How to Use a Fan-Only Promotion to Turn Followers into Leads


This article will give you a step-by-step guide to a strategy which will monetize your social media efforts and turn your Followers into leads quickly and easily.

This walkthrough outlines how to create, run, promote and track the success of a Fan-Only social promotion. It’s a four-step process from brainstorming to final sale:

  1. Brainstorming the right Fan-Only promotion for your business
  2. Creating your promotion page: design best practices for an optimized interaction
  3. Driving the success of your Fan-Only promotion with social media
  4. Wrapping it up and measuring success

But before we get started with the how-to guide, let’s quickly…

Justify the investment

The true value of a “Fan-only” social promotion is about the ability to monetize every hour you’ve spent on social media.

It’s notoriously difficult to do. There are hundreds of articles which outline how to track social media ROI – and 90% of them fail to explain it.

What is the value of a Fan? The answer, unfortunately, is Nil. Zip. Nada. That is, of course, unless they end up becoming a sale.

Here’s a hypothetical:

Let’s say you’ve spent the past six months building up your Facebook Page’s popularity. You have 2,000 Fans and are happy with your results.

But you’re using UTM codes within your Posts and have noticed that, out of all 2,000 Fans, only a couple hundred of them have ever been to your website. In fact, only 20 of them have ever signed up for your service or bought from you. That’s 1% – about the industry average.

Not good. Not good, considering the time, energy and resources you’ve spent to get those 2,000 Fans.

A fan-exclusive promotion is the best way to turn Fans into Leads. And the value of a lead is substantially greater than the value of a Fan. Consider that only 5% of your social media posts will be seen by Fans, whereas every one of your emails will be seen by your leads. The chance of reaching them and showing them the quality or value of your business is significantly higher if they’re leads than if they’re just Fans.

And it’s not that hard.

Let’s take a look at how you can do it…

Step #1: Brainstorming the right Fan-Only promotion for your business

Let’s not beat around the bush. We’re going to run a sweepstakes here.

  • If you’re looking for engagement or user-generated content you run a photo, essay, video or Instagram contest.
  • If you’re looking for new Fans or leads you run a Referral Promotion.
  • If you’re looking to turn Fans into Sales, you use a straightforward Sweepstakes.

Believe me. Wishpond has been doing online promotions for the past 4 years (about as long as anybody’s been doing it). We’ve helped more than 100,000 customers run more than 250,000 promotions, from mom-and-pop ecommerce companies to multinational corporations. Trust me on this one – to turn Followers into Leads you want a sweepstakes.

Step #2: Creating your promotion page

Your Fan-Only promotion page should be kept simple – both to keep your design investment down and also because your visitor shouldn’t get lost in too much text or a complicated entry funnel.

There are a few essential elements though…

  • Headline which grabs attention and communicates value
  • Professional-looking image
  • Brief description of how the promotion works and why people should enter
  • A Call-to-Action button allowing people to enter and making it clear how they do so
  • A countdown clock to add urgency and elicit conversion
  • A simple form asking for only email address and name. Anything more will decrease conversion rates.

Something like this (made in about 20 minutes with Wishpond’s contest app:

fan-only promotion page

Step #3: Driving the success of your Fan-Only promotion with social media

If you’re not already using a social media sharing tool then you don’t know what you’re missing – which is a lot.

Platforms like Postplanner, Buffer, Hootsuite and others give you a tool which makes sharing on all your social media accounts easy. Schedule posts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest from a single platform.

When creating a social-media strategy for your fan-only promotion, scheduling is crucial – otherwise you’re spending a huge amount of time you don’t have to spend.

You want to be sharing your promotion at least twice a day for the entire duration of the promotion. With Facebook’s current algorithm, you’ll be lucky to reach even 10% of your Fans with each post, so multiple posts is crucial.

fan-only promotion

Promotion Post Best Practices:

  • Grab attention with the value of your prize front and center
  • Use images which match the images on your promotion page to create continuity
  • Mention the limited-time that the promotion is available (and count down in your posts as the contest gets closer to the end)
  • Mention the fan-only exclusivity

Step #4: Wrapping it up and measuring success

Select a winner randomly and be sure to follow-up with all entrants.

The true value of your promotion will only be seen after a couple months, when you have a better idea of how many leads you generated actually ended up purchasing or signing up to your business.

It’s essential that you segment your new leads into a relevant list. Segmentation allows you to deliver relevant content to your leads based on the things you know they’re interested in. In the case of contest entrants, you know a few things…

  • You know they’re interested in your prize.

If you don’t go with a gift card, this enables you to promote similar products (or the one you offered as a prize) down the line.

  • You know they’re interested in discounts.

I highly recommend that you give your contest entrants a subsequent discount code or credit after the contest is over. This makes it feel like converting was worth it, even if they lost. And of course it encourages them towards a paid conversion.

  • You know they were once your social media fans.

Knowing this is a great way to personalize the conversation. Anything you can do to personalize your emails and brand messaging is a good idea.

To determine the value of a lead…

Take a random selection of new leads and track them through your sales funnel. Determine the number of them who convert (a valuable key-performance-indicator by itself) and then measure the value of their selected product. Take an average (giving you a customer value).

Then do a bit of math:

If average value of converted lead is $100, and 20% of leads are converting, then the value of a lead is $20.

This number can be drastically improved by using email marketing and other lead nurturing strategies (but that’s another article).

Wrapping it Up

Hopefully this article has given you a better idea of how you can use a Fan-only promotion to turn social media Followers into leads. It’s a simple process which should be done roughly every six months or so.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in the comment section below!

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