Flock to Unlock is a Twitter-based marketing strategy in which followers are encouraged to retweet (share) a promotional tweet X number of times to unlock a promotion. For example, a company might share, “If 50 people retweet this message, you will receive a 50% discount on your next purchase at ABC Company”.
The flock to unlock technique is great for helping non-followers see your brand’s tweets and incentivizing them to follow you. It also helps current followers stay personally invested in your brand by receiving exclusive and valuable content. Lastly, it helps drive sales and word of mouth promotion, due to its cumulative effect.
5 Steps to Using Flock to Unlock to Gain Maximum Engagement
Twitter has identified 5 key steps that can help a brand maximize engagement with its followers using the flock to unlock campaign.
Step 1: Pick a Promotion your Followers Care About
Twitter suggests that by choosing an aspect of your promotion which appeals to your existing followers, you are likely to see better results and greater enthusiasm. American Apparel recently ran a flock to unlock promotion and used the following question to drum up pre-campaign buzz: “Our Alternative Earth collection is super soft with eco-friendly appeal. What’s your favorite Earth style?”
The trick here is to pick an aspect of your brand that will get your followers excited and make them feel an integral part of the campaign by asking a related question. You should also let people know that the campaign is exclusive to Twitter, so they need to stay on the platform to engage and share.
Step 2: Build Anticipation
You want your followers to be prepared as well as hyped up for your upcoming promotion. To get followers excited, it’s important to build buzz by telling them when the campaign will start and including a countdown or other timer to indicate how much time is left. Depending on your industry, product and audience size, you could start to build buzz as early as a week in advance. Just be sure not to start too early, or followers may forget or grow weary.
Use your chosen hashtag for all promotion-related tweets and follow up at various times of the day, to ensure your tweet is seen by a maximum number of people. You can use a service such as Buffer to schedule tweets in advance, based on when your followers are most active online. To see your most active follower times, use a tool called Tweroid.
Step 3: Launch the Campaign!
Launch the campaign on the designated day by announcing your promotion, complete with all details. Your tweet should state in clear terms what each person must do to trigger the promotion. Make sure your tweet contains complete promotion information or links to more details. You don’t want followers to feel like they don’t have enough information to understand the promotion, or that they need to refer to your previous tweets.
Twitter suggests using flock to unlock in coordination with Promoted Tweets to ensure maximum visibility for your promotion.
During the time your promotion is running, it’s important to keep reminding followers of how much time is left as well as how many people have assisted the promotion so far. This helps gather social proof for your brand and can further increase retweets.
Step 4: Give out Prizes
Once your promotion’s goals have been met and critical mass is reached, it’s time to start delivering on your promise. You can give instructions within the tweet, or link to a landing page on your website, to help followers claim their prize or discount.
Step 5: Stay Engaged
If your flock to unlock campaign worked well, you will likely have many new followers post-promotion. It’s important to immediately make them feel included in your brand’s messaging by amping up engagement levels. You can ask questions related to your brand’s focus, highlight key tweets from the promotion, say thank you, etc.
The flock to unlock campaign is one great tool for sharing exclusive content, growing your number of followers and helping to increase increase sales. In a recent presentation at BookExpo America, President of Brand New Brand You Inc. Cindy Ratzcliff told participants, “Your tweets are only alive for seven minutes in your followers’ Twitter streams. The ‘flock to unlock’ technique will help you keep a tweet alive for longer and find new readers.”
Even though the fashion industry may have been some of the early adopters of the flock to unlock campaign, marketers from all industries – from authors to retailers – can use this tactic to grow followers and sales.
Have you used a flock to unlock promotion as part of your social media marketing strategy? Share your thoughts or questions in the comments!Tags: Business,Social Media