Tips for a fun and successful social media contest

It’s 2015 and the power of social media as a dynamic marketing force has been well established. But the manner in which you should use social media to effectively market your business is still a source of debate. This much we do know: one of the best ways to cut through the clutter and get your branding in front of countless in-market individuals is with a social media contest.

People love giveaways and will gladly give you their time, and sometimes even their information, for the chance to win a prize. The bigger the giveaway, the greater your reach. Here are some tips for executing a fun and successful social media contest.

Use multiple channels

Just because you’re hosting your social media contest on Facebook doesn’t mean you can’t promote it on Twitter, Instagram and other channels. When applicable, use hashtags such as #giveaway #sweepstakes #contest and #prizes, but be forewarned that this strategy could attract serial contest fanatics known as “Sweepers.” If you can, put a geo-fence around your contest so only people in your market are able to enter.

Daily posts

Send daily reminders about your contest across the social landscape. To increase exposure, jump into the narrative of trending topics in your market, or weekly social events like #TBT (Throwback Thursday). Have fun with your posts, but never be pushy or overly aggressive.

Blow it out

Unless you’re planning a low profile daily giveaway, your contest should be supported with graphics that amp up excitement, including cover images, headers and logos. A clever name will also strengthen resonance and increase viral potential. Consider using puns and rhymes when crafting the contest name, and incorporating the prize if possible.

Timing is everything

Contests that are shorter in duration have greater share potential and are more likely to go viral. Give your contest enough time to gain steam and attract fans, but don’t let it drag on for so long that interest tapers off.

Unlock threshold prizing

Empower fans to unlock more prizes by sharing the contest with their friends. When the registrant total reaches new milestones, such as 1,000 entrants, you can add another prize to the pot. Keep that going for as long as the momentum is climbing.

Surprise and delight

Catch fans off guard in a positive way by surprising random entrants with prizes during the registration process. Celebrate the winner throughout social media and nod to the fact that “you could be next!”

Encourage opt-ins

During the registration contest, give fans the opportunity to join your email list. Be sure to disclose what type of emails they can expect to receive, whether it’s exclusive daily deals or monthly company news. Making opt-ins a requirements is usually an option, but doing so might discourage participation.

Measure results

After the contest has ended, measure its impact on brand engagement. Analyze click-through rates, impressions, conversions, social media numbers, and other metrics. This will provide valuable benchmarks you can use when planning your next social media contest.

Is your social media getting the ROI you’re after? If not, click here to email your questions to our expert social media team.