images from fans via an app on your page.

The “user generated content” will provide social proof for your page — and you can use the uploaded images for future posts.

TIP: When running a contest pay attention to the grand prize.

It should not be too pricy or inexpensive — and never give away an iPad unless you are Apple.

Having a relevant grand prize will help you to collect relevant content from relevant people. For example, if you sell cameras, give away a pack of camera accessories.

Here are 3 tips that will help you get authentic photos from fans:

  • Publish fan photos to attract more: make your photo contest more popular by showing off already uploaded images & linking them back to the contest
  • Show happy faces: share a photo of the winner when receiving the gift
  • Re-purpose images: run a caption contest out of the uploaded images (after the contest ended)

Running a photo contest is a also good way to engage with fans & friends of fans who vote on uploaded images.

Sun Bum, a skincare company, asked fans to draw or paint their mascot, Sunny:

bum

After the promotion, they can post the images to their fan page to show off art from their fans — or to run a caption contest.

Manhattan Time Service gave away watches.

After the sweepstakes ended, they posted an image of their happy winner:

postplanner_timeservice

#5 — Run a sweepstakes

You’ll get a ton of post-worthy content & info from customers & potential customers if you motivate them with a grand prize.

Running a sweepstakes campaign is a great way to do this.

For example, ask them:

  • how they discovered your brand
  • why they’d recommend you to friends
  • what specific features they like most about your product

Running sweepstakes on Facebook (or out of it) is a great way to collect more email subscriptions & fans.

For example, this gift shop is asking for customer opinions for their next posts. Fan answers also help them understand better how customers make decisions.

postplanner_entryform

Be an editor, not an author

Follow the above 5 tips to speed up content creation & engage your community.

Remember: people like to hear about each other.  They like to see that they’re not the only members of a community.

You being an editor of their content — instead of just a creator of your own content — will help to scale your social media marketing, while also making it more authentic.

What do you think of these tips?

How do you crowdsource content?

About the Author:

Zsuzsa Szabo is a co-founder of Antavo, a tool that helps small businesses to run turnkey promotions, contests, sweepstakes and giveaways on Facebook, web and mobile. She writes about small business marketing and social media tweaks. Connect with her on Google+, Twitter or Linkedin.

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