Here is how we set up our social media campaigns to let us share interesting articles from the web and use these to help drive interested visitors to our mailing list.  These techniques will work best for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other platforms where you share links to other interesting web pages.

This is part of Gemtopia’s Business Development series.  Since we’re a new startup business, we want to share what we’re learning along the way so others startups can benefit from it.  

Here is a summary of our process:

  1. Find interesting content your target market would appreciate.
    1. In this case, we will use a post from about the World’s Largest Aquamarine Gem.
    2. The URL for our demo page here is .
  2. On the service:
    1. Create a custom Form Call-to-Action (CTA) for the page we are sending people to.  This CTA will float over the page that users are going to and invite them to signup for our mailing list with a simple one-field form.
      1. The Form CTA requires a Basic ($29/mo, free trial) level subscription.
      2. The $0/mo Free subscription will let you redirect users to your web page, but we wanted an on-page email signup option for minimum signup friction.
    2. [OPTIONAL] Create multiple variants of the signup form using the A/B testing feature to see which perform best.
      1. The A/B Testing requires a Pro ($79/mo, free trial) subscription.
      2. We decided to pay for the A/B testing since building our list is our primary goal during our PreLaunch phase
      3. Having a strong mailing list is ultimately much cheaper and more effective than Facebook posting or paid advertising, so it’s a good investment
    3. Create a custom URL for the page you want to link to.
      1. This will give us a URL like that we will use to post to our social media platforms.
      2. View the above link to see how the Sniply overlays our CTA over the original web page.
      3. Closing the Sniply popup (click the little “x”) will forward the user to the original web page.
  3. On our social media platforms, schedule the future posting of the Sniply link to the best times for each platform.
    1. Facebook:
      1. If there are multiple images in the article, we make sure they all show on the FB post.
      2. We may need to download them and re-upload them to the post, depending on how the target site is configured.
      3. We structure the post like this:
        1. Our own description of the post
        2. A related Emoji to visually break up the content (such as a diamond for our brand)
        3. Text that either invites the user to engage in the post (ask a questions, CTA, etc) or relates the post to our what our company offers.
        4. The text we’ve used for this post is:  Carved from the original 100+ pound gem into this gorgeous 10,363 carat obelisk, it has been donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Hall of Geology.  Learn how gems are cut from rough in the first GemtopiaBox – it includes a set of real gems showing each step of the faceting process – from rough  to finished gem  and the five  steps in-between. You’ve never seen this before in any product! 
  4. [OPTIONAL] Boost the post or create a paid ad to get additional visibility to people who wouldn’t otherwise see it
  5. After the post has been running for a while:
    1. Facebook:
      1. Respond to any comments
      2. Invite anyone who has Liked/Shared the post to join our GemtopiaBox FB group.
    2. Twitter:
      1. Follow anyone (suitable) who has retweeted or engaged with our tweet.
    3. Instagram
      1. Since you can’t put live links, it doesn’t work as well here, but we can put the Sniply URL in the first comment.  We are monitoring how well this works as a channel.
      2. Respond to any comments
      3. Follow anyone (suitable) who has engaged with our tweet.
    4. Pinterest (coming soon for us)
      1. Respond to any comments
      2. Follow anyone (suitable) who has engaged with our tweet.

Here is the final post as it appears on Facebook:

and here is how our popup appears on the page:

screenshot of Sniply in Action

screenshot of Sniply in Action

We have set up the following additional steps to make everything work better:

  1. Installed our Facebook Pixel on our Sniply account.  This will let us retarget visitors and get demographics on people have followed our links to other sites.  This requires a paid account
  2. Added custom fields in Mailchimp to help us track how users came to us:
    1. Source: The URL of the page we were promoting
    2. Source2: The Sniply URL they followed to get to the page.  We might have different campaigns targeting the same content page, and this will let us differentiate.
    3. SourceData: The raw data sent from Sniply about the email form submission.
  3. Used ($19/mo, free trial) to automatically add all Sniply submissions to our “Sniply Leads” mailing list on MailChimp upon submission.
    1. You can manually export them from Sniply and then import them manually into Mailchimp if you prefer, but that sounds horribly inefficient to my nerdy computer brain.
  4. Set up Mailchimp automated sequence to send Welcome and follow-up emails to users about Gemtopia and our associated contests, product information, and other outreach efforts prior to launch.

If you enjoyed this and would like to see more posts as we add them, please signup for our mailing list.

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