The core element of social media marketing is engagement. One effective way to strengthen and grow followers on Twitter or Facebook is to host a social media contest. Contests are also a great way to engage consumers online. Social media contests are fairly easy to put together, however that doesn’t mean they are for everyone and it doesn’t always guarantee success either. A social media contest should always be a part of an overarching social media strategy to produce great results. If you’re thinking about running a contest, here are some basic tips to follow:
Develop clear goals and objectives
Your only goal should not be to increase your page likes or followers – it should be deeper than that. To ensure you are running a profitable campaign, goals and objectives are essential in the planning process. Generally social media promotions support one or more of the following objectives: increase leads, engage a certain demographic, activate an existing user base, build PR or brand awareness.
At this stage it is also important to consider what type of contest is right for you. For example, maybe your contest will ask consumers to submit interactive content like videos or photos, or simply submit information via a form. Determine what you are looking for and design the contest according to those needs.
Choose Prizes Wisely
It’s so easy to give away the newest and flashiest products, but this is actually counterproductive to the business because it makes the promotion too broad. These types of prizes tend to attract everyone, and your goal should be to attract and engage your consumers. Keeping this in mind, it is a good idea to pick a prize that suits your demographic. For example, a jeweler may give away a ring or a shoe retailer may give away shoes. These types of prizes will eternalize the brand for the followers. You could also give away intangible prizes, like ‘name the next jewelry collection’ or help the company determine what organization should receive a charitable donation. These prizes have the same effect of attracting people who are interested in become your brand advocates.
Promote the Contest!
With social media you can always reap the benefits of word of mouth marketing. However, in order to get started you need to develop a plan to promote the contest as well. While it’s easy to think that once you’ve build the contest, people may come – that is not the case. You need to drive people to the destination so they can help spread the word.
Targeting existing marketing channels is a good starting point. You may consider promoting it through your email marketing program or adding a blurb to your website. You can also take advantage of paid media or even promotional partners. Explore all your opportunities to help successfully build awareness about the contest.
Don’t forget to reach out to your current customers – they will be the most engaged because they are already loyal to your brand. Social sharing will be key during the promotion process, thus the first rule when running a contest is make sure it is easy to share!
These are just a few tips on how to run a successful social media contest. Have you seen any great social media contests recently? Share your comments below!