2015 Update: Both of these tools have been discontinued.
I have some awesome info for you today and a nice surprise too! Everyone is struggling with engagement and interaction issues and the resulting drop in traffic and, most likely, sales.
I found 2 rather amazing tools that you can implement for FREE on your blog, website and Facebook fan pages to help you out. I just finished setting them up and I'm going to test them out, track the analytical data and then report back to you. I'm covering them briefly in the same post because they complement each other and can be used together. Over the next week I'll be doing a separate blog post about each of them with more information.
The tools are PunchTab and Wibiya. Have you heard of them? tried them? Ok then, let's talk...
First About PunchTab
PunchTab is an awesome tool to increase social engagement and reward your fans at the same time. There's incentive for them to share your content and it can actually turn into a fun game to see who gets the most points and wins the prize(s)... and that is awesome for you AND them!
PunchTab is a three-pronged engagement tool that also has two additional benefits for you.
First, you can run a Loyalty Program. This increases your traffic and keeps users coming back, by incentivizing them to do certain things... visit your blog or website; comment on your content and posts; like and tweet your content, etc. and you choose what they earn points for. You can use PunchTab's Rewards Catalog for free or you can create a Rewards Catalog of your own. You can even post the Leaderboard to incite more competition!
Click on the red Rewards banner button on the Wibiya bar at the bottom of the page to check it out and start looking for little red ribbons everywhere you go to earn points! The banners appear differently (in different places) if you're only using PunchTab. Once you add PunchTab to a Wibiya bar, the banners move onto the bar :)
Second, you can run an Achievement Program where your peeps earn badges for certain things. Think Squidoo ;-) Click on the Badges button on the Wibiya bar.
And last but not least, you can host Giveaways!! You choose the prize you want to give away, the duration of the giveaway, whether fans can sign-up via Facebook or Email or only by Email (nice way to build your list!) and all the ways they can earn more entries. Hint... by sharing and interacting with you!
I have an opinion of this vs. the giveaway app I've previously used on Facebook based on my experience and research. We spoke the other day about your affinity score and how it's hurt by having fans who don't interact with your fan page. Everyone who has used their apps knows that about all it gets you is tons of fans who are only there to get something for nothing, never to be seen again... oh, that is until the next giveaway. That's why I've stopped using it on my Designs by Debi page. I want ways to reward loyal fans.
Now, inevitably with any giveaway, you're going to get people who are simply there to get something for nothing. But with PunchTab's options, at least they have to work for it. So I think that, although you'll defintely still have those who will unlike, unfollow or unsubscribe after your giveaways, you have a better chance of gaining true fans.
And, because you set the requirements of how they enter and earn points, you have 3 advantages. You can choose to only accept entry by sign-in with email to try to build your list. Your content gets interacted with and shared because that's how they earn points to win. Which, of course, benefits you from an SEO and traffic standpoint as well as increasing your EdgeRank score on Facebook if they're sharing and interacting with your page. And, you also get that much more exposure to that many more people because your content is being shared. So you're getting a lot more than just a simple "like" out of the deal.
As far as I can tell so far, it is Facebook compliant. If I find out otherwise, I'll update.
There are also 2 additional benefits for you. If you're using PunchTab on a website and reach their traffic requirements, you can get a CRUNCH Score. This is kind of like Klout, but for your website and measures your site's engagement vs. other sites using PunchTab.
And, when you share PunchTab with your friends, you can earn shout-outs and rewards from PunchTab!
Wibiya is a toolbar that shows up at the bottom of your website (check out mine down there at the bottom of the page!) and/or blog with app buttons that you choose to increase page views, user engagement and content sharing and make your site more interactive for your visitors. There are lots of amazing apps that you can add to your Wibiya bar and most of them are FREE, as is Wibiya itself. They also offer a paid version if you want to upgrade. Wibiya is offered by Conduit.
I'll cover Wibiya more in depth with a dedicated post later this week. But I wanted to mention it here because PunchTab is one of the apps that you can incorporate in your Wibiya bar. If you have a PunchTab account, you'll use your sign-in info to add it to Wibiya. Because of this, I implemented them both at the same time.
You also have the ability to do a lot of customization, even with the free version. You choose the apps you want to use. Some of the apps give you a choice of buttons. As you can see by looking at and hovering over my Wibiya bar, you can customize the text of your buttons and messages. And you can decide on the placement of the buttons along your bar.
It works everywhere, integrates with Facebook and Twitter, offers robust analytics, and offers monetized apps that can earn you money!
My Surprise for YOU
I'm getting my feet wet with PunchTab's Giveaway option by hosting one! You can win a copy of my first eBook "Creating Your Brand ~ Packaging Your Gift to the World" valued at $17!! The contest ends on my birthday May 31st so I can give you a gift :) Let's try this tool out!!
Hooking Yourself Up
If you'd like to try PunchTab, I'd love it if you'd go there using this link so I can get credit for sending you. Thank you!
You can find the Wibiya bar at http://wibiya.conduit.com/.
If you have a webmaster for your site they can most likely get this all set up for you. If you're on your own, want to hook yourself up and need a hand, I can help you.
I can also put together tutorials. I have SO much content to share with you though that I don't want to waste time producing things you don't need. So, let me know in the comments what YOU want me to offer.
Do you want me to offer my services to set them up for you? If so, I'll create the forms I need to get all your input and set them up how you want them.
Would you rather have me put together step-by-step tutorials so you can do it yourself? There will be a small fee for them because it will take me a considerable amount of time to do them right and include images to guide you along.
Would you like to have both of those options?
It's all about YOU and what YOU need to be successful. I totally failed Mindreading 101, so you're gonna have to comment and let me know ;-)